They say that parity in sports is a good thing. As five teams battle it out for four playoff spots in the DIII hockey standings, points are at a premium. With four games remaining in the regular season for the defending champion Mt Hope Huskies hockey team, it was imperative to come out of Saturday night’s match-up vs the Woonsocket-Scituate co-op team with two points and a win.
After two periods of play, the Huskies found themselves in a hole, down 2-1 and in need of a come from behind win. The Huskies lone goal to that point had come from the result of some hard work from Seniors Ryan Cordeiro and Dylan Andrade. In the first period, Cordeiro passed the puck to Andrade, who wound up from the point and unleashed a blast that deflected off a WS defender. Freshman David Benevides raced to the puck and fired a wicked wrist shot top shelf for the goal.
Minutes into the third period, the Huskies take a penalty and are forced to go on the penalty kill and play short-handed. On the penalty kill, Senior Jack Dolan outworks a WS defender in the neutral zone, and carries the puck into the WS offensive zone with the same WS defender hot in pursuit. Dolan is able to maintain possession and pass the puck into the slot where teammate junior Cam Rancourt collects the pass and buries it for the short-handed goal, evening the score at 2-2.
With less than two minutes remaining in the game and the puck in their own end, Rancourt collects the puck and passes it off the boards up ice to Dolan who takes off like fired out of a cannon and beats the WS defenders to the puck and races in alone on the WS goaltender. Dolan’s shot beats the WS goaltender five-hole and the Huskies take a 3-2 lead with a minute and a half remaining.
WS pulls the goaltender and goes on the attack. Junior goaltender Devon Loiselle steps up and makes the big saves when needed and preserves the victory for the Huskies, collecting the much-needed two points in the process.
In total, Loiselle made 18 saves in goal. As always, the Huskies goaltender received help from his blue-line corps. Seniors Cordeiro, Andrade, Devin Lannan, James Moreira combined with Junior Keegan Hanley to play ferocious defense in front of Loiselle throughout the game.
With three games remaining in the regular season, the playoff pursuit continues as the Huskies take on Pilgrim Wednesday night Feb 14 at Thayer Arena in Warwick for a 5:45pm puck drop. GO HUSKIES! -Gene Reynolds/contributor