TEWKSBURY – And the domination continues!
This past week, the No. 1 ranked in the Hockey Night in Boston Division 2 poll Tewksbury Redmen rolled past two more teams, beating Lincoln-Sudbury 5-1 last Wednesday before trouncing Lowell 8-0 on Saturday afternoon.
The two wins puts the Redmen at 6-0 this season, which includes outscoring teams 30-4. No team has scored more than one goal in a game against Tewksbury, with victories of 7-1, 2-1, 3-0, 5-1, 5-1 and 8-0.
In the wins this past week, both had a common theme, of the Redmen starting off a bit slow … OK 8-0 win, we are nitpicking here, but Tewksbury only had a 1-0 lead after the first period.
“Was it a slow start or did we just not put the puck in the net? We dominated the first period but we just couldn't put the puck in the net,” responded head coach Derek Doherty. “I thought once we got the first one, we would get more in bunches and Caden (Connors) said 'forget this, come on boys hop on my back and let's go for a ride'. Then (Jason) Cooke's goal was just ridiculous.”
Senior defenseman Connors led the scoring barrage with three goals and two assists. Jason Cooke had two goals and two assists, while Jeremy Insogna and Cole Stone had two helpers each and Nick Dicioccio had a goal and an assist. Matt Cooke and Conor Cremin each had a goal, while Cullen Mangan and Aaron Connelly each had an assist.
Goalie Ben O'Keefe played the first two periods and made all ten saves before freshman David Karlberg played the third, and made four saves as the two combined for the shut out. Tewksbury outshot Lowell 39-14, which included 22-5 in the second period that saw the Redmen score five goals, including two different times of scoring a pair of goals in exactly 17 seconds apart from one another.
“We are built to play physical, forecheck hard and we're big and strong so we're not going to stop playing that way. The referees have their arms up, so whatever, but we're also probably the best penalty killing team in the state. Everyone played hard today. We had a lot of chances, a lot of shots on net, and besides Caden, we had a bunch of different goal scorers.”
Against L-S, Tewksbury put up a goose egg in the first period before adding two in the second and three more in the third to break it wide open against a pretty solid Warriors' team. Matt Cooke, Sean Lane, Connelly, Insogna and Connors each had a goal, while O'Keefe made 13 saves to earn the win.
“We did start off slow, but it's not like you would say Lincoln-Sudbury outplayed Tewksbury,” said Doherty. “We're just off to slow starts because we're not burying the puck. Is anyone outplaying us? No. We're working hard to score goals, but for whatever the reason, the goals aren't happening in the first period of games. Eventually they will come, especially if the kids continue to work like they have been.”
Through the first six games of the season, the Redmen have dominated just about each game, but Doherty knows there's a lot to improve on.
“So far, so good but we still have a lot of things that we need to work on and get better at like everyone else. We have a very focused team, a great bunch of kids and when you walk into the locker room, you know what they want to do,” he said. “It's all about the hockey game and they aren't worrying about their social lives after the game. They are here to play hockey and they come to play. It's fun to coach a team, like that when they are all very attentive and ready to roll.
“I'm lucky to have the three captains that I do this year. These three are as solid as they come with Jason, Aaron and Caden. There's no messing around here. Everything is uniformed – this is what you do, this is how we do it and there's no excuses. You can see that and those are the things that I'm preaching to them and those guys are taken that extra step to make sure those things happen. Everyone is ready to roll every day so that's a tribute to our captains. All three of them are also very big contributors (to our success). They are as strong as they come.”
Through the six games, Connors leads the way with 7 goals and 5 assists for 12 points, while Jason Cooke has 6-4-10 and brother Matt is 4-5-9. Goalie Ben O’Keefe has an 0.71 GAA.
Tewksbury faced Acton-Boxboro on Wednesday with results not known as of presstime and then will travel to face league rival Boston Latin on Saturday afternoon at 2 pm, which will conclude the first of two rounds against MVC/DCL Division 2 opponents as rematches with Concord-Carlisle, Newton South, North Andover and Lincoln-Sudbury are to follow.