Smiling Faces

There were a lot of happy Clippers on Wednesday night after Connor Hennigan (3) scored his first goal of the season to ice the game for Falmouth. The Clippers scored a 7-3 win over visiting Weymouth and were in control all the way.

What a difference a week can make.

The last time the Falmouth High School boys’ ice hockey team hit the ice, they fell apart late in the third period and let a win become a tie. On Wednesday evening, December 22, at the Falmouth Ice Arena the Clippers did not allow Weymouth to have any hopes of a comeback, thanks to a dominant first period that put the game away less than 10 minutes in. That powered FHS to a 7-3 win that improved them to 2-0-1 to start the season off.

Falmouth scored five goals on their first 10 shots of the night and chased Weymouth’s starting goaltender by the midpoint of the first. The backup surrendered a goal on the first shot that he faced, but in his defense it was a breakaway that senior Daren McDonald tucked between his pads for a shorthanded goal to make it 5-0.

Prior to that one, the Clippers came out flying as their time just practicing for the past week had obviously been put to good use. With coach Paul Moore having shaken his lines up a little bit since the last game, the new units clicked right away and started tiring out the scorer’s booth. Charlie Bardelis broke the ice at the 3:28 mark with a wrist shot that sailed over the glove of starting Wildcat goalie Paul McCafferty. At 4:59 FHS went up by two when Kevin Coyne got his first of two in the period as the assistant captain took a feed from Cole Johnsen and snapped it through the five hole. Coyne then got his second at 6:45 with an easy tap-in on the far side after an initial shot from McDonald. Before that goal had been announced, Falmouth went up 4-0 on a Johnsen wrist shot. At 9:12, with the Clippers killing a penalty for too many men on the ice, McDonald stole the puck at his team’s blue line and raced ahead, beating new goalie Russell McGrath through the pads to blow it wide open.

Weymouth scored a power-play goal early in the second period against Clippers’ backup keeper Ryan Palmer, who was getting his first-ever varsity minutes in relief. Palmer, who played the national anthem before the game on his trumpet, went on to have an excellent period, making several tough stops.

Falmouth regained its five-goal lead in a matter of seconds. Matt Quinlan skated to a nice drop pass from James Walden at the blue line and sliced to the net for a pretty goal. Late in the frame, Connor Hennigan scored his first of the year in similar fashion, using a pretty toe drag dangle to give the Clippers a 7-1 lead.

Weymouth scored early in the third period on a goal from Ryan Gaudiano that made it 7-2 at 1:48. They added another goal late in the contest to account for the final score. FHS played its entire roster for nearly the whole game. All 20 skaters on the roster saw plenty of time in the contest, and the crowd was very excited when senior Matt Briggs nearly scored his first of the season in the first period.

Next up for the Clippers is the annual Ray Kenney Classic on December 27 and 28. Falmouth will play Newton South on Monday at 5 PM and then either Westford Academy or Wellesley on Tuesday.

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