The Berkshire Bruins Squirt Black squad includes William Apostos, Ethan Bishop, Mason Bush, Dai Constantine, Max Easton, Jack Elder, Joe Hatakeyama, Jacob Hilman, Dimitri Huey, Griffin Kotelnicki and Finnegan Noyes.
The Berkshire Bruins Peewee Gold squad includes: Hunter Shepardson, Roshan Warriar, Brayden Bishop, Ryan Johansen, Leif Johnson, Dominic Velasco, Raymond Lynch, Josh Touponce, Cody Soper, Collin Scarbro and Liam Noyes.
The Berkshire Bruins Squirt Gold squad includes: Christian Barry, Everett Bayliss, Nolan Booth, Tate Carothers, Samuel Gyurjan, Andrew Hammill, Ella Kroboth, Connor McLeod, Landyn Phillips, Jackson Sheehy and Benjamin Sykes.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Berkshire Bruins Peewee Gold squad exploded for four goals in a four-minute stretch of the second period Monday to put away Bethlehem, N.Y., and cap a successful 48th Gib Kittredge Tournament for the hosts.
Berkshire won three banners in the tournament, whose Martin Luther King Day Sunday finals were delayed by weather and rescheduled to Presidents Day.
The Peewees scored seven unanswered goals to earn an 8-1 win over Bethlehem in their title game.
Griffin Kotelnicki scored in the third period to give the Bruins Squirt Black squad a 3-1 lead, and it hung on for a 3-2 win over Schenectady.
And the Bruins’ Squirt Gold won its division when its would-be opponent from Schenectady decided not to make the trip east on Monday.
The most exciting stretch for local fans on Monday started about two minutes into the second period of the Peewee final, when the Bruins broke open a 2-1 game with goals by Liam Noyes, Dominic Velasco, Bryaden Bishop and Roshan Warriar.
“Both of our lines started moving the puck and passing the puck,” Berkshire coach Matthew Rodowicz said. “They started to look for the open man. And we were able to find the guy in the open part of the ice and able to find an open shot to the back of the net. They played great and kept their feet moving, all of them.”
Warriar went on to complete a hat trick with an assist from Velasco before the period was over, and Cody Soper scored his second goal on a rebound with 3:34 left in the second to give his team the seven-goal advantage.
The third period, played in running time, yielded limited opportunities for either side, and Berkshire’s Hunter Shepardson (11 saves) kept his goal clean to earn the win between the pipes.
Dmitri Huey made 11 saves to earn the win for the Squirt Black in its championship game.
Although his teammates executed the game plan by keeping Schenectady pinned in its end most of the game, Huey made a couple of key saves, including a stop with about five minutes left in the third period when Schenctady’s Cameron Gregory found himself alone with the puck on the doorstep.
“Dimitri played fantastic,” Bruins coach Josh Hilman said of Huey. “There were a lot of pucks creeping around that crease, and he was able to keep them out of the net, and the defense came back and scooped them and got the puck to the boards.
“Our game plan was to get it in their zone and play in their zone all day. Dmitri in the last two or three games has seen maybe 15 shots. He's been a rock star back there.”
Berkshire went down early when Westin Rakvica scored on a breakaway for Schenectady at the five-minute mark, but Dai Constantine answered less than a minute later to tie it for the Bruins.
It stayed 1-1 until five minutes into the third period. That is when Berkshire’s William Apostos carried the puck up the ice out of his defensive zone and went five hole to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead.
Kotelnicki scored about five minutes later to give Berkshire some insurance, and it came in handy when Schenectady put back a rebound with 55 seconds left draw within a goal.
Hilman was happy to see his team generate three goals from three different players in the victory.
“We have two lines: the Conehead lines, which comes from the 1980 U.S.A. Hockey team that Coach Herb Brooks named the Coneheads,” Hilman said. “And the second line is the Rock Stars. And both of them produced the last couple of days. It's just great to see those guys working as a team.”
Rodowicz was just as happy with his team’s performance and is looking forward to taking the Peewee Gold group to Lake Placid this week before finishing the season with tournaments in Marlborough and Schenectady.
“It's a great privilege,” he said. The kids are amazing. It's an honor to be coaching all of them. It's a great group. I couldn't ask for a better team.
“They've been playing great. They've exceeded expectations all year.”
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