After a valiant battle to qualify for this year’s MIAA Division I hockey tournament, the Duxbury boys’ hockey team suffered the same fate that had followed them all year: a lack of scoring.
It was crucial that John Blake’s team get off to a fast start and try to avoid having to come from behind. But his wishes went unfulfilled, as Braintree scored in the first minute of play and added the winner three minutes later to defeat the Dragons, 3-1, and send them packing for the season with a record of 9-10-4. The No. 7 seeded Wamps wasted little, as defenseman Troy Tenaglia came in from the right wing and fired a backhander on goaltender Connor Charland, who was defenseless when Nick Ward jumped on the rebound for a 1-0 lead.
“One of our goals tonight was to try to get the first goal and win the first period, but that wasn’t the start we wanted,” said Coach Blake. “Braintree came out with their feet moving and got us back on our heels.”
It didn’t take very long for Braintree to put the Dragons behind the eight ball, as defenseman Pat Horrocks found Tom Troy down low behind the net. Troy quickly spotted Cody Kingston heading for the net and he fed him a pass that he fired through a tight opening for a 2-0 lead.
“After that goal I thought we picked it up a little bit,” said Blake. “But when you don’t score a ton of goals getting down 2-0 is not a good position to be in.”
The next goal would be crucial for both teams and unfortunately Braintree found the net first.
With 4:20 left in the period Adam Kenney made it 3-0 with assists to Kingston and Connor Leslie, giving Duxbury little hope with just over 19 minutes to play.
Having been out-shot 21-9 in the first two periods, the Dragons needed to get more shots on net. Attempts by Ken Jacobsen and Will Siefert tested netminder Dan Murphy midway through the period, but it wasn’t until sophomore forward Shayne O’Brien broke the ice for Duxbury when he picked up a rebound and scored on a backhander from a tough angle to ruin the shutout with 3:38 left in the game.
The Dragons would play with an extra skater for the final two minutes hoping to tie the game. But a lack of scoring punch turned out to be their downfall.
“We had a tough time penetrating their defense tonight and I think the credit goes to Braintree,” said Blake. “Our goal was to get 25-30 shots on net, but we were lucky to get halfway there. They did a good job keeping us on the outside and we weren’t able to penetrate.”
The game also marked the end of the high school hockey careers for seniors Ken Jacobsen, Greg Williams, Cam Daley, Will Siefert, Fenton McCall and Jeff Gaita.