Redmen Can't Get A Break, Lose To Chelmsford, 3-1
Tewksbury forward Dario Riparo (18) lets one fly against Chelmsford.
That's probably the way the Tewksbury High hockey team was feeling Wednesday night as the Redmen out-shot Chelmsford High, 33-12, in their home opener at the Breakaway Ice Center, but still somehow suffered their first loss of the season, 3-1 to the visiting Lions.
For the second time in its first two games, Tewksbury enjoyed huge advantages in puck time, shots at goal and shots on goal. But this time the Redmen couldn't buy, steal, hijack or even embezzle a goal.
Chelmsford, on the other hand, scored the game winning goal on a tip-in off a high stick, and added an empty net tally with 30 seconds to go that made sure the final score didn't tell the true story of this game.
"That was rough," sighed TMHS head coach Derek Doherty afterward. "But we didn't play as well as we could have played either. We weren't capitalizing on second chances. It was all first chances and then we weren't crashing the next."
Tewksbury came out fast and took a 1-0 lead with 8:12 left in the first period when junior forward Dario Riparo scored his first goal of the season, with Jonathan Fowler and Robert Cutone assisting. But Chelmsford answered right back just 13 seconds later when junior center iceman Jimmy Connelly scored off a pass from Charles McKenna.
Still, the Redmen seemed to be in control of the game, out-shooting Chelmsford by an 11-6 margin in the first period and an 11-4 margin in the second. Five minutes into the second period, however, Connelly broke out of the Chelmsford defensive zone after a prolonged period of Tewksbury pressure, and let a shot fly toward the TMHS net. McKenna raised his stick high and tipped it downward. The puck skimmed off the underside of the crossbar and into the net for the go-ahead goal. The Tewksbury players protested loudly, but the officials let it stand.
The Redmen intensified their pressure on the Chelmsford net in the third period, out-shooting Chelmsford 11-2 over the final 15 minutes. TMHS had another dozen or more shots get blocked or tipped wide in the final frame, but nothing found the back of the net. Chelmsford clinched the game with an empty-net goal by Wes Phillips with 32 seconds to play.
"We should have scored six goals tonight, but we didn't capitalize on our chances," Doherty said. "We have too much talent in our locker room to lose games like that. It's a good thing this happened at the beginning of the season. Hopefully this game can humble our guys a little bit and get them back to basics."
Tewksbury, now 1-1 overall, returns to action Saturday night at 7:20 p.m., at home against North Andover.
Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/yourtewksburytoday/ Follow us on Twitter at @TewksburyToday Follow us on Instagram at YourTewksburyToday