Red Raiders Tie Duxbury In Boys’ Hockey Season Opener
By: Tom Moran Jr.
All in all it was a mostly well-played and exciting high school hockey game as the Barnstable High boys’ hockey team battled visiting Duxbury to a 1-1 tie at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center on Wednesday.
Although both teams looked a bit ragged at times, the action was end-to-end from start to finish and both clubs turned in efforts that on some other night, might have produced a victory.
“I was very pleased with what I saw out there tonight,” said BHS coach Scott Nickerson. “The kids played hard and even though we made some mistakes, they made some too so it all evened out. You could tell both teams were playing their first games of the season but on the whole, this was a very good high school hockey game.”
Both teams also got great outings from their goaltenders with Red Raider goalie Kevin Huska making 35 saves while his Duxbury counterpart, Chris Johnson, wound up stopping 24 of the 25 shots he faced.
Duxbury forward Matt Murphy forced Huska to make the game’s first save and Johnson countered by turning aside a pair of in-close shots by BHS winger Connor Fries.
Both teams had their scoring chances in the first period, with the Green Dragons outshooting their hosts by 13-7, but both goalies were more than up to the task although Huska spent the last five minutes of the stanza redirecting a flurry of Duxbury shots.
The first five minutes of the second period were dominated by the Green Dragons but the Red Raiders answered with a nice stretch of offensive hockey that kept their guests trapped in their own end for almost that same amount of time.
The second period ended in the same manner as the first with the teams hammering away at each other and the score still knotted at 0-0.
The Dragons went back on the offensive to open the third period and, after Huska had made four outstanding saves, got the game’s first goal at the 3:36-mark.
The goal came off the stick of Trevor O’Brien and the shot came from 25 feet out in the slot and caught just enough of a Barnstable defender’s uniform jersey to change direction enough to get the puck past Huska.
The Duxbury goal lit a fire under the Red Raiders and it was then Johnson’s turn to deal with a barrage of shots.
After denying scoring bids by Fries, Kyle Rood and Dom Giovannone, Johnson was unable to keep that string going as Red Raider winger Max Willman netted the equalizer at the 6:33-mark.
The scoring play started with a blast off the stick of BHS defenseman Chris Fowler that Johnson stopped but couldn’t control.Willman took possession of the loose puck, circled behind the net and, before Johnson could slide across the crease, stuffed the puck into the right side of the net for the score.
The defenses called all the shots in the time remaining with both teams again having chances denied by the stick and glove work of Huska and Johnson.
“Kevin was great for us tonight,’ said Coach Nickerson. “When you get goaltending like we got tonight, it can make up for a lot of mistakes.”
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