Defense carried the BFA-St. Albans boys hockey team to this year's Division I championship game, and it was defense, more than anything else, that allowed the Bobwhites to claim the program's 16th state title.
Junior goaltender Andre Morin made 20 saves as third-seeded BFA-St. Albans defeated fifth-seeded Colchester 5-1 in the Division I final played Tuesday night at the University of Vermont's Gutterson Fieldhouse.
The Bobwhites (19-4-0) allowed three goals in their three tournament games, which included victories over Rice (6-0) and North Country (3-2).
Taylor Raftery, Mike Schreiner and Peter Dukas provided the offense for BFA-St. Albans, which beat Colchester (15-8-1) for the third time this season.
Ryan Francis scored for Colchester, which needed five overtimes to defeat Essex in the semifinals.
Second-seeded U-32 dominated Tuesday's Division II championship game and skated to a 5-1 triumph over top-seeded Northfield.
Andrew Danyew, Forrest Smith, Kyle Ferguson, Colvin Rice and Kyle Elliott scored for the Raiders (18-3-2), who spit two regular-season games against Northfield.
Billy Whaley scored for Northfield (20-3-0).
ESSEX, BURR & BURTON FINISH ON TOP
Vermont's girls hockey season ended Monday night, when Essex and Burr & Burton each won a state title at Gutterson Fieldhouse.
Fifth-seeded Essex earned the Division I championship by beating third-seeded South Burlington 2-1; and top-seeded Burr & Burton won the Division II title with a 4-1 triumph over third-seeded Stowe.
Essex (13-8-2) and South Burlington (15-5-4) were tied entering the third period, when Melissa Moldovan collected what turned out to be the game-winning goal shortly after an Essex power-play opportunity had expired.
Freshman goaltender Victoria Gibson made 15 saves for the Hornets, who beat South Burlington in two of three regular-season meetings. All three Essex wins came by one goal.
Julia Hudson scored South Burlington's goal.
Freshman Abby Marmer scored twice in Burr & Burton's victory. Marmer finished the season with a team-high 23 goals.
Junior Erin Thompson and freshman Jordan Harmon also scored for the Bulldogs, who raised their record to 21-1-0. Burr & Burton received 16 saves from junior goaltender Meg Chandler.
Sam Haab scored for Stowe (18-4-1).
LOTS OF HOOPLA
Recaps of Vermont's four boys basketball championship games:
Division I: Tom Lacy scored 11 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as top-seeded Mount Mansfield defeated second-seeded Rice 41-34.
Mount Mansfield (23-1) also received nine points from Troy Springer – all in the second half – and eight points and eight rebounds from Eric Suder.
Casey Tipson scored a game-high 16 points for Rice, which led by five at halftime. Tim Rensch added nine points and 14 rebounds for Rice, which won last year's title.
Mount Mansfield took control by outscoring Rice (22-2) 16-4 in the third quarter.
Division II: An 18-6 run in the the third quarter helped top-seeded Mount St. Joseph defeat top-seeded Vergennes 56-48.
Shannon Murray tossed in a game-high 13 points for MSJ, which won its first title since claiming the Division I championship in 1999. John Dewey (12) and Matthew Sanborn (10) also scored in double digits for MSJ (22-2).
Shep Carter led Vergennes (21-3) with 15.
Division III: Fifth-seeded Williamstown capped a strong postseason run with a 66-42 upset victory over second-seeded Rivendell (16-7).
It was the second title in three years for Williamstown, which won the Division IV championship in 2010. Williamstown made 27 of 43 free throw attempts in the victory.
Seth Atherton (18) and Jason Manwaring (16 points, seven rebounds) were Williamstown's leading scorers. Dylan Pelletier (16) led Rivendell (21-3).
It was the third meeting between the teams. Rivendell won both regular-season meetings.
Division IV: David Codling scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as top-seeded Twinfield beat third-seeded Danville 61-52.
Twinfield (22-2) also defeated Danville (18-6) twice during the regular season, and in last year's championship game.
Avery Whitcomb scored 15 points for Twinfield, which also received 12 points and 10 rebounds from Chad Copeland.
Tony Burrington (20) and Kyle Johnson (14) led Danville.
ILLINGWORTH WINS GATORADE AWARD
Hartford's Sarah Illingworth, a 6-foot-1 senior center, has been selected as Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year for girls basketball. She is the first girls player from Hartford to win the award, which is based on athletic excellence, academic success and high character.
Illingworth averaged 12.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals during the Division II regular season. She will continue her basketball career at UMass-Lowell next season.
Roger Brown is a freelance writer who has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.