United hockey celebrates senior night
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Sun., Feb. 27, 2011
The Bolton Ice Palace was packed for a Senior Night game between the Manchester/Rockville/Stafford United hockey team and the Rocky Hill/RHAM/Middletown Terriers. The United team entered the game with a 12-6 record, having already beaten the Terriers once quite handily, with a final score of 8-3, on Jan. 22.
With goalie Andrew Blakeslee out with a concussion, the Terriers had Nick Maulucci in goal. Seven seconds into the game, Maulucci let the puck slip into the net to put the Rams on top. What followed was a fast-paced game that kept fans on the edges of their seats. Maulucci and United goalie Ryan Villandry both made some spectacular saves. A Terriers power play goal at 3:15 in period three tied the score up at 4-4. A few seconds later, Villandry made a crucial save to preserve the tie and send the game into sudden-death overtime. Just over three minutes in, Terriers sophomore forward snuck the puck by Villandry to score the tie-breaking goal.
The loss brings the United team’s recored to 12-7. Their last game of the regular season was scheduled for Tuesday, March 1, against Windsor/East Granby/Avon. At .632, they will qualify to play in the state tourney. See www.casciac.org at noon on March 5 for brackets for post-season play.
Manchester-Rockville Hockey Coach Christian Stevenson
Number of Seasons: 13
Key to this season:
“We’ve got to stay disciplined,” said Stevenson early in the season. “Do not retaliate, and stay out of the penalty box. It’s hard enough to play 5-on-5, never mind 4-on-5.”
Jack Johnson, Number 11, Center, Senior Captain
“Jack brings speed,” said coach Stevenson, “and a sense of humor. He has a passion for hockey, and you can ask him anything about it. This is what he does, and this is what he loves. He spreads that passion throughout the team. Plus, he’s an incredibly hard worker.”
Travis Mistretta, Number 13, Center, Senior Captain
“Travis is big, rough and tough,” said coach Stevenson. “He’s a juggernaut out there, but also has an incredible shot, and good hands. He works extremely hard – to the point where it’s almost hard to watch how hard. He can play anywhere. He’s a hard-hitter and a smart player.”