The Jr. Redmen Squirt AAA Hockey Team skated before a packed home crowd at Breakaway Ice Center in Tewksbury on Saturday February 8th and left the rink with a convincing 4-2 win over the North Shore Vipers.
Coming off a hard fought 2-2 tie with the New England Bulldogs, the Jr. Redmen came out flying and controlled play for the first 3 minutes of the game. The line of Conor Cremin, Alex Pescatore, and Brady Chapman had the early chance off a nice offensive zone cycle but Pescatore’s shot from the low slot was saved by the Vipers’ goalie. The Vipers were unable to get the puck out of their zone as the Jr. Redmen defensive pairing of Andrew Grieco and Andrew Della Piana did a great job of pinching in & creating more offensive zone pressure for the Jr. Redmen. The Vipers were able to take a 1-0 lead with 6:47 left in the 1st period when speedy #12 skated in alone on a breakaway and fired a wrist shot into the back of the net. The Jr. Redmen battled right back and tied the game with 5:08 left in the opening period when defenseman Sean Murphy intercepted a cross-ice pass at center ice, deked around 2 Viper defenders and fired a hard wrister off the crossbar and into the net. With time winding down in the 1st period, the Jr. Redmen had a great chance to take the 2-1 lead when Billy Doherty and Jason Cooke worked a nice give-and-go just inside the Viper blue line. Cooke then fired a perfect cross-ice pass to Jack Griffin, who fired a one-timer off the far post.
The Vipers opened the 2nd period with back-to-back chances to take the lead but Jr. Redmen goalie Ben O’Keefe made a kick save on the first shot and snagged the rebound shot with his catching glove. The Jr. Redmen controlled play for the next 5 minutes, getting a number of great scoring chances. Maci Chapman used her speed to beat a Viper defender but the Viper goalie made a nice glove save. Jake McDonough then had a point blank shot that the Viper goalie kicked out right to winger Timmy Sweeney, whose one-timer on the rebound somehow ended up in the Viper goalies’ glove and not the net.
The Jr. Redmen opened the 3rd period determined to take the lead and did just that with only 1:05 gone in the period on a pretty goal from Justin Rooney, assists to Alex Pescatore and Andrew Grieco. The Jr. Redmen kept attacking and took a 3-1 lead just 1:24 later when Jason Cooke skated around a Viper defender and fired a hard wrist shot off the goalies’ shoulder and into the top corner of the net, assists to Sean Murphy and Brady Chapman. The Jr. Redmen had a handful of chances to increase their 2-goal lead but shots by Conor Cremin, Timmy Sweeney, Jake McDonough, and Maci Chapman were all turned away by the outstanding Viper goalie. The Vipers had some late period pressure but once again great defensive work from Andrew Della Piana, Sean Murphy, Andrew Grieco, and Justin Rooney kept the 3-1 lead for the Jr. Redmen. The Vipers were able to cut the Jr. Redmen lead to 3-2 with just over 2 minutes to play in the game but Justin Rooney scored his 2nd goal of the game with just under 1 minute to play to secure the well-deserved 4-2 win for the Jr. Redmen.