By George Calver, Standard Correspondent
The Wasps netted three early goals and cruised to a 13-5 first playoff round win over Rutland Wednesday afternoon on their home field. The win sets the stage for a quarterfinal match against the No. 1-seeded Essex Hornets this Saturday May 8 at 2 p.m. in Essex.
The Raiders never came closer than a two-goal deficit as the Wasps maintained consistent pressure on the visitors — scoring whenever Rutland showed signs of life.
Hunter Schmell led the Woodstock scoring with five goals and two assists. Haven Lantz netted three goals and picked up three assists on nice feeds to Schmell. Jesse Davis scored twice on long rushes from the defensive zone, scoring on high leaps and hard shots that mystified the Raider goalie. Nemo Wood also notched two goals. Taylor Lessard rounded out the Wasps’ scoring with a tally in the fourth quarter.
Nikolai Davis took most of the faceoffs for Woodstock, winning the majority with good support from the other middies. Ed Doton helped the cause, picking up several groundballs from the face-off and during 50/50 battles. Woodstock had 47 groundballs compared to Rutland’s 27.
Ben Orr was not severely tested but stood firm in goals with 12 saves that maintained the home team’s confidence.
“He’s an unsung hero. He runs the defense and the clears and is a real strong goalie,” said coach Brandon Little of Orr.
The next opponent, Essex, with a 14-2 record has not lost a match to any Vermont opponent this year but Little said that the Wasps are looking forward to the challenge and are not intimidated by Essex’s record.Nemo Wood looks for an open teammate in the Wasps’ game against Middlebury earlier this year. Woodstock advanced in the playoffs with a win against Rutland on Wednesday. (Rick Russell Photo)