On Saturday October 5th the Jr. Redmen Squirt AAA Hockey team lost a hard-fought battle 4-2 against the Maine AAA Black Bears.
The Jr. Redmen knew they would have to be at the top of their game to compete against the very talented Black Bears. The 1st period was dominated by the Black Bears as they used their speed, quickness, and aggressiveness to win puck battles all of the ice. The Jr. Redmen were saved by an outstanding 1st period of goaltending by Ben O’Keefe, who made 5 highlight reel saves that even had the Maine coaching staff applauding Benny. The Jr. Redmen were able to put some pressure on the Black Bears halfway through the 1st period when the line of Timmy Sweeney, Brady Chapman, and Andrew Della Piana worked the cycle down low resulting in 2 scoring chances that were turned away by the Black Bears goalie. Maine continued to pressure the Jr. Redmen end as the period was winding down but Jason Cooke and Justin Rooney each made great defensive plays to keep the game scoreless through the first 12 minutes of the game.
The 2nd period turned into an offensive clinic put on by #s 7 and 14 from the Black Bears. The kids from Maine took a 1-0 lead with 8:24 left in the period on a great end-to-end rush by speedy #7. The Black Bears looked to increase their lead but defensemen Sean Murphy and Jack Griffin did their best Zdeno Chara impersonation, keeping shots away from the Jr. Redmen net. The Jr. Redmen tied the game with 4:48 left in the 2nd period when Billy Doherty and Andrew Grieco worked hard behind the Black Bears net to gain control of a loose puck, sending a shot off the goalie’s right pad. Jake McDonough was in the perfect position firing the rebound into the back of the net. The Black Bears went on the powerplay with just over 1 minute to play in the period and quickly took a 2-1 lead when #7 scored his 2nd goal of the game. The Black Bears took the ensuing faceoff and #14 fired a wrist shot off the crossbar and into the net for the 3-1 lead as the 2nd period came to an end.
The Jr. Redmen knew they would have to play solid hockey in the 3rd period to get a win against the Black Bears. The Jr. Redmen had some early chances in the period when Maci Chapman, Alex Pescatore, and Conor Cremin used their quickness to create scoring chances but the Black Bears goalie was there to shut the door. The Jr. Redmen cut into the Black Bears lead with 5:30 left in the game when Conor Cremin fired a low, hard wrist shot past the sliding goalie, assists to Alex Pescatore and Jake McDonough. The Jr. Redmen continued to pressure the Black Bears end in an attempt to tie the game 3-3 but a Jason Cooke shot hit the post and a Billy Doherty backhander just slid wide of the net. The Black Bears scored a late goal to secure the 4-2 win.