It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the boys’ hockey team after losses to B-R, St. John’s, and Marshfield, along with a tie against Sandwich. That dreary stretch came to an end on Saturday afternoon, as the Dragons recovered with a convincing 5-1 win over Whitman-Hanson.

 


The victory over the Panthers brings Duxbury’s record to 3-4-5, as they strive to get to the .500 mark and qualify for post-season play.
The one thing that Coach John Blake preaches to his team is that they must be disciplined if they hope to make it to the play-offs. Those words seemed to fall on deaf ears on Saturday, as his Dragons were whistled for eight penalties to the Panthers one.
“We got a little undisciplined here tonight,” said Blake. “What we are trying to do is establish an identity that we are going to play hard and in-your-face hockey for 45 minutes and I think today was a good step toward that.”
After both sides had failed power-play opportunities midway through the first period, the Dragons finally struck for the game’s first goal when junior forward Tim Harrison took passes from Will Siefert and Evan Jackson as he came out of the left corner and buried his shot past W-H goaltender Tom Leonard for a 1-0 lead with 3:22 left in the first period.
The tight game suddenly opened up at the beginning of the second period and it took Duxbury just seven seconds to get a 2-0 lead, as senior captain Nick Buonvicino took the opening face-off and rushed into the Panther zone, going to his left and rattling a shot off the post past Leonard.
The Dragon offense was now in full stride, as Harrison had a great solo bid two minutes later and was stopped, followed shortly thereafter by a two-on-one breakout with Kane Haffey and Bobby Barry. After battling along the right boards, Haffey took the puck over the blue line and blasted a shot past Leonard for a 3-0 lead.
Rather than play conservative and nurse a three-goal lead, the penalties started to mount for the Dragons midway through the second period and two of them coincided, giving the Panthers a 5 on 3 for 1:07. After doing a good job for most of the man shortage, W-H’s Chris Boussy finally beat Derek Williams after the first penalty ended to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Whatever momentum the Panthers hoped to gain quickly disappeared 53 seconds later when Cam Daley took a pass across the crease from Jeff Gaitta and Hunter Banville, burying a backhander past Leonard for a 4-1 lead with seven minutes left in the second period.
Duxbury would spend most of the final 15 minutes killing off four W-H penalties sandwiched around a Fenton McCall goal with an assist to senior captain Stephan Krall.
“Our offense seems to be turning around,” said Blake. “We’ve been snake-bitten in a few games, but we’re going to keep working hard and try to get to that .500 mark with a little cushion.”