The Tewksbury Redmen Mite AAA Hockey team hit the road for a game against the Minuteman Flames at Lawrence Academy in Groton and skated away with a dominating 3-1 win.
The Redmen were shorthanded as right wing Brady Chapman was in Burlington VT playing with his sister Maci’s Squirt team in a tournament. The Redmen came out flying in the first period getting immediate pressure in the Flames zone with Nick Calouro and Billy Doherty getting early shots on net. The Redmen kept attacking and scored 1:36 into the 1st period to take a 1-0 lead. The play started with a great defensive effort by Jack Griffin breaking up a 2-on-1. Andrew Della Piana picked up the loose puck, skated into the offensive zone and fired a nice cross-ice pass to Matt Cooke. Matt wasted no time, sliding a hard wrist shot under the sliding goalie. The Flames battled back and had 2 great scoring chances but Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe was there to shut the door. The Redmen nearly increased their lead to 2-0 with just over 1 minute to play in the 1st period when defenseman Jason Cooke broke up a Minuteman forward at his own blue line, skated the puck into the Flame’s zone and fired a wicked wrister that rang off the left post.
The 2nd period started with Andrew Grieco taking the game over. Grieco used his aggressiveness to win a battle for a loose puck in the neutral zone and then used his speed to break in alone on a breakaway that was turned away by the goalie. Grieco was determined to get on the scoresheet and once again used his speed to create another breakaway but this time Grieco was hauled down from behind and he was awarded a penalty shot. Grieco made no mistake on the penalty shot as he confidently skated out wide to the left, deked around the goalie, sliding a backhander into the empty net for the 2-0 Redmen lead. The Flames battled back looking to cut into the Redmen lead but the Redmen got great defensive efforts from Danny Kierce, Jason Cooke, and Jack Griffin to keep the Flames off the scoreboard.
The Flames opened the 3rd period with more quality scoring chances but Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe made three outstanding saves to keep the score at 2-0 for the Redmen. The Redmen turned up the heat on the Flames and showed what an impressive passing team they can be as they had 3 minutes of sustained pressure in the Flames zone, resulting in quality scoring chances for Matt Cooke, Andrew Della Piana, and Nick Calouro. With 5:27 left in the game the offensive zone pressure paid off as Conor Cremin scored on a hard wrist shot to make the score 3-0, assist to Billy Doherty. The Flames were able to get on the scoreboard just 24 seconds later on a fluke goal that bounced off a Flames’ player’s hip and rolled into the net. The steel curtain defense of Jason Cooke, Jack Griffin, and Danny Kierce shut the door on the Flames for the final 5 minutes of the game, securing the 3-1 win for the Redmen.