MIDDLEBURY — Both the Middlebury Union High School hockey teams won key games on Wednesday to each earn top seeds in Division II.
The Tiger girls withstood a third-period rally from visiting Burr & Burton to prevail, 5-2, and improve to 16-3-1. The Bulldogs are 15-3-2 and earned the No. 2 seed in D-II, while Northfield (15-3-2) is seeded third and Stowe (10-10) is the No. 4 seed.
The Tiger boys on Wednesday won in overtime at St. Johnsbury, 4-3, to stand at 15-5. They won the head-to-head tiebreaker with Stowe (15-4-1) for the top seed in D-II. Both teams finished one point ahead of Mount Mansfield (15-5) and Woodstock (14-4-2). The Wasps were upset in OT by No. 5 Hartford on Wednesday, costing them first place. Northfield (14-6), the only D-II team to defeat MUHS this winter, is the No. 6 seed.
Both MUHS teams will open the postseason title quest on this coming Wednesday with home quarterfinals. The Tiger girls will host No. 8 U-32 at 5:30 p.m., and the Tiger boys will meet the winner of a first-round game between No. 8 Milton (10-9-1) and No. 9 U-32 (7-13) at 7:30 p.m.
Assuming both prevail, both would then host semifinals on Saturday evening, according to MUHS activities director Sean Farrell.
The D-II girls' final will be played at 6 p.m. on March 5 at the University of Vermont, and the D-II boys’ final will be played at 6 p.m. on March 6 at UVM.
TIGER GIRLS, 5-2
In Middlebury, the Tiger girls outshot the Bulldogs, 27-13, in their 5-2 win, but Burr & Burton cut what had been a 3-0 lead to 3-2 in the third period before the Tigers reasserted themselves.
The Tigers took the lead with two goals late in the first. Timi Carone tallied the first, assisted by Julia Carone, and Sara Boe netted the second, assisted by Timi and Julia Carone.
Boe scored again late in the second period to make it 3-0. Julia and Timi Carone also set up that goal.
The Bulldogs’ Aggie Bisselle scored twice in the first 2:59 of the third to make the game tense. Jordan Harmon assisted both goals, the second of which came seconds into a power play.
MUHS picked up its play and allowed just one more shot on goalie Baily Ryan (11 saves). At 9:48, Harper Smith’s shot bounced through B&B goalie Morgan Bazyk (22 saves), with Angela Carone assisting. Timi Carone sealed the win with an empty-net goal at 13:42.
TIGER BOYS, 4-3
At St. Johnsbury, the Tiger boys bolted to a 3-0 first-period lead over the 12-8 Hilltoppers. Nick Audet, Devin Dwire and Andrew Gleason scored for the Tigers, and Dwire, Audet and Colton Leno picked up assists. Gleason’s goal was the first of his MUHS career.
St. Johnsbury scored one late in the first, converted a second-period penalty shot, and tied the game midway through the third.
The Tigers claimed the win 43 seconds into overtime, when Audet scored from Dwire. The Tigers outshot the Hilltoppers, 36-18, and MUHS goalie Sawyer Ryan stopped 15 shots.