Junior Redmen Squirts Squeeze Out Win Over Lynnfield-Saugus
Sep 17, 2014 05:01AM
By Bill Gilman
Andrew Della Piana chipped in with an assist in the win
The Jr. Redmen Squirt AAA Hockey Team travelled to the Lawrence Valley Forum on Sunday September 14th for an early morning battle with the Lynnfield-Saugus Stars and left the rink with a hard-fought, well deserved 3-2 win.
The Stars came out flying, putting immediate pressure on the Jr. Redmen but thanks to great defensive play from Andrew Grieco and Daniel Kierce the Stars were unable to get pucks to the Jr. Redmen net. The entire 1st period was a fast-paced, up and down battle between two very evenly matched teams. The Jr. Redmen had some early scoring chances when the line of Matthew Cooke, Ryan Flynn, and Will Rosato were buzzing around the offensive zone wreaking havoc but the Stars’ goalie made 3 great saves to keep the game scoreless. The Stars had some late 1st period pressure but Jr. Redmen super-goalie Ben O’Keefe made 2 great kick saves and a catching glove save on a breakaway to end the scoreless 1st period.
The Stars got on the scoreboard first, taking a 1-0 lead with 1:21 gone in the 2nd period on a pretty give-and-go play. The Jr. Redmen battled right back tying the game 1-1 off a beautiful offensive zone cycle that saw all 5 players on the ice touch the puck. The play started with Billy Doherty winning a race to the puck in the right corner then Billy quickly sent a great cross-ice pass to Jonny Norwood. Jonny quickly sent a partner pass to Andrew Grieco who found Jason Cooke along the left half-wall. Jason skated toward the net and sent a great cross-ice pass to Conor Cremin in the high slot and Conor wasted no time, firing a wicked wrister over the goalie’s glove, assists to Jason Cooke and Andrew Grieco. The Stars battled back and had a chance to take a 2-1 lead but Jack Griffin made a great diving defensive play on a 3-on-1 to keep the game tied. The Stars kept attacking and took a 2-1 lead with 3:19 left in the 2nd period on the powerplay. The Jr. Redmen went on their own powerplay with 1:40 left in the 2nd period and quickly tied the game when Conor Cremin scored his 2nd goal of the game, assists to Matthew Cooke and Brady Chapman.
The Jr. Redmen nearly took a 3-2 lead just 1 minute into the final period when Ryan Flynn used his speed to get to a loose puck, Ryan quickly fired a cross-ice pass to Will Rosato on the far post but Rosato’s one timer was snagged by the Stars’ goalie. The Jr. Redmen’s speed and puck-tracking ability finally paid off when Andrew Della Piana worked hard on the backcheck, stripping the puck away from a Stars’ forward. Brady Chapman picked up the loose puck and fired a quick pass to Jason Cooke who was skating through the neutral zone. Cooke skated around one Stars’ defender into the offensive zone and fired an absolute bomb into the back of net, assists to Chapman and Della Piana.
The Stars never quit and had a number of chances midway through the final period but great defensive efforts from Daniel Kierce, Jack Griffin, Andrew Grieco, and Jonny Norwood kept the 1-goal lead for the Jr. Redmen. The Jr. Redmen nearly took a 2-goal lead with just over 3 minutes left in the game when Brady Chapman sent a nice backhand pass to Matthew Cooke who broke in alone but his hard wrister rang off the post. The Stars pulled their goalie with 1:40 left in the game but thanks to back-to-back great saves from Ben O’Keefe and solid defensive work from Jason Cooke and Andrew Grieco, the Jr. Redmen held on for the 3-2 win.