Shorthanded Boys Hockey Continues Tremendous Start

Walpole Rebel teammates look on during game.

Walpole Rebel teammates look on during game.

Bobby Rabaioli

Walpole Rebel teammates look on during game.
Walpole Rebel teammates look on during game.

The Boys Hockey team has already face some adversity in the beginning with key players going down with a variety of injuries (Sean Donnelly-concussion, Tommy McNamara-Back injury, Tyler Bailey-Bruised collar bone, Alex Carde- broken finger, Derek Reinert-Back injury) .  They would play the  Brockton Boxers (1-3) on Wednesday, who came into the game   considered one of the weaker teams the Rebels will face.

 It has been a key emphasis so far this season for the Rebels to get out to fast starts and to put teams away early.  But once again the sluggish starts continued as the Rebels would play down to the level of their opponent.  After a deadlock of back and forth play, Brockton surprisingly would score first of a wide open shot from the slot, making the score 1-0.  The uninspiring play of the Rebels would continue throughout the first period and ultimately leave them shaking their heads as they entered the first intermission.  “It was overall a major disappointment.  We did not want people thinking that a couple of our injured players were the whole team and we didn’t prove anything in the first period” said senior goalie Ray Mortali.

 But things seemed to be different at the start of the second period.  As soon the puck dropped the Rebels were all over the Boxers which led to a goal during the first shift of the period by senior Matt Bender, tying the game 1-1.  Less than 30 seconds later, junior Ryan Brown would not hesitate with a shot from the point, and would give the Rebels the lead 2-1.  Then senior Matt Johnson would make the lead 3-1 on a rebound–all the goals came within the first three minutes of the game.  But the momentum would not carry throughout the whole period, as Brockton would eventually score two strange goals leaving the Rebels scratching their heads once again entering intermission.

 As the third period began, the team knew that if they lost to Brockton, they could kiss any hope of respect good bye as they would become the laughing stock of the Bay State league.  The Rebels responded to this thought with another goal by Ryan Brown who hit the top corner of the net.  The tight game would continue till senior John Macdonald would score on the power play assisted by senior John White, and junior Pat Baker to put the Rebels up 5-3.  And for good measure John White and junior Andrew Kelley would both score to put the game out of reach, 7-3.  “It was good to see [Andrew] Kelley score to give him his first career point” said senior Captain Alex Carde.

 It was a good victory for the Rebels as they still look to find their gel together without all their injured players. On Saturday, January 5th against Milton (2-1).  It would be a tough test as last year Milton was able to go to the finals in the playoffs.

 In the first period, even chances were exchanged throughout the period.  No goals for the Rebels in the first period has been a constant struggle all year.  “We want to score first and get out to a lead, but it is a hard thing to do when you do not score in the first” said senior Chris Abbott.  Entering the first period intermission, the game would remain 0-0.

 Into the second period, the inexperience of the new young defensemen was exploited by Milton when they scored three goals within the first six minutes in the period.  Coach Ron Dowd made a quick change of goalies to send a message to his team that this is a game that they cannot lose.  Ryan Erwin now enter goal and would be absolutely stellar, not giving up another goal for the rest of the game.  Now down 3-0, the Rebels needed their seniors to step up and play the best to their abilities.  That is what exactly senior Matt Bender did with scoring two goals before the periods end making the score 3-2.  ”

 With two goals at the end of the period, all the momentum was on the Rebels side.  Then entering the period junior Ryan Brown scored quickly to tie the game up at three.  There would not be any more goals, but the Rebels would dominate the game and almost win with two seconds left when senior John White hit post.  “It was a tough game to tie, but a point is a point” said senior Ryan Erwin.

 It was a tough game, but the senior leadership of the Rebels prevailed to comeback and tie the game.  Their next game is against Dedham on Wednesday, January 9th at Iorio Arena and January 12th against Norwood.