By John Bonnette
ST. ALBANS – BFA-St. Albans opened the quarterfinals focused on the mission to capture its third straight Division I State Championship and, for the next 45 minutes, Champlain Valley Union found out how dominating a focused BFA team can be as the No. 2 Bobwhites rolled to a 6-0 victory in St. Albans on Wednesday night.
“It was a good 45 minutes,” said BFA coach Toby Ducolon. “Was it the best all season? I will say close. We have had probably our best four days of practice we have had all season that I can say for sure. I thought we were very prepared tonight and well rested and I think it showed.”
After a slow start, senior Collin Audy got the Bobwhites rolling midway through the first period thanks to some great anticipation and individual effort.
Audy jumped in front of a pass by CVU’s Nolan Shea just outside the Redhawk blue line and raced around Shea down the right side before cutting to the middle and slipping a backhander between the legs of CVU netminder Jack Averill (25 saves) to make it 1-0 Bobwhites with 7:31 left in the first period.
“Lately he has been a great leader,” Ducolon said of Audy. “He is a hard-working senior with skills and speed. He is playing like a senior in his last 10 days and it shows.
“He is fun to watch and he will be very dangerous on Friday.”
BFA would double its lead with Ethan Audy keeping pace with his older brother just under four minutes later.
Liam Wood and Aiden Savoy were working the puck deep in the CVU zone before getting the puck back to Audy at the left point. The younger Audy lofted a harmless shot through a crowd but Averill never saw the puck before it landed in the back of the net to make it 2-0 with 3:38 left in the second period.
“I don’t know if the goaltender was off angle, was he screened, missed the puck or just not see it but it was a great goal for us just because it put us over the hump to get us going,” Ducolon said. “It was very timely for sure.”
BFA would then take control of the game late in the first as senior Sean Beauregard pounced on a rebound after Averill had made a nice save on a shot from the left point by Colby Phelps with just 2:01 left in the opening period.
“It is great, the seniors definitely had a special effect out there,” Beauregard said. “Everyone has been working hard in practice and they brought it tonight and it showed.”
Wood and Savoy would then combine to extend the Bobwhite lead midway through the second period.
Savoy corralled a loose puck in the high slot and made a nifty no look pass to Wood at the top of the right circle. Wood took one stride and then ripped a shot short side with 7:34 left in the second period to make it 4-0.
“We got caught a little bit and we almost left the puck high in the zone and we lucked out,” Ducolon said. “Then Savoy made a nice pass and when Wood got it he really picked his eyes up immediately and he picked it.
“It was not a throw to the net, it was a nice shot with some skill so it was a nice little play. We almost got caught on something but we also finished off the turnover so it was good.”
BFA’s second unit of Beauregard (2 Goals), Wood (1 Goal, 2 Assists) and Savoy (3 Assists) would put the punctuation mark on the Bobwhites quarterfinal win as they made it 5-0 midway through the third period.
Savoy picked up a loose puck in the slot and slid it Wood on the right side. Wood then quickly put it across to Beauregard who banged it past Averill with 7:01 left in regulation.
“You have two seniors that have 10 days left in their hockey careers and you have the Wood kid in the middle playing very well with them,” Ducolon said. “Very effective, very productive and that is what you are going to need to finish.
“We said it before the game there has been a little bit of a switch here lately with the seniors. It has been very timely and it showed and I am looking forward to another good game Friday because of it.”
Cam Johnson would finish the scoring for the Bobwhites when he took a pass from Tommy Wilber and ripped a shot high stick side with 3:31 left to make it 6-0. Michel Telfer finished with 16 saves to pick up the shutout.
BFA (16-3) will host either No. 3 Essex or No. 6 Spaulding Friday night depending on the outcome of their quarterfinal matchup in Essex Wednesday night.
“Essex has a very good team and Spaulding is a pretty good team. Who is going to win that game? More than likely Essex but we are looking forward to whoever we play,” Ducolon said. “We have beaten Spaulding a couple of times and Essex has beaten us both times, but I think we will be hard to beat three times if it is Essex.
“We need to be rested Friday. The next 48 hours of rest is very important for us. If we do that and we have fresh legs and fresh minds for Friday night, it is a battle and that is what that will be is a hard battle.”