By ALEX SPONSELLER The Bishop Hendricken boys hockey team topped Warwick 3-1 in a big Division I clash last Saturday evening at the Thayer Arena. In Warwick's first season back in the state's top division, all eyes were on this cross-town matchup in
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Bishop Hendricken boys hockey team topped Warwick 3-1 in a big Division I clash last Saturday evening at the Thayer Arena.
In Warwick’s first season back in the state’s top division, all eyes were on this cross-town matchup in which the Hawks would skate away with the victory.
Hendricken would take a 2-0 lead midway through the second period on power-play goals by Ryan Staples and Nick DeFelice, but Warwick’s Ryan Barlow would score to get the team on the board entering the third period.
The two teams battled through the final 15 minutes, but Hendricken would put the game out of reach when Staples added a goal with less than five minutes remaining to make it 3-1.
“There’s a target on our back no matter who we play, especially facing our inner city rival. That was our city cup, that was for bragging rights for the year. (Warwick) works hard, it’s very well coached team. It was a fun game,” said Hendricken coach Mike Soscia.
Warwick coach Mike Boyajian was proud of his team’s effort, especially considering Warwick played Hendricken evenly on 5-on-5 situations.
“We played hard and that’s all you can ask of them. You take away the two power-play goals then it’s even. Unfortunately, it is tough to keep a team down on 5-on-3 with the talent that Hendricken has. You can’t take a shift off at this level, they recognized that, they didn’t shy away from the challenge,” Boyajian said. “Mentally for our program, to hang in there with Hendricken, not to fold after going down 2-0, shows a lot of character.”
Matthew Moretti and Will Cavanagh each added a pair of assists for the Hawks while Jack Larose and Andrew Smith added one apiece. Barlow’s goal was unassisted.
Soscia has been pleased with DeFelice’s big start to the season, as he leads the team with eight goals through last weekend’s game.
“Nick is a senior captain and he’s been stepping up to the plate. Every game, he’s working hard and he’s willing to take criticism to improve his game, it’s been fun watching him improve as a player the last couple of seasons,” said Soscia.
Hendricken maintained second place behind La Salle in the Division I race. Soscia and company know that the margin for error is thin, and will be looking to play a clean game moving forward.
“We share the same building with them and a lot of our kids know those guys, so we had a pretty good idea of what we were up against. Our ultimate goal is to get to the finals, and to do that, we can’t look at any team differently. We need to make sure we’re doing the right things, all good habits every shift,” said Soscia. “That’s the biggest thing for us, learning how to work through adversity. Every game is going to be tough, everyone wants to knock off Hendricken and if you’re not prepared, you’re going to get beat.”
Warwick has yet to register a win this winter, but has had its opportunities in most games, including Saturday’s. Boyajian has preached patience to his club and still is confident that Warwick can make a playoff push down the stretch.
“We know that right now, we may not be as talented as the other top teams, but it’s the effort. If they keep working hard, learning, making those progressions, the tide will turn,” said Boyajian. “We’re not giving up on this season, we have plenty of games to get points. We feel that we can still do some damage.”
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