The Jr. Redmen Squirt AAA Hockey Team played a home game on Sunday December 8th at Breakaway Ice Center against a fast-skating, physical Cambridge Falcons team, and left the rink with a solid 6-4 win.
The Jr. Redmen came out flying getting immediate offensive zone pressure from the line of Conor Cremin, Andrew Della Piana, and Jake McDonough but Cremin’s wrister rang off the left post. The Jr. Redmen continued to put pucks toward the Falcons net but back-to-back shots by defenseman Jack Griffin and right wing Billy Doherty were saved by the Falcon’s netminder. The Falcons got on the scoreboard first on a questionable non-call by the ref when the Jr. Redmen net clearly moved before the puck crossed the line. The Jr. Redmen didn’t let this affect their play as they battled right back and controlled play for the remainder of the 1st period. Sean Murphy used his speed and strength to win a race to a loose puck in the neutral zone, sending a perfect pass over to Alex Pescatore who broke in down the left wing boards. Pescatore’s hard wrister just sailed wide of the far post. With time winding down in the 1st period, the Falcons had a great chance to increase their lead but a great individual defensive play by Andrew Grieco broke up a Cambridge breakaway.
The 2nd period was a fast-paced battle between two good skating teams. The Falcons had the early chances but Jr. Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe made 2 glove saves that had the crowd buzzing. The Jr. Redmen tied the game 1-1 with 8:10 left in the 2nd period when speedy defenseman Justin Rooney intercepted a pass at center ice, skated down the left wing boards beating a Falcon defenseman, and then cut in sliding a backhander under the falling Falcon goalie. The Jr. Redmen kept attacking and took the lead just 34 seconds later when Alex Pescatore fired a wicked wrister past the Falcon goalie, assist to Sean Murphy. The Falcons battled back but were unable to get pucks to the Jr. Redmen net because of great defensive plays from Timmy Sweeney and Justin Rooney. The Jr. Redmen nearly took a 3-1 lead with 37 seconds left in the period but Conor Cremin’s wrap-around attempt just slid across the goal line.
The Jr. Redmen opened the 3rd period determined to increase their lead and did so just 40 seconds into the period when Maci Chapman fired a quick wrist shot from the slot area into the back of the net, assist to her brother Brady Chapman and Timmy Sweeney. Cambridge battled right back and tied the game 3-3 as they scored 2 goals in a 42 second span. With 4:55 left in the game Cambridge took a 4-3 lead as speedy #21 scored his 3rd goal of the game. The Jr. Redmen didn’t panic and got back to their fast-skating/high-energy game and were able to tie the game 4-4 just 48 seconds later when Sean Murphy fired a laser beam into the top left corner of the net that the Falcon goalie didn’t see until the referee pulled the puck out of the back of the net. The Jr. Redmen kept the pressure on the Falcons and regained the lead 5-4 with 1:54 left in the game as Justin Rooney scored his 2nd goal of the game, assists to Jake McDonough and Andrew Della Piana. The Jr. Redmen didn’t give the Falcons a chance to tie the game as they sustained offensive zone pressure. Jason Cooke increased the lead to 6-4 with 22 seconds left, assist to Brady Chapman, securing the win and sending the Jr. Redmen fans home happy.