Red Raiders Outlast Braintree In Freeze Out Tourney Consolation Game
By: Tom Moran Jr.
After being relegated to the consolation game of the Freeze Out tournament at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center by a shoot-out loss to Springfield Cathedral, the Barnstable High boys’ hockey team made sure there would not be another loss, coming back from an early 2-0 deficit and defeating Braintree 5-3.
In the tourney opener, the Red Raiders battled Springfield Cathedral to a 3-3 tie only to get edged 3-2 in the shootout while the Wamps were suffering a similar fate, falling in the shootout of their opening-round contest against Newburyport.
With the win, the Red Raiders improved to 3-0-2.
The Wamps jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the first seven minutes of the first period but saw they two-goal advantage halved when the Red Raiders got a key goal from winger Collin Jones with 1:48 left in the stanza.
Jones and third-line mates Dom Giovannone and Kyle Rood were outstanding from start to finish, with Jones’s goal giving the Red Raiders a big boost going into the first intermission.
The Red Raiders also got a big boost from sophomore goaltender Dylan Campbell, who made quite the impression in his first varsity outing and got better as the game progressed.
In recording his first varsity “W,” Campbell wound up making 30 saves.
Braintree’s lead disappeared at the 6:14-mark of the second period when first-line wingers Connor Fries and Max Willman combined to even the game at 2-all.
Having drawn the close personal attention of two Braintree defenders to the left boards, Fries’s backhand pass sent Willman in alone on Wamp goalie Nick Anson and the Red Raiders leading scorer did the rest, going high to the glove side for the score.
Willman struck again with 1:08 left in the period, making a steal just outside the Braintree blue line and stickhandling around a Wamp defenseman before making Anson look bad with a backhander just inside the right post.
The Wamps pulled even at 3-3 in the early minutes of the third period but the Red Raiders got a goal from an unexpected source to take the lead for good as defenseman Chris Fowler unleashed a blast from just inside the blue line along the left boards found its way through crowd in front of the Braintree net and past Anson, putting Barnstable on top 4-3.
Willman and Fries teamed up to provide their team with some insurance with Willman finishing off a nice rush to the net with a perfect cross-crease pass to Fries, who one-timed it past Anson with just :10 left on the game clock.
Freeze Out Opener
BHS coach Scott Nickerson would know and his assessment of the Red Raiders’ tournament-opening 4-3 loss to Springfield Cathedral was “one of the best high school hockey games I have seen in a long time. We came back, they came back, we came back again, this was two teams playing hockey at a high level. A great game by both teams.”
Regulation ended with the teams knotted at 3-3 and the shootout was then employed solely for determining which team would advance to the tournament finals.
The Red Raiders got a pair of goals from Connor Fries and one from Christian Holmes to earn the draw with the Panthers.
Goaltender Jake Kaczynski was another standout for the Red Raiders, turning in a solid effort in net against a Panther team that has been part of the Elite 8 in 2011 and 2012.
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