The Tewksbury Redmen Mites Hockey Team dominated weekend action by beating Reading 6-1 and Newburyport 4-2, and running their record to 6 wins and 1 loss.
On Saturday October 13th the Redmen had revenge on their mind as they took on a Reading team that beat them in last year's League Championship game. The Redmen set the tone early dominating the first shift of the game with the line of Matt Cooke, Conor Cremin, and Andrew Della Piana getting off 3 early shots that the goalie was able to save. Reading battled right back and was able to take the early 1-0 lead on a breakaway goal. The Redmen tied the game 1-1 on the very next shift when the "Monsters" line scored. Brady Chapman worked the puck into the Reading zone making a nice deke around the Reading defense, he sent a pass across the crease to Billy Doherty who took a quick shot that was saved but Nick Calouro was in the perfect spot and fired the puck into the net for the tie, and his 1st goal of the game. The Redmen "Steel Curtain" defense of Andrew Grieco, Jack Griffin, Danny Kierce, and Jason Cooke all did a great job keeping the speedy Reading forwards away from Redmen goalie Ben O'Keefe. With just over 2 minutes to play in the 1st period Conor Cremin took a nice pass from Andrew Grieco and nearly gave the Redmen the lead but Cremin's shot hit the post. The 2nd period was dominated by the Redmen, who used their superior skating ability & speed to get to every loose puck, creating great scoring opportunities. The Redmen took a 2-1 lead just 2 minutes into the 2nd period when Jason Cooke took the puck for a tour around the entire rink. Jason gathered the puck behind his net, started up the right wing boards, stopped and skated back around his net and continued up the left wing boards. He deked around all 3 Reading forwards, split the defense, and beat the goalie with a great deke move. The Redmen increased their lead to 3-1 when the "Speedy Gonzalez" line scored. Matt Cooke controlled a neutral zone face-off, skated into the Reading zone, and made a great drop pass to Conor Cremin, Cremin then skated behind the Reading net and found Andrew Della Piana parked on the left post. Della Piana wasted no time sending the puck into the empty net. Just 25 seconds later the Redmen scored again when Billy Doherty skated the puck into the Reading zone, using his strength to keep defenders away from the puck, he made a great cross ice pass to Brady Chapman, who fired a hard wrist shot that the goalie saved but once again Nick Calouro was in the perfect spot for his 2nd goal of the game and a 4-1 Redmen lead. With just over 4 minutes to play in the 2nd period, Andrew Grieco made a great defensive play, skated the puck out of his zone and into the Reading zone where he sent a pretty pass to Conor Cremin. Cremin fired a hard wrist shot that was saved but Andrew Della Piana beat the Reading defender to the rebound and fired a strong backhander into the net. The 3rd period started with Reading getting pressure in the Redmen zone but Redmen goalie Ben O'Keefe made a handful of outstanding saves. The Redmen continued to get great defensive efforts from Danny Kierce, Jack Griffin, Andrew Grieco, and Jason Cooke. Andrew Della Piana recorded his 3rd goal of the game for the "Hat Trick" halfway through the 3rd period for the 6-1 Redmen lead. Matt Cooke and Conor Cremin assisted on the goal, giving Cremin 3 assists for the game and earning him his "Playmaker" patch. The Redmen carried play for the remaining 6 minutes of the game, making some great passing plays that resulted in quality scoring chances by Brady Chapman, Matt Cooke, and Billy Doherty.
On Sunday October 14th the Redmen traveled to Haverhill to take on Newburyport. The Redmen faithful were out in full force and greeted the Mites with a loud cheer as they hit the ice. The Redmen once again came out flying peppering the Newburyport goalie (who was the size of local Redmen AAA Bantam player Anthony Grieco) with a barrage of shots early on. The "butterfly" style goalie was able to stop great scoring chances early on by Billy Doherty, Brady Chapman, Conor Cremin, and Jason Cooke. Newburyport took a 1-0 lead on a great individual effort by one of their defenseman. The Redmen relied on their own netminder, Benny O'Keefe, to shut the door as Newburyport continued to put pucks on net but "OKIE" stood on his head, making save after save to keep the game close. The Redmen "Steel Curtain" defense of Andrew Grieco, Jack Griffin, Danny Kierce, and Jason Cooke settled down and started to make great defensive plays, smartly moving the puck out of their zone resulting in quality scoring chances for Redmen forwards Nick Calouro and Conor Cremin. The Redmen, determined to tie the game, came out strong in the 2nd period getting early scoring chances from a Jason Cooke breakaway and a nice give-and-go between Brady Chapman and Billy Doherty. Midway through the 2nd period the hard work that the Redmen had been displaying paid off as the "Speedy Gonzalez" line tied the game 1-1. Andrew Della Piana took a hard wrist shot that the Newburyport goalie saved but Matt Cooke was on the doorstep and was able to poke the loose puck into the back of the net. The Redmen kept pressure in the Newburyport zone, getting great scoring chances from Conor Cremin, Jack Griffin, and Brady Chapman. Newburyport was able to regain the lead with just under 2 minutes to play in the 2nd period. The Redmen fought back and tied the game 2-2 with 49 seconds to play in the period when Andrew Della Piana took a nice pass from Matt Cooke and beat the big Newburyport goalie with a nice wrist shot. The Redmen, inspired by Della Piana's late goal, were determined to win this game and dominated the 3rd period. They struck early, taking a 3-2 lead just 1 minute into the 3rd period. Andrew Grieco and Jack Griffin combined to make a great defensive play at their own blue line breaking up a 3-on-2. Andrew Della Piana picked up the loose puck, skated into the Newburyport zone and beat the goalie through the "5-hole". The Redmen kept pressure on the Newburyport goalie getting great scoring chances from the line of Chapman, Doherty, and Calouro. Newburyport kept attacking but Danny Kierce and Jason Cooke used their size and strength to keep the Newburyport forwards away from the Redmen net. With just over 3 minutes to play in the game, Matt Cooke scored his 2nd goal of the game, giving the Redmen a 4-2 lead. The Redmen then turned the game over to goalie Ben O'Keefe who made a number of outstanding saves, closing the door on Newburyport and giving the Redmen the 4-2 win.