The Northern Berkshire Black Bears pose with their championship trophy. They defeated four teams to win the Winter Classic Tournament in South Burlington, Vt.
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Northern Berkshire Squirt Black Bears team blew into Burlington for the CSB Winter Classic Tournament, which started on Friday, Jan. 18. The Black Bears faced fierce competition from teams from Middlebury, South Burlington, Tweaksbury and Pleasant Valley, but came up on top, sweeping the tournament.
Led by coaches Guy Cariddi and Bob Sweet, the team grew a lot in this tournament. As the poem goes, if you can keep your head while all around you others are losing theirs then you will be a man. The Black Bears went a long way towards becoming men this weekend, playing their game with poise, determination and skill.
In the first game on Saturday, Jan. 19, the Black Bears lit up the scoreboard against Middlebury (Vt.) in a 7-3 victory. In the afternoon the team headed to Pizza Hut for some team bonding and birthday celebrating, but were ready to take on South Burlington at 7:30 p.m. The Black Bears showed that they can win late in the evening as well as early in the morning when they took on the home team. They skated away with a 3-0 win with goaltender Chase Vanderwoude earning the shutout.
Saturday night was very short as the Black Bears were up Sunday morning before the sun was shining on Lake Champlain to take on the Tewksbury Redmen. Regardless, the Black Bears came away with a 5-1 victory and a chance at the championship against Pleasant Valley.
After a hard-fought battle from both the Black Bears and Pleasant Valley, the Black Bears came away with a 4-1 victory. Ethan Paligo, Zack Sweet and Omar Uqdah all scored and Tyler Pettit and Jack Lander commanded the defensive zone.
Throughout the tournament, the Black Bears were extemely disciplined -- they committed just one penalty while drawing 13 from their opponents.
Branden Lincoln, Brady MacDonald, Vanderwoude and Danny Hunt were Player of the Game recipients.
This weekend, the Black Bears will travel to Clifton Park (N.Y.) for the "Between the Pipes" tournament. Nine other teams, including the Berkshire Bruins, will battle for the trophy.