"Do Your Job": Jr. Redmen Finish Weekend With Two Close Victories
Feb 10, 2015 12:00PM
● By Kieran Gilman
(Editor's Note: The following information was submitted by the coaches of the Jr. Redmen.)
The Jr. Redmen Squirt AAA Hockey Team continued their strong play and swept weekend action with a 2-1 win over the Winchester Sachems and a 1-0 win over Dorchester. The two wins improve the Jr. Redmen’s overall season record to 45-8-2.
On Saturday February 7th the Jr. Redmen travelled to the Malden Valley Forum to take on a talented and speedy Winchester Sachem team. The locals set the tone early and controlled play for the 1st 3 minutes of the game. The line of Matthew Cooke, Andrew Della Piana, and Billy Doherty had the best chance to put the Jr. Redmen on the board but the Sachem goalie made a series of high-quality saves. Midway through the 1st period the Jr. Redmen defensive pairing of Andrew Grieco and James Kierce did a great job of keeping the speedy Sachem forwards away from the Jr. Redmen net. Thanks to great hustle along the half-wall by William Rosato, the Jr. Redmen were awarded a powerplay with 2:06 left in the 1st period. The Jr. Redmen PP went to work and Jason Cooke made a beautiful move around a Sachem defenseman and fired a backhander bar-down and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
The Sachems came out flying in the 2nd period looking to tie the game but Jr. Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe made a great save on a breakaway and then did a full split to kick out a sure goal to keep the 1-0 lead for his team. The Jr. Redmen went on another powerplay with just over 7 minutes to play in the 2nd period. Great puck movement from Ryan Flynn, Conor Cremin, and Brady Chapman resulted in quality scoring chances from Cremin and Flynn but the Sachem goalie was up to the task. The Sachems had some late 2nd period pressure but they were unable to get past the rock-solid defense of Daniel Kierce and Jack Griffin, who each made outstanding individual defensive plays.
The 3rd period started with Jonny Norwood using his tremendous speed to win a puck race in the neutral zone and then sending a perfect saucer pass cross ice to William Rosato. Rosato skated in and fired a hard wrister that rang off the post. The Sachems were able to tie the game 1-1 with 2:57 left in the final period. Once again the Jr. Redmen showed no sign of panic and confidently went out and followed the popular motto of “Do Your Job”. With time winding down the Jr. Redmen set up shop in the Sachem zone, moving the puck crisply around the perimeter of the zone. The puck ended up on the stick of Andrew Della Piana who quickly slid the puck into the back of the net for the 2-1 lead with 41.2 seconds left in the game, assists on the goal going to Brady Chapman and Jason Cooke. The Sachems pulled their goalie for an extra attacker but great defensive work and a timely save by Ben O’Keefe sent the local fans home happy with a hard-fought 2-1 win.The Jr. Redmen were back at the Malden Valley Forum on Sunday February 8th for an afternoon battle with a big, physical, and chippy Dorchester team. Once again the Jr. Redmen controlled play for the 1st few shifts of the game resulting in quality scoring chances for Conor Cremin, Brady Chapman, and Ryan Flynn. The Jr. Redmen continued to use their superior team speed to create offensive zone pressure this time resulting in a great scoring opportunity for Billy Doherty but his one-time snap shot rang off the crossbar. The Dorchester forwards started to use their size and physicality to create some offense but they were unable to get puck through the steel-curtain defense of Daniel Kierce, Jack Griffin, Andrew Grieco, and James Kierce.
The scoreless 1st period spilled over into the 2nd period with neither team being able to put the puck in the net. Jr. Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe made a series of saves, including a breakaway save, that caused the referee to skate by the Jr. Redmen bench and comment, “are you sure that kid is a Squirt?” The Jr. Redmen had their chances to take the lead but the Dorchester goalie made great saves on shots from Jonny Norwood, Jason Cooke, and William Rosato. After a series of chippy play, the Jr. Redmen were awarded a powerplay. The red-hot Jr. Redmen PP (having scored on 5 of their past 6 powerplays) went to work and converted as Andrew Della Piana was in the perfect position to tap home a rebound with 1:46 left in the 2nd period, assists on the goal to the Cooke brothers, Matthew and Jason.
Dorchester opened the 3rd period looking to tie the game but they were unable to create any scoring chances because of the great defense played by Andrew Grieco, James Kierce, Jack Griffin, and Daniel Kierce. The Jr. Redmen nearly took a 2-0 lead midway through the final period but the Dorchester goalie was able to make big saves on shots by Matthew Cooke and Conor Cremin. With time winding down in the game, Dorchester pulled their goalie for an extra attacker but they were unable to gain access to the Jr. Redmen zone. Thanks to great work from Jason Cooke, Daniel Kierce, Brady Chapman, Andrew Della Piana, and Billy Doherty the Jr. Redmen skated off the ice with a big 1-0 win.