Junior Redmen Start 2015 Strong, Shutout Wellesley Raiders
Jan 09, 2015 06:00AM
● By Kieran Gilman
(Editor's Note: The following information was submitted by the coaches of the Jr. Redmen Squirts hockey team.)
The Jr. Redmen Squirt AAA Hockey Team skated to 2 wins over the first weekend of 2015, beating the North Shore Shamrocks 4-2 and the Wellesley Raiders 2-0. The 2 wins improve the Jr. Redmen’s overall season record to 37-7-1.
On Saturday January 3rd the Jr. Redmen travelled to the Malden Valley Forum to take on the North Shore Shamrocks in a non-league battle. The Jr. Redmen knew they would have their hands full as they were missing Center Matthew Cooke who was battling an upper body injury. The Shamrocks controlled play for the first 4 minutes of the game and took a 1-0 lead with just under 9 minutes to play. The Jr. Redmen got their skating legs moving and tied the game 1-1 when Jason Cooke intercepted a breakout pass in the high slot and fired a nasty snap shot over the goalie’s shoulder into the top corner. The Jr. Redmen received great defensive efforts from Andrew Grieco and Jonny Norwood late in the 1st period to keep the game tied 1-1.
The Jr. Redmen exploded for 3 goals in a 5-minute span in the 2nd period to take a commanding 4-1 lead. Conor Cremin got the scoring started as he fired the puck into the back of the net after a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play, assists on the goal to Andrew Della Piana and Jason Cooke. Billy Doherty scored 1:12 later as he fired a hard wrister over the goalie’s blocker, assists on the goal to Jack Griffin and William Rosato. Doherty wasn’t done putting the puck in the net as he connected again on another hard wrister that the Shamrock goalie never saw until the referee picked it up out of the back of the net, assists on that goal going to James Kierce and Daniel Kierce.
The Shamrocks opened the 3rd period looking to get back into the game but early scoring chances were turned away by the outstanding goaltending of Ben O’Keefe, who made a series of highlight reel saves. The Jr. Redmen used their quickness and aggressive forechecking to pin the Shamrocks in their own zone resulting in scoring chances by Brady Chapman, Ryan Flynn, and James Kierce. The Shamrocks scored a late goal to make the score 4-2 but the Jr. Redmen controlled play for the final 2 minutes of the game and left the rink with a solid 4-2 win.
The Jr. Redmen were back at the rink on Sunday January 4th for a league game against the Wellesley Raiders at the Burlington Ice Palace. Once again the Jr. Redmen were short a player as super defender Andrew Grieco was battling the flu bug. The Raiders came out flying and put immediate pressure on the Jr. Redmen but were unable to get pucks near the Jr. Redmen net thanks to outstanding defense from the Kierce brothers, Daniel and James. The Jr. Redmen had a great chance to take an early lead when Andrew Della Piana sent a pretty cross-ice pass to Conor Cremin. Cremin used his speed to blow past the Raider defenseman and fired a hard wrister that the Raider goalie snagged with his catching glove. The Jr. Redmen kept attacking and took a 1-0 lead with just over 4 minutes to play in the 1st period when Jason Cooke fired a wrister into the back of the net, assists on the goal to Billy Doherty and Brady Chapman. The Jr. Redmen nearly took a 2-0 lead as time was winding down in the 1st period but William Rosato’s backhander from the low slot rang off the left post.
The Raiders opened the 2nd period looking to tie the game and had a handful of quality scoring chances early on but Jr. Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe made save after save to keep the 1-0 lead for the locals. Jason Cooke scored his 2nd goal of the game with just under 7 minutes to play in the 2nd period as he fired home a rebound, assists on the powerplay goal going to Matthew Cooke and Ryan Flynn.The Raiders never quit and controlled play for the early parts of the 3rd period but Jonny Norwood and Jack Griffin teamed up to play solid defense and keep the 2-0 lead for the Jr. Redmen. The Jr. Redmen controlled play for the final 5 minutes of the game securing the 2-0 shutout win for goalie Ben O’Keefe.