Junior Redmen Split Pair; Tewksbury's 16-Game Win Streak Brought To An End
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(Editor's note: The following information was submitted by the coaching staff of Tewksbury Junior Redmen Squirts.)
The Jr. Redmen Squirt AAA Hockey Team split weekend action in games against Cape Ann and Lynn. The loss on Sunday ended the Jr. Redmen’s 16-game winning streak.
On Saturday December 14th the Jr. Redmen skated before the hometown crowd at Breakaway Ice Center and avenged their only loss of the year by beating a talented Cape Ann team 5-4.
The Jr. Redmen were under some heavy pressure early on by the speedy forwards from Cape Ann but solid defensive effort from Andrew Grieco kept pucks away from the Jr. Redmen net. Cape Ann got on the scoreboard midway through the 1st period to take the 1-0 lead. The Jr. Redmen nearly tied the game on the powerplay when Jack Griffin sent a beautiful cross-ice pass to Conor Cremin in the low slot but Cremin’s one-time rang off the left post.
The Jr. Redmen were able to tie the game 1-1 with 18 seconds left in the 1st period when Andrew Della Piana fired home a wrister, assist to Daniel Kierce. The Jr. Redmen nearly took a 2-1 lead early in the 2nd period when William Rosato intercepted a pass in the offensive zone but his quick backhander was snagged by the Cape Ann netminder.
Cape Ann went on the powerplay and had a series of point blank shots but Jr. Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe made save after save after save to keep the game tied 1-1. Cape Ann took a 2-1 lead with just under 6 minutes to play in the middle period but the Jr. Redmen battled right back, tying the game just 34 seconds later on a hard-working goal by hard-working player when Matthew Cooke banged home a rebound, assist to Andrew Della Piana.
The Jr. Redmen took their first lead of the game with just under 3 minutes to play in the 2nd period when Jason Cooke fired a hard snap shot under the sliding Cape Ann goalie for the 3-2 lead, assists to James Kierce and Jonny Norwood. Cape Ann scored with 7 seconds left in the 2nd period on the powerplay to tie the game 3-3.
Cape Ann scored early in the 3rd period to take a 4-3 lead but once again the Jr. Redmen battled right back, tying the game 52 seconds later when Billy Doherty fired a wrister off the cross bar and into the back of the net, assists to Conor Cremin and Ryan Flynn. The final 9 minutes of the game was filled with back-and-forth, fast-paced action that saw both teams creating solid scoring chances. Ben O’Keefe, recently named the Fuddrucker’s Valley Hockey League’s Player of the Week, made a number of highlight reel saves that kept the game tied for the Jr. Redmen.
With time winding down the Jr. Redmen gained the offensive zone for one last scoring chance. Daniel Kierce made a great play at the blue line to keep the puck in the zone, sending a pass to Andrew Della Piana to the right of the Cape Ann Net. Dellie faked the shot, freezing the goalie, and then slid a pretty cross-crease pass to Brady Chapman on the left post.
Chapman wasted no time, sending a one timer into the back of the net with 17 seconds left in the game, sending the Jr. Redmen home with a 5-4 win.
The Jr. Redmen had a quick turnaround as they were back at the rink on Sunday December 14th for an early morning battle against the Lynn Comets at the Connery Rink in Lynn.
The Comets came out flying and got early pucks on the Jr. Redmen net but Ben O’Keefe was there to make all the big saves. The Jr. Redmen also got great defensive work from Andrew Grieco, Jonny Norwood, Daniel Kierce and Jack Griffin early on to keep the game scoreless. The Jr. Redmen went on the powerplay with just over 5 minutes to play in the opening period and nearly took the 1-0 lead but back-to-back shots by William Rosato and Andrew Della Piana were turned away.
The 2nd period was dominated by the Comets as they used their quickness and puck-moving ability to create chances. The Comets took a 1-0 lead just 2 minutes into the middle period and increased that lead to 2-0 with just over 4 minutes to play. The Jr. Redmen nearly cut that lead in half late in the 2nd period when Conor Cremin stole the puck from a Lynn defender and sent a beautiful pass into the slot area but Ryan Flynn’s one-timer was caught by the Comet goalie.
The Jr. Redmen had some chances early in the 3rd period to cut into the Comet lead but shots by Andrew Grieco and James Kierce were saved by the Lynn goalie. The Jr. Redmen finally put the puck in the net with 5:47 left in the game when Jason Cooke fired home a rebound to make the score 2-1, assist to Brady Chapman. The Comets answered quickly as they scored just 1 minute later to regain their 2-goal lead.
The never-say-die Jr. Redmen kept attacking and made the score 3-2 with 2:14 left in the game when Matthew Cooke scored, assist to Billy Doherty. The Jr. Redmen pulled their goalie for an extra attacker and had a number of chances to tie the game, including a Jason Cooke snap shot that rang off the post and a Daniel Kierce shot from the point that was tipped wide by Brady Chapman as the buzzer sounded to end the game, and the Jr. Redmen’s 16 game winning streak.
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