Terriers looking for one more win to extend their season

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Tue., Feb. 14, 2012
Freshman Scott Mocko warms up before a Feb. 11 game against Northwest Catholic.  Photos by Melanie Savage.
Freshman Scott Mocko warms up before a Feb. 11 game against Northwest Catholic. Photos by Melanie Savage.

The Rocky Hill/Middletown/RHAM cooperative hockey team will need to continue its pursuit of one more win after a close game on Feb. 11 ended in a loss to Northwest Catholic. NWC came into the meeting with a 10-4 record. RMR was 7-8, needing one more win to push them over the 8-win threshold for the tournament.  A previous meeting between the two teams resulted in one of the worst losses of the season for RMR (final score 8-2 on Jan. 10). And with two skaters out of commission (junior Spencer Brown and Sophomore Steven Kolakowski), RMR was prepared for a battle.

“They’re a good team,” said assistant coach Eric Teixeira. Teixeira and head coach Sean Cole, both of whom came in from Avon to take over the team when the co-op was formed last year, are in their second year of coaching the Terriers. They are joined this year by assistant coach Josh Hamilton, a football coach from Middletown.

The Terriers returned a number of seniors this year, including Matt Tavani, Kevin Nicola, Kyle Gentile and Paul Cadenhead. Two of the three team goalies are returning seniors - Andrew Blakeslee and Nick Maulucci. The third goalie is sophomore Tim Volpe. With just 15 members, three of whom are goalies, the team is one of the smallest in the state. Members, especially those from RHAM, must make a serious commitment to the team. Practices, held Monday, Tuesday and Friday, as well as Thursday workouts and Wednesday and Saturday home games, are all held at Champions Rink in Cromwell - a serious distance from Andover, Marlborough or Hebron.

As for the remainder of the season, “It’s an uphill battle,” said Teixeira before the NWC game. The game started off well, with junior Brendon Quirion scoring an unassisted goal halfway through the first period to put the Terriers on the scoreboard first. Though NWC tied it up just four minutes later, RMR was quick to answer, with senior Kevin Nicola scoring a goal at 1:15, assisted by Quirion and Cadenhead. Malucci was called upon to make a couple of key saves during the first 15 seconds of a NWC power play that ended period one. The Terriers went to the locker room ahead by a score of 2-1.

The second period opened with the Terriers facing the final 1:45 of the penalty. Despite a lackluster performance during the power play, NWC managed to score a goal during their single shot on goal, tying the score up at 2-2. The Terriers dominated the next seven minutes, with junior Kolby Sprague scoring a goal at 8:21, assisted by senior captain Matt Tavani and sophomore Kyle Doremus. But a lackluster Terriers power play failed to produce a goal, and the Terriers appeared to lose their momentum for the remainder of the period. A NWC power play resulted in a goal, sending the teams to the locker room for the second break tied at 3-3.

A final NWC goal at 5:31 in period three proved to be the last score of the evening, making the final 4-3 NWC.

The Terriers face two games each against East Catholic and Newington-Berlin for the remainder of the regular season. They need one more win to qualify for post-season play.

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