Cooke's Game-Winner Lifts Junior Redmen Past Lynnfield-Saugus, 5-4
Oct 31, 2014 10:49AM
● By Bill Gilman
(Editor's note: The following information was submitted by the Jr. Redmen Squirt AAA Hockey Team.)
The Jr. Redmen Squirt AAA Hockey Team ran their league record to 9-1-1 after a hard fought 5-4 win over the Lynnfield-Saugus Stars on Sunday October 26th at the Lawrence Valley Forum.
The Stars were shining early as they shot out to an early 1-0 lead, scoring just 38 seconds into the game on a great individual effort from shifty #9. The Stars kept pressure in the Jr. Redmen zone but were unable to increase their lead thanks to some great defense from Jonny Norwood and Andrew Grieco. The Jr. Redmen started to create some offense but shots from Conor Cremin, Billy Doherty, and James Kierce were turned away. The Stars nearly took a 2-goal lead late in the opening period but Jr. Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe made a great save on a breakaway and then snagged the rebound with his catching glove just as the buzzer rang to end the period.
The 2nd period turned into a high scoring affair as the two teams combined for 7 goals. The Jr. Redmen came out flying and quickly tied the game. Matthew Cooke buried a hard wrister from the right face-off circle, assist to Brady Chapman. The Stars regained their lead, on a pretty 2-on-1 play with 6:54 left in the 2nd period. The Jr. Redmen quickly tied the game 2-2 when Brady Chapman fired a wrister from the high slot over the goalies catching glove, assists to Ryan Flynn and Matthew Cooke. The game did not stay tied for long as the Stars scored 2 goals in a 1:01 span to take a 4-2 lead. The line of William Rosato, Jason Cooke, and Andrew Della Piana decided they’d take the game over late in the 2nd period. With some outstanding puck pressure on the forecheck, Jason Cooke was able to strip the puck from a Stars’ defender and send a beautiful cross-crease pass to Rosato who buried a one-timer to cut the lead to 4-3 (assist to Cooke). On the ensuing faceoff, Rosato dumped the puck into the right corner where Della Piana used his speed to win a puck battle. Della Piana quickly sent a pass to Cooke in the lower slot and Cooke wasted no time burying a wrister off the crossbar and into the back of the net to tie the game 4-4 (assists to Della Piana and Rosato).
The 3rd period was a classic battle between two highly competitive, highly skilled teams. The Stars had the early chances to take the lead but super-defenders Daniel Kierce and Jack Griffin were there to shut the door. The Jr. Redmen had a chance of their own at the 9 minute mark when Billy Doherty made a great cross-ice pass to Conor Cremin but Cremin’s hard wrister was kicked out by the goalie. With just over 4 minutes to play in the game Jack Griffin rushed the puck the length of the ice and broke in alone but his wrister was caught by the Stars’ goalie. With just over 1 minute to play in the game Jason Cooke intercepted a pass at his own blue line and broke in alone on a breakaway. Cooke made a beautiful deke move and buried a backhander under the sliding Stars’ goalie for the 5-4 lead. The Stars pulled their goalie for an extra attacker but thanks to great defense from Daniel Kierce and Andrew Grieco and two great saves from Ben O’Keefe, the Jr. Redmen skated off the ice with a well-deserved 5-4 win.