Junior Redmen Tested, Remain Unbeaten With 1-1 Tie
Oct 09, 2014 09:03AM
● By Bill Gilman
The Jr. Redmen Squirt AAA Hockey Team ran their unbeaten streak to 6 games after an exciting 1-1 tie against Marblehead on Saturday October 4th at the Malden Valley Forum.
Marblehead came out flying, using their impressive speed and quickness to win puck battles in all 3 zones. The skaters from Marblehead were unable to cash in on any of their early scoring chances because of the great goaltending from Jr. Redmen netminder Ben O’Keefe, who made 3 saves in the first 2 minutes of the game that even had the Marblehead fans cheering for him.
The Jr. Redmen finally got their wake-up call half way through the opening period and created some offensive chances of their own when the line of Matthew Cooke, Conor Cremin, and Billy Doherty worked the offensive zone cycle resulting in 2 great scoring chances that were turned away. The final 5 minutes of the 1st period turned into a back-n-forth battle of two great skating teams who both created excellent scoring chances but neither team could get pucks past the 2 talented goaltenders.
The Jr. Redmen opened the 2nd period shorthanded but Marblehead was unable to score on their PP thanks to great defensive work from Andrew Grieco and Jonny Norwood, who sacrificed their bodies to block back-to-back point blank shots. The Jr. Redmen nearly took the lead with just over 7 minutes to play in the 2nd period when Will Rosato intercepted a cross-ice pass at center ice and skated down the right wing on a 2-on-1. Rosato sent a nifty pass under the sliding Marblehead defender to Ryan Flynn. Flynn skated in and fired a hard wrister that the Marblehead goalie kicked into the corner. With just over 2 minutes to play in the 2nd period Marblehead had some sustained offensive zone pressure but they were unable to get pucks to the Jr. Redmen net because of the rock-solid defense from Daniel Kierce and Jack Griffin.
The scoreless battle had the fans from both teams on the edge of their seats as the puck dropped for the final period. Speedy # 10 nearly gave Marblehead the 1-0 lead just 2 minutes into the period but Ben O’Keefe once again was there to shut the door and keep the game scoreless. The Jr. Redmen finally broke through with 6:38 left in the game when Brady Chapman fired a wrist shot from the right hash mark into the far left corner of the net for the 1-0 lead, assists to Jason Cooke and Andrew Della Piana. The goal seemed to energize both teams as the level of play reached an even higher level for the final 6 minutes of the game.
The Jr. Redmen nearly took a 2-0 lead with just over 3 minutes to play when Conor Cremin, James Kierce, and Matthew Cooke combined for 3 consecutive chances but the Marblehead goalie made all the saves. Marblehead pulled their goalie for an extra attacker with 1:45 left in the game and immediately had 2 great chances to tie the game but outstanding defensive work from Andrew Grieco and Daniel Kierce kept pucks away from the Jr. Redmen net.
Marblehead kept pressure in the Jr. Redmen zone and with 17.2 seconds left in the game, speedy #88 from Marblehead fired a wicker wrister just under the crossbar to tie the game 1-1. Brady Chapman won the ensuing faceoff to Jason Cooke who skated down the right wing but his last second wrister just missed the far left post and the game ended in a hard-fought 1-1 tie, running the Jr. Redmen’s early season record to 5-0-1.