Itâ€™s been a tough couple of weeks for the boysâ€™ hockey team after losses to B-R, St. Johnâ€™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 Duxburyâ€™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.
â€œWe got a little undisciplined here tonight,â€ said Blake. â€œWhat 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.â€
After both sides had failed power-play opportunities midway through the first period, the Dragons finally struck for the gameâ€™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-Hâ€™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.
â€œOur offense seems to be turning around,â€ said Blake. â€œWeâ€™ve been snake-bitten in a few games, but weâ€™re going to keep working hard and try to get to that .500 mark with a little cushion.â€