By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston and Warwick boys hockey co-op team faced off last week at the Thayer Arena and tied 6-6 in a wild contest. The Falcons pushed the hectic pace for much of regulation and took a three-goal lead late in the second period.
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston and Warwick boys hockey co-op team faced off last week at the Thayer Arena and tied 6-6 in a wild contest.
The Falcons pushed the hectic pace for much of regulation and took a three-goal lead late in the second period. However, Warwick would outscore the Falcons 4-1 in the final 19 minutes to force the extra period.
Each team had its moments in the extra five minutes, but the defenses would hold strong as they settled for the draw.
“We never want to play (at such a fast pace), that’s not what we’ve been practicing, that’s not what we’ve worked on the past three weeks, and we have improvements to make in all three zones. We got exposed tonight in the back, had some turnovers that cost us a couple goals. It’s a young group and they’re learning. Got to give Warwick credit for coming back, good thing is that we got a point out of it. We just have to be better,” said Cranston coach Matt Brannon after the game.
Mickey Becker-Norton scored two goals for Cranston while Kaden Santurri, Harry Woloohosian and Jaylin Rossi added one each. Sean Noel led Warwick with a pair of goals while Ethan Pazzulo, Gerard Schifino, Ryan Barlow and Max Savaria scored one each.
Cranston goalie Matthew Corrente made 31 saves while Warwick’s Nathan O’Keefe made 24 stops.
After falling behind 5-2, Warwick would score with 13 seconds remaining in the second period to make it 5-3 and steal some momentum. It came out strong in the third and scored just 19 seconds into action which turned the tide for the remainder of the game.
“We preached at the beginning of the third period, that the first five minutes were going to be important. We didn't come out with the right attitude and paid for it right away. We knew the first five minutes would be tough,” said Brannon, who hopes to get another crack at Warwick moving forward.
“The point definitely helps, but the way things played out in the end, it feels a little bit more like a loss. But you have to give Warwick credit for coming back and our guys will learn from this. It seems like we’re the two teams to beat in Division II, we have some things that we need to tighten up on, but it is going to be a fun ride and we hope to see these guys again.”
Warwick coach Mike Boyajian was pleased with his team’s performance and feels that it will pay dividends down the stretch as the co-op continues to mesh.
“Being a new team and finding an identity, that’s a challenge in and of itself. But the kids trusted in one another as teammates. We’re still trying to figure things out right now, every day at practice we are trying out new combinations of lines and trying to see what naturally fits. This game was a great character builder, a great identity builder,” said Boyajian.
Boyajian added: “To go down by three goals against a good team like this, we needed that momentum. They had their swings too and played well. But we needed some offensive output and made those changes, but then we had a few breakdowns in the defensive zone. You have to be able to learn so we will continue to try to teach them and hope they learn down the road. We just wanted to see what kind of character they had, to see what they could do when taking it in the chin. We’re proud of our kids.”
The two clubs remained in the top two spots in the Division II standings and also remained unbeaten.
“We could (see them again). It’s a tricky year though, so right now we are more focused on just staying healthy. We told the kids to stay healthy, stay amongst yourselves and hope the year continues,” said Boyajian. “We may see them again, and considering the (single elimination playoff format), we’ll have to be ready for them. Anything can happen.”