The Tewksbury Redmen Mites Hockey Team played in the Woburn Youth Hockey Mite Turkey Classic over Thanksgiving weekend, playing in 4 games over 3 days. The Redmen skated away with wins against Winchester 7-1, Arlington 8-0, and Woburn 9-0, before losing a heart breaker to Long Island NY 3-2 in the Championship Game.
The Redmen Mites opened up the tourney on Friday afternoon 11/23 against Winchester and skated away with a convincing 7-1 win. The Redmen were energized just 10 seconds into the game when Danny "Crusher" Kierce skated over and through a Winchester forward who was trying to enter the Redmen zone with the puck. The Redmen took a 1-0 lead just 3 minutes into the game when Nick Calouro fired a wrist shot into the back of the net, assists going to Jason Cooke and Brady Chapman. Just 2 minutes later Andrew Della Piana scored the first of his 3 goals on the day on a great individual effort as he stole the puck from a Winchester forward at center ice, used his speed to split the 2 defenseman, and fired a hard wrist that rang off the left post and into the back of the net for the 2-0 Redmen lead. The Redmen closed out the 1st period with a 3-0 lead as Conor Cremin made a great breakout pass to Billy Doherty along the right wing boards, Doherty carried the puck into the Winchester zone and sent a cross-ice pass to Andrew Della Piana who sent a one-timer into the back of the net. Brady Chapman scored the first of his 2 goals on the day just 36 seconds into the 2nd period sending a wrist shot over the goalie's blocker, assist going to Matt Cooke. Andrew Della Piana recorded his "Hat Trick" with just over 8 minutes to play in the 2nd period, assist going to Conor Cremin. Winchester battled back but the Redmen got great defensive efforts from the "Steel Curtain" crew of Jason Cooke, Danny Kierce, Jack Griffin, and Conor Cremin. Winchester was finally able to get on the scoreboard on a fluke goal that took a funny bounce into the back of the net. The Redmen battled right back increasing their lead to 6-1 when Jason Cooke made a Zdeno Chara-like play in his defensive zone breaking up a Winchester 2-on-1, skating the puck into the neutral zone where he sent a great pass to his brother Matt Cooke at the right face-off dot. Matt skated the puck into the offensive zone and slid a nice pass through the legs of a Winchester defenseman to Brady Chapman who fired a wrist shot into the back of the net. The 3rd period started with Winchester getting pressure in the Redmen zone but goalie Ben O'Keefe made 3 outstanding saves to keep the score 6-1. The Redmen closed out the scoring with 4 minutes to play in the game when the line of Billy Doherty, Andrew Grieco, and Andrew Della Piana worked the cycle down low, resulting in Grieco firing a hard wrist shot past the goalie for the 7-1 Redmen win.
The Redmen returned to the rink 3 hours later for a game against Arlington which the Redmen dominated from the puck drop to the final buzzer. The Redmen scored 4 goals in the 1st period. Billy Doherty got things started for the Redmen scoring just 3 minutes into the game when he stole the puck from an Arlington defenseman at center ice, skated into the Arlington zone, deked past a defender and sent a wrist shot through the 5-hole for the 1-0 lead. Andrew Della Piana scored with 5 minutes to play in the 1st period to give the Redmen a 2-0 lead, assists going to Jack Griffin and Billy Doherty. Just 1 minute later the Redmen scored again as the line of Conor Cremin, Brady Chapman, and Matt Cooke worked the puck around the Arlington zone with precision passing resulting in Matt Cooke burying a one-timer, assists going to Chapman and Cremin. With just over 1 minute to play in the 1st period Andrew Della Piana scored on a breakaway for his 2nd goal of the game with an assist going to Billy Doherty. The 2nd period opened up with Arlington battling back but the combination of Redmen goalie Ben O'Keefe and the great defensive effort from Jason Cooke, Danny Kierce, Nick Calouro, and Jack Griffin kept Arlington off the scoreboard. The Redmen increased the lead to 5-0 when Andrew Della Piana recorded his 2nd "Hat Trick" of the day, assists going to Andrew Grieco and Billy Doherty. The assist for Doherty was his 3rd of the day, good for his "Playmaker". Matt Cooke scored his 2nd goal of the game with 4 minutes to play in the 2nd period giving the Redmen 6-0 lead, assists going to Jason Cooke and Brady Chapman. Conor Cremin added an unassisted goal 4 minutes into the 3rd period for the 7-0 lead. The Redmen closed out the scoring as Andrew Grieco used his speed to win a race to a loose puck and fired a wrist shot over the goalie catching glove for the 8-0 win.
