Monday, October 24, 2011

Jr. A Sweeps Rice AAA

Going into an important series with the Rice Memorial AAA team, the Junior A hockey team was ready to bring their season record back to .500 and build on their last win against the Albany Americans.

After a weekend off from hockey, Bridgton came out in the first five minutes with a little rust on their blades and made the game more difficult than it had to be. By the end of the first period BA had settled in and started to dominate play, controlling almost the entire first period in the Rice defensive zone, scoring two goals in the process. Zach Wells (Hyannis, MA) netted the Wolverines first goal of the game, followed by a Cam Kennedy (Lynn, MA) goal.

In the second period, both goaltenders showed a strong performance. Bridgton threw 18 shots in the second period with none crossing the line. Rice rallied behind their goalies strong play and tied up the score 2-2 at the end of the second period. Bridgton was determined to hold onto the game going into the third period, dominating the play once again firing 15 shots on net, yet not able to slip one past Rice’s goalie.

Heading into overtime, Bridgton capitalized on the first face off. Colin Edwards (Winchester, MA) split the two defenseman on a pass from Bobby Ganley (Weymouth, MA), threw a solid head fake on the goalie, and slid the puck in the open net for the game winner. The effort was not a complete one; however the ability of the BA hockey team to continue to rally ahead of Rice proved to be the eventual saving grace.

After Friday afternoon’s win, the Junior A team was back on the ice Saturday morning for the second game in the series with Rice AAA. The feel going into the game was that Bridgton was a better team, and if a consistent effort was given throughout the game a victory was all but guaranteed. From the first face-off, Bridgton dominated the play, but was frustrated early with the style of defense that Rice played forcing Bridgton to the outside and limiting the chances in prime scoring areas of the ice. That, coupled with a number of ill-timed penalties, made the game difficult to maneuver a consistent offensive attack. When playing at full strength BA continued to show its offensive superiority deep in the Rice zone.

However, despite Rice’s defensive style, Bridgton scored twice in the opening frame. The first by Michael Marchionda (Hyde Park, MA) with the assists going to the Tommy Graham (Medford, MA) and Tommy Carlaccini (South Burlington, VT). The second goal was a combination of the same line this time Graham scoring off assists from Marchionda and Carlaccini. Rice tightened the gap scoring late in the first period.

The second frame had the most scoring of the weekend, with both teams trading two goals. Bridgton’s goal were netted by Jimmy Magrath (Medford, MA) and Ganley. With a slight lead going into the third period, it was an all too similar feeling for Bridgton and history repeated itself with Rice tying the game with 30 seconds remaining in the contest sending the game into overtime for the second consecutive game. The overtime saw many good scoring opportunities, but it was Brendan Glynn (Quincy, MA) for the game winner in overtime.

Up next, the Jr. A team will take on the Eastern Kodiaks at home on Wednesday at 4:00 P.M.

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