CVU standouts lead U16 girls hockey team to National Championships

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The Vermont Shamrocks, a U16 girls hockey team comprised of Champlain Valley Union hockey players Rachel Pitcher of Shelburne and Molly Dunphy of Williston, has earned a trip to the National Championships in California next month. The Shamrocks qualified for the USA Hockey Tier II National Championships by winning the New England Regional title in Augusta, Maine March 15-17.

The Shamrocks defeated the Connecticut Polar Bears, the Maine Pirates, and Connecticut Mid-Fairfield Stars in round-robin play to earn the top seed in the playoffs. In the semifinal, the Shamrocks beat Mid-Fairfield 3-0 to advance and won the title by defeating the New Hampshire Cyclones 3-0 in the finale.

The Shamrocks, coached by Pat Burke and Dan Ellis with Joe LoTemplio assisting, travel to San Jose, Calif. to play for a national championship April 3-7. Coach Burke was impressed with his team’s performance in Maine. “Despite being from many different schools, the girls are a close group,” Burke said. “With minimal practice time, they beat teams full of prep school all-star players to win the New England Regional championship.”

The Shamrocks put together an overall record of 24-7-2 this year, including a title at the Cranberry Classic tournament in Cape Cod, Mass. in November.

In order to offset the cost of the trip to nationals the team is accepting tax-deductible donations at www.vtrocks.org.

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