Tewksbury Redmen Mites AAA Hockey team skates to a 1-1 tie with Woburn, improving their season record to 21-5-1.
On Friday 2/22 the Redmen Mite AAA Hockey club traveled to Haverhill Valley Forum for a much anticipated rematch against the Woburn Tanners. The Redmen battled the Tanners to a hard-fought 4-3 loss just 2 weeks earlier and knew they would have to play their best to beat one of the bigger, more physical teams in the Valley Hockey League.
The Redmen came out flying and carried much of the play early in the game resulting in offensive zone pressure from the line of Matthew Cooke, Conor Cremin, and Nick Calouro, with Cooke firing a hard wrister off the left post. Woburn battled back and used their size to create a handful of quality shots on net but Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe once again proved that he’s the best goalie in the Valley League, making a number of highlight reel saves. The Redmen nearly took a 1-0 lead with just under 5 minutes to play in the 1st period when Billy Doherty, Brady Chapman, and Jason Cooke cycled the puck down low, resulting in a Doherty wrist shot that rang off the crossbar. The Tanners were able to get on the scoreboard with 3:01 left in the 1st period when a bad bounce to the left of the Redmen net ended up in the net.
The Tanners dominated much of the 2nd period, getting the better of the scoring chances but neither team was able to score. Woburn nearly scored early in the 2nd period but Andrew Grieco and Jack Griffin both made outstanding individual defensive plays to keep the bigger Woburn forwards away from the Redmen net. With 8:25 left in the period the dynamic defensive duo of Andrew Della Piana and Danny Kierce broke up a Tanner 3-on-2 and then Della Piana slid across the goal crease to block a puck that was headed for the back of the net. The Redmen finally got their legs moving with 3 minutes to play in the 2nd period. Matt Cooke and Conor Cremin worked a nice give-and-go down behind the Tanner net resulting in a quality scoring chance by Cremin. The Redmen were awarded a powerplay with 1:45 left in the period when Jack Griffin used his speed to blow past a Woburn defender and was eventually pulled down. The Redmen powerplay resulted in great puck movement from Jason Cooke, Brady Chapman, and Billy Doherty but the Redmen were unable to put the biscuit in the basket.
The 3rd period turned into one of the most intense, up-and-down, fast-paced periods of hockey anyone in attendance ever witnessed. Both teams were flying,
determined to get the win. The Tanners had early chances to increase their lead but once again Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe was there to shut to the door. The Redmen nearly tied the game 1-1 with 7 minutes left in the game when Andrew Della Piana gathered a loose puck in his own zone, skated thru center ice, down the left wing boards, but his wrist shot from the left hash mark just sailed wide. The Tanners fought right back but solid backchecking from Nick Calouro and a diving Danny Kierce kept this a 1-goal game. The Redmen kids were all exhausted but dug down deep late in the game, much to the delight of the Redmen faithful in attendance, including current Redmen Pee Wee stars Matt Pescatore, Andrew
Zampitella, Kyle Lombardo, and Matt Breen; as well as Anthony Grieco and the Andrea brothers from the Jr. Redmen Bantams. The Redmen pulled their goalie with 1:55 left in the game, looking to even the score, and sustained offensive zone pressure for the entire time. The Redmen nearly tied the game with 1:03 left but Brady Chapman’s wrister found the left post instead of the back of the net. The “never say die” Redmen kept attacking and with 18.2 seconds left in the game Andrew Grieco sent a beautiful cross-ice pass to Jason Cooke at the left face-off circle. Cooke fired a wrist shot into the back of the net tying the score 1-1, and sending the Redmen players and fans into a state of craziness.