The Tewksbury Redmen Mites Hockey continued their strong play and dominated weekend action by beating Nashoba 9-0 and the East Coast Wizards 5-1. The 2 wins improve the Redmen season record to 17-3.
On Saturday December 8th the Redmen took on the Nashoba Bears at Skate 3 in Tyngsboro and skated away with an impressive 9-0 win. The Redmen were down a man as Nick Calouro is out battling an illness but the Redmen were determined to win one for their teammate. Nashoba came out strong and had the early scoring chances but Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe made 2 great saves on the first shift of the game to keep Nashoba off the scoreboard. The Redmen finally got their skating legs and scored 3 minutes into the first period when Matt Cooke fired a hard wrist shot over the goalie’s blocker, assist going to Brady Chapman. Billy Doherty scored just 1 minute later to increase the lead to 2-0 when he took a pass from Jason Cooke (who had 1 goal and 5 assists on the day), used his speed to split the 2 Nashoba defenseman, and fired a perfect wrist shot through the 5-hole. Nashoba fought back but 2 great defensive plays by Daniel “Bone Crusher” Kierce kept the Nashoba forwards away from the Redmen net. The Redmen closed out the 1st period with the 3-0 lead as Andrew Della Piana scored a pretty goal with just over 1 minute to play. Jason Cooke started the play deep in his own zone, carrying the puck into the neutral zone where he sent a nice cross-ice pass to Billy Doherty. Doherty carried the puck into the Nashoba zone, put the brakes on and sent a goal-mouth pass to Della Piana who buried the one-timer. The Redmen completely controlled the 2nd period as they scored 4 goals and held Nashoba to zero shots on net in the period. Matt Cooke scored his 2nd goal of the game off a great cycle play down low, assists going to Conor Cremin and Brady Chapman. Cremin started the play by stealing the puck from the Nashoba defenseman and sending an indirect pass off the boards to Chapman, who sent a pass to Cooke in the slot who beat the goalie with a great backhander. Brady Chapman scored 2 minutes later to increase the lead to 5-0 when Andrew Grieco broke up a Nashoba 2-on-1. Jason Cooke controlled the loose puck, sent a pass through center ice to Chapman who skated in and beat the goalie with a hard wrist shot over the catching glove. The Redmen kept coming and scored just 33 seconds later as Jason Cooke scored on a blazing wrist shot to make the score 6-0, assists going to Billy Doherty and Andrew Della Piana. Andrew Grieco closed out the 2nd period scoring spree on the “play of the year”. Billy Doherty started the play by winning a battle for a loose puck to the left of the Nashoba goalie. Doherty sent a pass back to Jason Cooke on the right ‘D’, Cooke sent a ‘D’ to ‘D’ pass across to Andrew Della Piana, who sent a great pass to Grieco at the left face-off circle. Grieco controlled the puck, skated in toward the net, saw the open corner and fired a beautiful wrist shot off the far post and into the back of the net. The 3rd period started with Nashoba getting a great scoring chance on a breakaway but goalie Ben O’Keefe made a great left pad save to keep the shutout alive. Jack Griffin then took over the game with his stick-handling expertise. Griffin increased the lead the 8-0 with just over 7 minutes to play in the game when he took a pass from Jason Cooke (his 5th assist of the game), stick-handled through 3 Nashoba defenders and fired a hard wrist shot past the sprawling goalie. Three minutes later Griffin struck again for his 2nd goal of the game as he took a great pass in the high slot from Andrew Grieco, deked around both Nashoba defenseman and the goalie, and slid a backhander into the empty net for the 9-0 shutout win.
On Sunday December 9th the Redmen returned to action at the Bedford Sports Edge Arena against the East Coast Wizards Mites and skated away with a convincing 5-1 win. The coaches knew they would have to motivate the Redmen after a long night at the team’s annual Christmas Party but fortunately none of the kids (or parents) had to visit the infirmary. The Redmen came out flying scoring 2 goals on the first shift of the game. Billy Doherty got things started just 29 seconds into the game scoring on a hard wrist shot with an assist going to Jason Cooke. Just 10 seconds later the Redmen increased their lead to 2-0 when Danny Kierce fired a low hard wrist shot from the left face-off circle that found the back of the net, assist going to Jason Cooke (his 7th assist in the last 3+ periods). The Wizards battled back and had offensive zone pressure but great defensive plays from Andrew Grieco, Conor Cremin, and Matt Cooke kept the puck away from Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe. The Redmen closed out the 1st period by taking a 3-0 lead when Andrew Della Piana was parked in the perfect spot to bang in a rebound, assists to Brady Chapman and Matt Cooke. The 2nd period was a back & forth scoreless battle, with both teams getting great scoring chances. The Wizards had the early chances but Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe made 2 outstanding saves on breakaways, one with the left pad and the other by the catching glove on a shot that was targeted for the top corner. The Redmen had a great chance to increase their lead when defenseman Conor Cremin controlled a loose puck behind his own net, skated around 2 Nashoba forwards through center ice, deked around a defenseman and fired a wrist shot that clang off the post. The Wizards kept battling and were able to get on the scoreboard 2 minutes into the final period apparently a Redmen Hockey Mom said the word “shutout” in the stands just prior to this goal going in) to cut the lead to 3-1. The Wizards nearly scored again but Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe made another great save on a breakaway. With injured teammate Nick Calouro on the bench as a special assistant coach, the Redmen were determined to not let this game slip away. The Redmen took control of the game and increased their lead to 4-1 when Jason Cooke whistled a wrist shot past the Wizards goalie from the right circle, assist to Billy Doherty. Jack Griffin nearly scored on the next shift as he stole the puck from a Wizards forward and fired a wrist shot off the left post. The Redmen closed out the scoring with 1 minute remaining in the game when Matt Cooke and Brady Chapman executed the perfect F1/F2 play on the forecheck to steal the puck, sending a great pass to F3, Andrew Della Piana, at the left circle. Della Piana’s shot was saved but Brady and Matt battled for the loose puck in the crease with Chapman knocking in the rebound for the 5-1 win, assists going to Cooke and Della Piana.
The Mites would like to thank the Della Piana family for hosting the annual Mite Holiday Party.