By RYAN D. MURRAY The first-seeded Pilgrim Patriots were railroaded 5-2 by the second-seeded West Warwick/Exeter - West Greenwich Wizards in Game 2 of the Boys Division III Hockey Final on Sunday afternoon at Boss Ice Arena at the University of Rhode
The first-seeded Pilgrim Patriots were railroaded 5-2 by the second-seeded West Warwick/Exeter – West Greenwich Wizards in Game 2 of the Boys Division III Hockey Final on Sunday afternoon at Boss Ice Arena at the University of Rhode Island.
The series now moves to a decisive Game 3, which is scheduled for Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. back at Boss Ice Arena.
WW/EWG had five different players find the back of the net in Matt Dennison, Jake Hernandez, Rob Paquette, Ethan Jedson, and Liam Hogan. Dennison topped the crew with a goal and an assist.
Game 2 was originally scheduled for Saturday night, but got postponed until Sunday afternoon due to issues with the zamboni.
Pilgrim head coach Mike Boyajian Sr. doesn’t believe the delay had anything to do with his squad’s poor performance and he tipped his cap to WW/EWG for their solid forty-five minutes of play.
“There are no excuses,“ Boyajian said. “They outplayed us. They did a good job. They did what they had to do.”
“That’s a good team,” Boyajian added. “That’s a talented team and we just have to play better all around from the net out. We didn’t have our best game and they took advantage of it.”
Pilgrim and WW/EWG have battled in the last three DIII Championships with the Wizards winning the first meeting before the Pats took the last two.
The Pats took it to the Wizards in this season’s Game 1 meeting on Friday night before WW/EWG came back with an uppercut on Sunday.
“The other night was a great game also, 3-1 and its been like this all year with them,” Boyajian said. “All the games we’ve played. The three during the season, we were back-and-forth, and Friday night the same thing, and tonight the same thing.”
The Pats, who were feeling down in the locker room after the Game 2 defeat, won’t make any changes to their lineup for the winner-take-all Game 3 matchup.
“No, there’s nothing new,” Boyajian said. “We’ve got to play with a little more intensity. That one bit them and they’re feeling it in there and we just can’t forget about the loss and get ready for Tuesday night. And that’s what we’re going to do. We’ll come out, give it our best effort and we’ll see what happens from there.”
Three minutes and 14 seconds into the contest, Dennison lit the lamp after an assist from Nick Sernberger and that put the Wizards on top 1-0.
Pilgrim knotted the score at 1 when senior star Collin Driscoll scored an unassisted tally, 26 seconds into the second period.
Forty-eight seconds later, Jake Hernandez used a wrister to give WW/EWG a 2-1 edge following assists from Dennison and Sernberger.
The Wizards upped their advantage to 3-1 with 4:01 left in the second period when Paquette added an unassisted tally.
Pilgrim drew within one at 3-2 less than two minutes later when Sean Noel, a junior forward, scored a goal from in front after an assist from AJ Sherlock, a senior.
However, Jedson got the Wizards some breathing room, 2:16 into the third frame, when he registered a put back tally after assists from Ethan Laramee and Kyle Nicolas, which extended the WW/EWG lead to 4-2.
Then, with 5:03 remaining, Hogan put the icing on the cake when he found the back of the net for an unassisted goal.
Pilgrim sophomore goaltender Dylan Cunetta made 25 saves in the contest, while WW/EWG sophomore Kevin Macdonald recorded 33.