Boys’ and Girls’ Hockey Teams Prove Their Class Over Break
by The Milton Measure on Friday, January 13th, 2017
While the majority of the student body spent winter break relaxing and eating excessively, Milton’s boys’ and girls’ varsity hockey teams were hard at work representing the school in two sets of tournaments. On December 16th, merely one day after dismissal, the boys competed in the prestigious and heavily scouted 52nd annual Flood Marr tournament. The team faced stiff competition, beginning with a game against Westminster, in Milton’s holiday tournament. The boys were quite successful, tying Westminster 3-3 and beating Hotchkiss the following day by a score of 2-1. The team’s hard work payed off in the final round against Deerfield. Though the boys played hard, and goals from Jason Kong (I), Tiger Zhang (II) and Jack Bliss (I) buoyed the team, they fell just short of the gold with a 4-3 loss that won the team silver in the prestigious tournament.
The boys’ positivity and admirable work ethic carried them far in the tournament despite a short bench and, consequently, an exhausted team. Jack Bliss (I), one of three captains, spoke about the team’s success in the Flood Marr tournament: “It was a great test for [the] team. We rose to the challenge and beat some very good hockey teams.”
A few days after the boys played a few tough teams on the ACC rink, the girls’ hockey team started their own holiday tournament. The girls battled against seven strong teams in the 36th Annual Harrington Tournament — held at the Nobles and Greenough School. In their first round, the girls put forth an outstanding effort against St. Mark’s in a shootout victory. Mustang goalie Hannah Congdon (I) stopped five straight St. Mark’s shootout attempts before Abby Furdak (I) scored ending the game.
Later that day, the girls came back from a two goal deficit to beat Westminster 3-2. In the third round, the team suffered a 1-0 loss against the St. Paul’s team in a low scoring game. The team proved its resilience by following the loss with a rewarding win against Williston, who had knocked the girls out of the playoffs the previous year. This game ended in another shootout and Maggie Emerson (III) made ten stops before forward Kat Zahedi (II) scored the winning goal. Abby Furdak (I) proudly stated that “while [the team] didn’t get first place, we found ways to win close games against some tough opponents.”
In the second round of tournaments that took place after New Year’s, the boys competed in the Joshua H. Weeks New Years tournament at Tabor while the girls travelled to New Hampshire to storm the Exeter Tournament. The boys team was not quite as successful as they had been in Flood Marr, but they continued to put forth a great effort. Bobby Beniers (I) kicked off the tournament with an overtime goal to beat The Hill School. The boys then lost to Stanstead College, an independent boarding school from Quebec, and then again in a shootout against Winchedon in the third place game. Despite a couple of losses, captain Bobby Beniers (I) said he “could not be more proud of the guys for making it known that Milton Academy is a serious contender in prep hockey once again this year.”
At the Exeter tournament, the girls’ team defeated King’s-Edgehill, a boarding school in Nova Scotia, in the first round, once again in overtime. Next, the girls had a remarkable 7-1 win against Vermont that was followed by a shutout win against Exeter. These wins lead them straight to the final round. Despite the girls’ hard work and multiple triumphs, they were unable to overcome Stanstead’s squad. The girls’ second place win — much like the boys in the Flood Marr tournament — still gave the team great pride. Though the team would have rather won, finishing second still proved to be an outstanding feat nonetheless.
The girls will look to build on this success for the remainder of their season. As for the remainder of his season, Bobby Beniers (I) acknowledges that “anything can happen in a hockey season,” though he “is hopeful that [they] have a strong enough core of solid players that can lead [them] to another shot at a trophy in the playoffs.”
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