After five lopsided losses to begin the season, the Warwick Vets hockey team can finally sit back and enjoy a wining feeling.
The ’Canes defeated Woonsocket 6-5 on Saturday night, ending their losing streak and playing a competitive game for the first time in a long time.
Vets improved to 1-5 in Division III.
The Villa Novans were winless coming into the game as well, and the even level of competition showed in the back-and-forth affair.
Winning was certainly a plus for Vets, but just being in involved in a game that played out the standard way – as opposed to a lopsided blowout – was the best part.
“I’m glad we got the win, but most importantly I’m glad we were able to go out and enjoy the game of hockey,” Vets head coach Howie Rosenblatt said.
Junior Dakota Hersey paved the way offensively, as he scored four of the team’s six goals. He also had all three of the ’Canes’ goals on Friday night in an 8-3 loss to Scituate, giving him seven goals on the weekend. For the season, he has eight of the team’s 10 goals.
Eric Edwards added his first goal of the season, as did James McManus.
“It was more of an opportunity for both teams to be able to play everybody and enjoy the success of scoring goals,” Rosenblatt said.
Goals – and keeping other teams from scoring – had not been an easy task up until this point.
Vets had been outscored 42-4 entering the game and Woonsocket had been beaten by a 61-3 margin.
Yet, Saturday wasn’t like that at all. Both teams could empty their benches and play everybody without fear of being overwhelmed.
The ’Canes started seldom-used freshman Henry Guiot at center, and that was indicative of how the entire game was played.
“He was so excited to be able to play and start,” Rosenblatt said. “We gave him the game puck after the game. It was our first win – we decided we would give a game puck out.”
There was also some drama, as Vets rallied from a 5-3 third period deficit to score the final three goals and pull out the win.
Junior goaltender Alec Silvestri played the whole game between the pipes, and earned the victory.
“When you see two schools that are really struggling for numbers and are just kind of putting the team together, and 95 percent of the players have no hockey experience at all, to see them out there enjoying it was nice,” Rosenblatt said.
Woonsocket dropped to 0-7 on the season.
Vets will try to keep the momentum up when it hosts Cranston East on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Thayer Arena. Following that, the ’Canes will play winless Division II team Narragansett in the Andrew J. Gauthier Hockey Festival on Sunday at 12 p.m. at Thayer.