BURRILLVILLE --- Chalk one up for the public school teams!
For the first time in the two seasons of the 10-team Division I, a public-school squad has bumped off a parochial-school team, and Burrillville did the honors on Saturday night with a hard-fought victory over Moses Brown.
And one of the Broncos’ youngest players rose to the occasion in arguably his team’s biggest game of the season, as freshman Chad Stone netted a hat trick to help Burrillville produce a 4-2 victory.
Stone’s third goal of the contest, a power-play goal 4:19 into the final period that was set up by Mitch Lafond and Andrew Etheridge, snapped a 2-2 draw, and Evan Lafond gave the Broncos a two-goal lead and control of the game by netting an unassisted goal with 2:20 to play.
“The boys played their ‘A’ game and one of their best ones this year,” added Burrillville coach Steve Daigle.
The victory gives the fourth-place Broncos a 9-5 record and 12.2 points in the power standings, which are now almost three points more than the fifth-place Quakers, who are 6-7-1 and have 9.4 points.
The top four schools in the power standings will battle for the ‘Championship Division’ title, and if the Broncos can take care of business in their final four games, all against public schools (two games against Cranston West, one each against Lincoln and North Kingstown), they will earn a berth.
Moses Brown also has four games left, but the first two are against first-place Bishop Hendricken (12-1-1). After that comes equally-difficult games against La Salle and Mount St. Charles.
Against the Quakers, the Broncos took a 2-1 lead on Stone’s first two goals, both set up by Drew Buxton, but the Quakers tied the score with 1:44 to play in the second period.
Another key to the Broncos’ victory was the strong performance turned in by goalie Jacob Toback, who stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced and had a few spectacular stops along the way. Burrillville was outshot in the game, 31-22.
The Broncos are back in against on Saturday with a 9 p.m. game in Cranston against Cranston West (4-6-2).