A Vermont youth hockey team with Rutland connections won a USA Hockey National Title in Troy, Michigan, on Monday, April 4.
The Vermont St. Pats Hockey Club claimed the USA Hockey 16-and-Under Boys’ Tier II National Championship on Monday with a 3-0 win in the title game over the Park City Ice Miners of Utah.
Three Rutland High School sophomores, Patrick Cooley, Aiden Good and Anders Lowkes — who all play RHS Hockey — played key roles in helping the team earn the title. All have been members of the Vermont St. Pats since the team’s inception in the fall of 2020.
The St. Pats went 3 and 0 in pool play to win their initial bracket, beating teams from South Carolina, Alabama, and Wyoming, and put down a 5-0 record overall in the championship tournament. The St. Pats defeated the Atlanta Madhatters of Georgia 4-2 in the semifinals to advance to the championship game where they beat the Ice Miners to win the title. Vermont outscored their opponents 31-4 over the 5-game run.
The final match was a tough, grinding win for the St. Pats. The team took an early 1-0 lead in the first period with a deflection in front of the net by Cooley, his 9th of the tournament. Despite being outshot by a small margin through the second and third period, the team’s speed, puck movement, strong defense and stellar goaltending kept them in the game. They netted their second goal with just 5 minutes left in the third and followed up with an empty-netter with 10 seconds left to seal the victory.
For the 16U age bracket, the Vermont St. Pats are considered a young team, with 15 of the 17 rostered players being born in 2006, who will be eligible to play at this level next year.
The St. Pats team is built around a roster that represents seven different Vermont high schools and one New York school. The team plays a split-season format which allows the players to play both high-level club hockey from August to November, and play for their respective schools in the winter. This team format sees the players competing both as teammates on the St. Pats and as opponents during the high school season. The friendships and rivalries that have formed amongst the players is what has pushed this team to the top.
The St. Pats Championship roster included Colin Banks (Rice Memorial), James Bradley (S. Burlington High), William Bradley (S. Burlington High), Patrick Cooley (Rutland High), Quinn Dousevicz (Colchester High), Toby Draper (Middlebury Union), Redi Fesette (Beekmantown, New York), Aiden Good (Rutland High), Nick Kelly (S. Burlington High), Dylan Kerner (Colchester High), Logan Lambrecht (Rice Memorial), Anders Lowkes (Rutland High), Colby Phelps (Bellows Free Academy), Brody Rassel (Colchester High), Blake Truchon (S. Burlington High), Lucas Van Mullen (Rice Memorial) and Alex Zuchowski (Champlain Valley Union).
The team was coached by Brent Truchon with assistant coaches Ethan Hendrickson and Patrick Cooley.