On Saturday 11/24 the Redmen returned to O'Brien Rink in Woburn for an early morning game against the host Woburn Tanners. Woburn came out strong getting pucks deep in the Redmen zone but great plays from Jason Cooke, Danny Kierce, Nick Calouro, and Jack Griffin kept Woburn off the scoreboard. The Redmen started to control play, using their skating and passing ability to create shots on net but the Woburn goalie made save-after-save to keep the game scoreless. Woburn battled back getting a handful of great scoring chances halfway through the 1st period but Redmen super-goalie Ben O'Keefe stood on his head, saving every puck thrown at him. With the 1st period ending in a scoreless tie, the Redmen knew they would have to turn up the pressure to keep their 6 game winning streak alive. The Redmen responded by scoring 6 goals in a 6 minute span in the 2nd period. Brady Chapman got things started just 2 minutes into the 2nd period sending a rebound into the top corner for the 1-0 lead, assists going to Matt Cooke and Conor Cremin. Just 1 minute later the line of Matt Cooke, Brady Chapman, and Conor Cremin struck again for the 2-0 lead, this time Matt scored with assists going to Conor and Brady. Andrew Della Piana increased the lead to 3-0 just 1 minute after Matt Cooke's goal, as he took a great cross-ice pass from Billy Doherty and beat the Woburn goalie with a great wrist shot. Brady Chapman scored his 2nd goal of the day for the 4-0 lead, assists going to the Cooke brothers, Jason and Matt. The Redmen kept coming and scored again as Matt Cooke scored his 2nd goal of the game with an assist going to Danny Kierce. Andrew Della Piana closed out the 2nd period scoring spree as he scored on a breakaway, beating the Woburn goalie low stick side, for the 6-0 lead. The Redmen continued to control play as the 3rd period started. Danny Kierce scored his 1st goal of the season just 2 minutes into the 3rd period as he fired a hard wrist shot from the high slot that the Woburn goalie never saw until the Ref picked it out of the back of the net. "Crusher" Kierce wasn't done though as he scored his 2nd goal of the game just 4 minutes later, assists going to Jason Cooke and Brady Chapman. Andrew Grieco scored his 3rd goal in the past 3 games with just over 3 minutes to play in the game for the 9-0 Redmen win, assist going to Billy Doherty.
On Sunday 11/25 the Redmen skated in the Championship game against the Long Island NY Celtic Hockey Club. Both teams steamrolled through the preliminary round, with Long Island scoring 21 goals and giving up zero goals in their 3 games; and the Redmen scoring 24 goals and giving up 1 goal in their 3 games. Both teams came out flying and it was obvious from the initial puck drop that this was going to be a fast-paced physical game for both teams. Long Island created the first scoring chance of the game but Redmen goalie Ben O'Keefe made a great left pad save. The Redmen battled back and got 2 great scoring chances by Billy Doherty and Nick Calouro but the Long Island goalie was there to make the saves. Long Island scored first with 5 minutes to play in the 1st period. The Redmen battled right back and nearly tied the game at one but Andrew Della Piana's wrist shot from the left face-off circle rang off the post. The Redmen opened the 2nd period determined to tie the game and the line of Matt Cooke, Conor Cremin, and Brady Chapman delivered. Jason Cooke made a great defensive play to break up Long Island's superstar, speedy #58, and quickly sent a nice pass to his brother Matt at center ice. Matt one-timed a pass to Conor Cremin on the left wing boards, Conor turned on the jets, cut in toward the net, fired a wrist shot that the goalie saved but Brady Chapman was on the right post and banged in the rebound to tie that game 1-1. Long Island kept pressure on but the Redmen defensive unit of Andrew Grieco, Jack Griffin, Danny Kierce, and Jason Cooke kept turning them away, proving that there might not be a better defensive unit in Mite hockey. With just over 2 minutes to play in the 2nd period Long Island regained the lead. The 3rd period opened with the Redmen getting immediate pressure on Long Island, nearly tying the score but a whistle "from the crowd" confused the Redmen, causing them to stop skating after a loose puck. Long Island increased their lead to 3-1 with 9 minutes to play in the game. The Redmen battled back and cut the Long Island lead to 3-2 when Andrew Grieco made a great play at the blue line to keep the puck in, sending a cross-ice pass to Matt Cooke who fired a wrist shot past the goalie. The Redmen kept attacking, determined to tie the score, getting great chances from Billy Doherty, Andrew Della Piana, Brady Chapman, and Conor Cremin. The Redmen pulled goalie Ben O'Keefe with just 1 minute to play in the game and had 3 great chances to tie the game but the Long Island goalie was there to make the saves.
The Redmen would like to thank their parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, friends, etc. for showing up and supporting them. The Mites loved the loud cheering, "Redmen" signs, and the painted faces!!!