Mashpee-UCT Hockey Post 4-2 Victory Over East Bridgewater
By: Rich Maclone
Thanks in large part to a dominant second period, the Mashpee/Upper Cape Tech boys' ice hockey team scored a 4-2 victory over East Bridgewater on Wednesday night at the Kennedy Rink in Hyannis. The win helped the M/UCT boys rebound from a 8-0 loss earlier in the week to Rockland as they closed in on the .500 mark for the season.
With the win, the Falcons are now 3-4-2 overall on the year. Things will be a tad bit tougher for the blue, red and white on Saturday afternoon when they welcome Norwell to their place. The Clippers are currently 4-3-1.
The second period had just about everything that hockey fans hope for. There was scoring by the home team, some solid defense and physicality. M/UCT put three goals in the net during the frame, turning a 1-0 deficit into a two-goal advantage. They allowed just three shots to reach their keeper, Anthony Visconte, who stopped them all and finished the night with 12 saves total.
The physical part they probably could have done with out. Midway through the stanza East Bridgewater's Austin Lundbohm crashed the net hard after a whistle, and waylaid a Falcon in front. Punches were thrown on both sides as all of the players on the ice locked up in the scuffle. When it was all said and done, Lundbohm was given a major penalty, as were Mashpee's Andrew Vinitsky and Robert Fluke.
MHS Head Coach Shawn Chicoine said he didn't understand the ruling by the referees, noting that the altercation had been initiated by an EBHS player, yet they had just one player sent to the sin bin, while the Falcons ended up with two. "I asked the referees and they said 'your guys were throwing punches,' and I said, 'but everyone on the ice was throwing punches, and their guy started it and they just get one and we get two?' I didn't agree with the call, but it is what it is," M/UCT Head Coach Shawn Chicoine said.
Prior to the melee, the game had turned for the Falcons. East Bridgewater scored on its first shift of the game, on a bit of a strange goal that saw Visconte lose sight of it as it was wrapped in from behind by Lundbohm.
The Falcons popped in three to take control in the second. The first came off the stick of Fluke, who whacked the puck at the net on the drop of a faceoff and punched it by the goaltender, Pat McKenna, just 1:56 into the period to tie the game.
Donny Thompson's adherence to his coach's tips from practice earlier in the week resulted in the second goal. Chicoine said that the coaching staff had been preaching to Thompson the importance of keeping a slapshot low to the ice, and towards a post. Thompson followed through on that and bombed one that beat McKenna at 6:47 to put his team on top, 2-1.
A tip-in by Cam Ventre at 10:12 made it a 3-1 game in the Falcons' favor.
East Bridgewater made it interesting in the third period. Visconte got a bit lucky with 6:30 to play in the game when a shot from the perimeter hit a skate and deflected to his right, but hit the post and clanged away from danger. His luck then ran out, temporarily, with 4:49 to go, when the Vikings scored on the power play to cut the M/UCT lead down to a single goal, 3-2. Mike Werra scored the goal that made it a one-goal affair.
EBHS then had a few chances late to tie it, but never got the equalizer. A blast, off a 3-on-2 break for EB, by Owen Harrington missed the net completely with 3:40 to play. Then, with 3:20 left, Visconte stoned a bid by Cam Connelly from the doorstep.
Mashpee carried the play the rest of the way. Both Pat Burke and Aidan Sullivan had good scoring chances late in the game against goalie Mike Dallaire, but the keeper came up with the stops.
East Bridgewater then pulled Dallaire for an extra attacker with under a minute to play in an attempt to get even, but it quickly backfired. While trying to move the puck up the ice, one of the Vikings made an ill-advised pass up the middle of the ice right to Sullivan. He skated it into the zone and calmly filled the vacant goal with the back-breaker with 25 seconds left to make it 4-2 in the Falcons' favor.
"I think we played pretty well. It took a period for us to adjust to the speed of the game. We'd been playing against some competition that was a little better, and we were rushing things. Once we calmed down, we did much better," the coach said.
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