Bucks pull off win against the Eagles

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Storrs - posted Wed., Jan. 18, 2012
Tyler Kelting controls the puck for the Bucks. Photos by Melanie Savage.
Tyler Kelting controls the puck for the Bucks. Photos by Melanie Savage.

It has been a tough start to the season for the E.O. Smith/Tolland/Windham Bucks. Coming into a Jan. 16 game against the Fitch/East Lyme/Ledyard Eagles, the Bucks were looking at a record of 2-6. “We’re trying to gain our offensive composure,” said assistant coach Victor Hurtuk, who is also a teacher in Tolland. Head coach John Hodgson is a guidance counselor at E.O. Smith. “Defensively, we’ve been hanging in tight,” added Hurtuk.

Hurtuk said that the previous game, against Newington-Berlin, had been lost as a result of short-handed goals. “We were up by one, but they scored three goals on power play,” he said. Although the team has been fairly disciplined penalty-wise, when they do go down a man, “We’ve been giving up some goals,” said Hurtuk.

The Bucks have two sophomore goalkeepers, Ben Lassow and Eric Sahi, “who have been sharing duties in the net,” said Hurtuk. Junior Chance Foster has shaped up to be the offensive leader in the early part of the season. “So far we’ve been led by Chance,” said Hurtuk. “He takes a physical game to pride, and it’s rewarded him in points.”

Defensively, the team has been led by Aaron Lassow, twin brother of goalie Ben. “He’s a solid defenseman,” said Hurtuk, “and he has started to rely on his teammates around him.”

The Bucks started off the game against the Eagles with a ton of energy. During a first period power play, they moved the puck well and got off numerous good shots, one of which glanced off the pipe. But luck wasn’t on their side, and the Eagles managed to score on one of their few shots during the period, putting the score at 1-0 Eagles entering the second period.

The Bucks put themselves on the scoreboard early in the second period with a power play goal. But the Eagles were quick to answer, putting in two even-strength goals in a row within two minutes. The score was 3-1, but that was to be the last score of the evening for the Eagles. By the end of the second period, the Bucks had tied it up at 3-3. The Bucks racked up two more goals during the third period to make it 5-3 Bucks. When the Eagles pulled their goalie with 1:13 on the clock for the extra attacker, the Bucks put a puck into the empty net for a final score of 6-3 Bucks.

The Bucks next play Bolton/Coventry/Lyman Memorial at the Bolton Ice Palace on Friday, Jan. 20, beginning at 8:20 p.m.

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