Beyond The Score

Central Vermont Sports Blog

MHS Girls’ Hockey Note

with 3 comments

The Montpelier High girls’ hockey team began as a club program in 2002 and has grown into a competitive varsity sport. Over the years they have beat some very good Vermont teams and like any team there are years when the numbers are down and it’s time to rebuild. This is one of those years. They have a bunch of new players learning to skate and learning what it means to be a hockey player in Central Vermont. They’re off to a very slow winless start. I have to add a scoreless start as well. Each game the players show improvement and the more experienced players are doing what they can to help the new players learn quickly.

One of the constants about the Montpelier High girls’ hockey program is that they know how to have fun. Enjoying each other and enjoying hockey has always been a strong part of the program since it’s club days and that has to do with the attitude and coaching style of Chris Turley and his staff.  They do whatever it takes to get the kids involved and excited. Over the years it was not uncommon to see the coaches paint their faces or walk the ice in their bare feet after a game all in good fun and sometimes as a consequence of a pre-game deal with the players. In any event they have been a lot of fun to watch.

This year however is different. They are not competitive. They are not getting many shots on goal. I’m looking forward to the first goal of the season. I’m sure there will be some big time celebrating.

The fun for me as a fan and a photographer is watching senior goalie Mary Cain. She is (to put it simply) amazing! The Solons have played four games so far this season and are 0-4-0. They have had 28 goals scored against them in 12 periods of play. You’re probably wondering how I can claim that Mary Cain, the goalie, is amazing when she’s given up 28 goals in four games. Well, she has had over 200 shots on her in four games and if you do the math she averages about 16 saves a period. Now that amazing!

Here’s a short Soundslides clip of pictures I took during the first two periods of the North Country game to give you an idea of just how amazing she really is. There were 42 shots on goal. She stopped 38. I’m sure the third period was just as active.

The Solons have a tough home schedule the next few games facing U32 (1/7), and undefeated Stowe (1/11). But Saturday (1/14) they host Rutland and I expect to see some much improved players helping Mary with less shots on goal and maybe scoring a few for themselves.

No matter the outcome of winning and losing (and losing sucks!) these players are not just out there skating around watching Mary make awesome saves. They are improving, getting more competitive and having a good time doing it.

Go watch a game and see if you have as fun watching as I do.

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Written by Roger

January 4, 2012 at 5:33 PM

3 Responses

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  1. Great piece Roger. I remember when the MHS program launched and — like now — they had about half the team playing hockey for the first time in their young lives. About three years later they were beginning a string of winning records and regularly beating some veteran teams like Northfield and Harwood. Their coaches have always been my personal heroes exemplary attitude win-lose or draw.

    Anonymous

    January 7, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    • Oops, I forgot to sign it. The response that begins “Great piece Roger” was sent by Jim Higgins of Montpelier.

      Jim Higgins

      January 7, 2012 at 7:27 PM

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