After blowing away Hanover, 7-2, Coach John Blake hoped the scoring touch that has been missing for most of the season had resurrected itself. Unfortunately reality set in on Saturday night when the Dragons returned to form in a 0-0 tie with Norwell.

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After blowing away Hanover, 7-2, Coach John Blake hoped the scoring touch that has been missing for most of the season had resurrected itself. Unfortunately reality set in on Saturday night when the Dragons returned to form in a 0-0 tie with Norwell.

Rarely have the Clippers been in a position to be competitive with the Dragons. But it seems like that bull’s eye gets bigger and bigger on the back of Duxbury every week, making teams like Norwell look like sharp-shooters.

The Clippers came to The Bog over the weekend with hopes of pulling off one of the bigger wins in their hockey program’s history. Despite settling for a 0-0 tie, the visitors were pleased with their effort, but left the arena knowing full well that a victory was well within their grasp.

“We’re going to be in 22 battles this year. There is no doubt about it,” admitted Blake. “We’re doing a good job keeping the puck out of the net, but we’re struggling to put it in.”

Despite handing Duxbury three power-play opportunities in the first eight minutes, it was the short-handed Clippers who had the best scoring bids during that time with Pat Johnston and Garrett Duffy repeatedly getting breaks up ice to challenge Duxbury netminder Billy Goodhue.

Norwell finally had its own power-play with 4:19 left in the first period, but Goodhue was up to the challenge and kept the game scoreless through one period of play.

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NO WHERE TO GO: Duxbury’s Dan May runs out of room as he is surrounded by a trio of Norwell defenders.

 

Neither team could get its act together on the power-play in the first five minutes of the second period. But on Norwell’s second man-advantage opportunity at the 9:14 mark, freshman defenseman Phil Sciretta made a sliding saving to block a pass that appeared headed for a sure tester on Goodhue.

It was now Duxbury’s turn on the power-play and their futility continued, as the best scoring opportunity came as Johnston raced from the penalty box at the end of the penalty and tested Goodhue again, but had nothing to show for it.

“Every time we got a power-play our first line was out there when it happened,” said Blake. “So they were gassed and had to come off the ice. We put the second unit out there, but there was just no continuity on the power-play. Each call just came at the wrong time.”

Norwell would get another scoring chance when Goodhue held his ground on a jam attempt at the post with 4:05 left on the clock, and Duxbury countered with a Pat Charland shot from the slot that was picked out of the air by Norwell goalie Clayton Ferguson.{sidebar id=1}

An inspired Norwell squad could sense victory within its grasp as the third period started, and helped its own cause by drawing a power-play opportunity with 11:24 left in the game. A crease violation moved the puck out of the attacking zone, but it didn’t seem to stop a pumped up Clipper squad that had two sparkling scoring bids, only to be stopped by Goodhue once again.

Time was running out for both teams as the period reached the halfway point.

With 6:38 to go, the Dragons got a big break when Pat Charland got taken down on a rush up ice. What appeared to be a huge advantage, suddenly turned into a nightmare when Norwell’s Mike Verrochi intercepted a Duxbury pass at the blue line and blasted a shot past Goodhue that hit the right post and settled underneath the beaten netminder.

It was Norwell’s turn for the power-play with 2:44 to go when Matt Landry went to the penalty box, but Charland did a great job on the penalty kill with Duxbury drawing a power play of its own with 1:27 left in the game.

Despite rushes by both teams in the final minute, neither team could leave the ice with the satisfaction of victory.

“I had talked to Norwell before the game and they were really up for this one,” said Blake. “We knew we were going to get their best and we had to come ready to play. If we didn’t we weren’t going to get a point out of it.”

Prior to this week’s action, the Dragons were sitting with a 4-3-4 record and 11 games left to play, including this Saturday’s 5:15 encounter with Norwood at The Bog in Kingston.