A mere three days removed from the JP Medeiros Memorial Hockey Game and a well contested battle vs crosstown rival Barrington, the Mt Hope Huskies Boys Hockey team returned to their regular season schedule and traveled to Pawtucket for a Saturday night road game vs the co-op of Johnston/North Providence/Tiverton.
As the puck drops, the Huskies come out blazing. Senior Cam Rancourt steals the puck from a JNPT defender in the offensive zone, and dishes it to Sophomore David Benevides who charges toward the net and beats the JNPT goaltender with a nice fake and a quick Huskies 1-0 lead just :20 seconds in. Later in the first period, Rancourt sends a long pass to a streaking Benevides breaking up the middle of the ice. The pass connects and Benevides skates in on a breakaway and buries it for a 2-0 Huskies lead. Meanwhile, between the pipes for the Huskies and playing goal is Freshman Brett Therien, who repeatedly turns away the JNPT attack. However, JNPT breaks through with two of their own and the first period ends tied 2-2.
In the second period, the Huskies put together the prettiest play of the night with some nice passing and beautiful teamwork. As they attack in the offensive zone, Benevides takes the puck off the side wall and passes it to the slot where Freshman Jake Marshall touch passes it to Rancourt waiting in front of the net. Rancourt makes a move and puts it past the JNPT goaltender. Tic. Tac. Goal. 3-2 Huskies lead. Later in the period, Rancourt steals the puck in the neutral zone, crosses the blue line and shoots. The shot beats the JNPT goaltender and the Huskies go up 4-2. As the second period winds down, JNPT scores one more and after two periods of play, the Huskies cling to a 4-3 lead.
Defensively, the Huskies D Corps played a smart hockey game in their own end. Led by the play of Seniors Keegan Hanley and James Marshall and teamed with Sophomores Tim Byrne and Matt Borges, the Huskies defense helped neutralize the JNPT attack and would be a key component in the third period. Junior forward Josh Martin was also a key contributor with solid play in his own end and a major presence on the Huskies penalty kill.
The third period opens and both teams came up with excellent chances in a tight one goal game. Midway through the period, the Huskies come up with a huge goal. Junior Evan Payne collects the puck in his own end and leads the Huskies break out charging up the wing. Payne passes the puck to teammate Jared Rego who skates in alone and wrists the puck in for a 5-3 Huskies lead. Late in the game, JNPT scores to bring it back to a one goal game at 5-4. JNPT then pulls the goaltender for an extra attacker to try and tie up the score as time winds down. In goal, Therien repeatedly turns away the offensive pressure making several key stops and finishing the night with 24 saves. Finally, the Huskies put the game away as Hanley steals the puck and buries the clincher into the empty net to seal the Huskies 6-4 victory. GO HUSKIES!