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Jr. Redmen Stay Perfect, Rout Wilmington Twice

Oct 01, 2014 01:53PM ● By Bill Gilman

The Jr. Redmen Squirt AAA Hockey Team continued their strong play over the weekend, moving to 5-0 on the season after sweeping the Wilmington Wildcats.

On Saturday September 27th the Jr. Redmen got the big hometown crowd into the game early when Brady Chapman fired a wrister under the crossbar just 1:37 into the game for the 1-0 lead, assist to Andrew Della Piana.   Wilmington battled right back and controlled play for the next 3 minutes but great defensive efforts from Daniel Kierce, Jack Griffin, Andrew Grieco, and Jonny Norwood kept any pucks away from the Jr. Redmen net.

The Jr. Redmen went on the powerplay with just under 5 minutes to go in the 1st period and the line of Billy Doherty, Conor Cremin, and Matthew Cooke nearly made the score 2-0 after some outstanding passing but Cooke’s backhander rang off the left post.   The Wildcats came out flying in the 2nd period and nearly tied the game but Jr. Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe made back-to-back highlight reel saves to keep the lead.

The Jr. Redmen increased their lead to 2-0 with 6:52 left in the 2nd period on a great individual effort by Jason Cooke.  Big #19 intercepted a pass in the neutral zone, toe-dragged around a Wilmington defender and skated in alone.  Cooke made no mistake firing a bomb high over the goalie’s blocker.  The remainder of the 2nd period was a fast-paced, physical battle with both teams creating offensive zone pressure.  Billy Doherty had the best chance late in the 2nd period after taking a great pass from Matthew Cooke but Doherty’s wrister was snagged by the Wildcat goalie.  The 3rd period started with the Wildcats getting on the board with 10:12 left in the game, cutting the Jr. Redmen lead in half, 2-1.

The Wildcats kept attacking looking to tie the game but Andrew Grieco made great play after great play back on the blueline for the Jr. Redmen to keep the 2-1 lead.  The Jr. Redmen regained their 2-goal lead with 4:55 left in the game on the prettiest goal of the young season when Ryan Flynn and William Rosato teamed up on a 2-on-1.  Flynn used his speed on the backcheck to strip the puck away from a Wildcat forward.  Flynn quickly headed into the offensive zone and slid a beautiful pass through the defenders legs to Rosato, who wasted no time sliding a quick writer into the far left corner of the net for the 3-1 lead.

That play inspired the Jr. Redmen who took a 4-1 lead just 24 seconds later when Jack Griffin scored on a bomb from the left point, assists to Andrew Della Piana and Brady Chapman.  The Jr. Redmen kept attacking and took a 5-1 lead with 2:23 left in the game when James Kierce fired home a rebound, assist to Conor Cremin.  The Jr. Redmen closed out the game with outstanding defense from Daniel Kierce and Jonny Norwood to preserve the 5-1 win.

The Jr. Redmen were back at Breakaway Ice Center on Sunday September 28th for an early morning rematch with the Wildcats.  The Wildcats came out flying and set the tone early as they played in the Jr. Redmen zone for the first 3 minutes of the game but thanks to some outstanding goaltending from Ben O’Keefe and solid defense from Jonny Norwood and Andrew Grieco, the game remained scoreless.  The Jr. Redmen finally got their feet moving and created some chances when Ryan Flynn, Will Rosato, and Jason Cooke moved the puck crisply around the offensive zone but shots by Flynn and Cooke were turned away.

The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead with 4:33 left in the 1st period on a pretty give-and-go by #s 17 and 88.  The Jr. Redmen never gave up and tied the game with 18 seconds left in the opening period when Brady Chapman scored a pretty goal, assists to Andrew Della Piana and Jack Griffin.  The Jr. Redmen took a 2-1 lead just 3 minutes into the 2nd period when Matthew Cooke fired a nasty wrister past the Wildcat goalie, assists to Andrew Grieco and Conor Cremin.  The Jr. Redmen increased their lead to 3-1 just 2 minutes later when Jason Cooke fired a bar-down wrister from the high slot, assists to Ryan Flynn and Will Rosato.

The Wildcats fought right back and cut the lead to 3-2.  The Wildcats had the Jr. Redmen back on their toes and nearly tied the game late in the 2nd period but Ben O’Keefe made a handful of quality saves and Daniel Kierce and Jack Griffin played solid defense to keep the 3-2 lead headed into the final period.   The Jr. Redmen opened the 3rd period shorthanded but great work from Billy Doherty and Matthew Cooke on the PK resulted in a shorthanded goal by Cooke.  Doherty started the play by using his size and speed to steal the puck from a Wildcat forward.  Doherty picked up the loose puck and sent a great pass to a streaking Cooke down the right wing boards.  Cooke cut in on the goalie and fired a low hard wrister into the back of the net for his 2nd goal of the game and a 4-2 lead.

 The Jr. Redmen nearly took a 5-2 lead at the 6 minute mark of the final period when they went on the powerplay.  Great puck movement from James Kierce, Conor Cremin, and Brady Chapman resulted in 2 great scoring chances but the Wildcat goalie was there to make the saves.  The constant offensive zone pressure from the Jr. Redmen finally paid off with 3:07 left in the period when Will Rosato stole the puck from a Wildcat defender behind the net and quickly sent his wrap-around shot under the sliding goalie for the 5-2 lead.

The Jr. Redmen kept attacking and took a 6-2 lead with 2:20 left in the game when Jason Cooke scored his 2nd goal of the game, assist to Jonny Norwood.  Thanks to some tenacious forechecking from James Kierce, Conor Cremin, and Brady Chapman the Jr. Redmen controlled play for the final 2 minutes of the game and left the rink with a 6-2 win.

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