Bucks don't stop here...yet

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Tolland/Mansfield/Windham - posted Wed., Feb. 16, 2011
Tolland-E.O. Smith-Windham goalie Benjamin Lassow watches the puck bounce (he made the save) during the Bucks' game vs. Hall-Southington on Feb. 14. Photos by Steve Smith.
Tolland-E.O. Smith-Windham goalie Benjamin Lassow watches the puck bounce (he made the save) during the Bucks' game vs. Hall-Southington on Feb. 14. Photos by Steve Smith.

With all of the snow-postponed games, the E.O. Smith-Tolland-Windham Bucks are playing 10 games in 17 days to finish out the season. That follows a stretch of more than a month with only 4 games. With a 3-7-2 season (as of Feb. 16), the Bucks are unlikely to make the state tournament, but the condensed schedule just might play to their strengths.

“We haven't played a whole lot,” Hodgson said. “We're still a little inconsistent. But, they like [the tight schedule]. For these guys, if they're not playing a game tomorrow, they're coming to practice and working like they are. As long as we don't get injuries – because you don't have time to recover – I don't think it's a bad thing. Hopefully we can use the schedule to our advantage, and get on a roll.”

Coach John Hodgson said, after the 1-1 tie vs. Southington on Feb. 14, that his team played close to their best hockey in the third and overtime periods.

“Our guys met their intensity,” Hodgson said. “When that happened, it was back and forth, and neither team could score. Despite a lot of chances, there were two good goalies.”

Hodgson said the season, overall, has had many positives for the team.

“Some of the younger guys have gotten to play,” he said. “The older guys have done what we've asked by setting a good example.”

For example, four sophomore forwards play a regular shift, along with a freshman defensemen. Two more defensemen are underclassmen. The team also starts freshman goalie Benjamin Lassow. So, future seasons have plenty of potential.

“They're getting some good experience, and hopefully it pays off,” Hodgson said. “Hopefully it pays off in the next few weeks, too.”

Hodgson added that, after the team went to the second round of the state tournament last year, some of the older players struggled with the lack of wins early this season, but have come around since then.

“Right now, it's just game after game,” Hodgson said.


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