The Warriors took the lead less than three minutes into the game but that seemed to spark Oliver Ames. The Tigers responded with an onslaught of offensive pressure, including three great goal scoring chances in a three minute space. OA finally broke through to score back to back goals in less than a minute to take the lead.
“We responded very well,” said Oliver Ames head coach Sean Bertoni. “There’s only been about three games which we’ve come out on the attack. We’re a little bit of a slow team to get going but we pick it up as the game goes on.”
KP freshman Kyle Gray scored his first career goal 2:34 into the game to give the Warriors the lead. After an extended possession in the offensive zone, Gray took control along the blue line and wristed a shot through traffic that found its way into the back of the net.
But from that point on, it would be all Oliver Ames in the period.
With 10:45 to go in the opening period, Brett Williams circled behind the net before finding Eric LeBlanc open in front for he net but his point blank shot was turned aside by KP junior goalie Shane Frommer (44 saves).
With 9:15 to play, sophomore James Beatty took advantage of a miscue at the blue line by KP and race in along on goal but couldn’t get his shot past Frommer.
With 8:10 left, Max Ward hit Michael Nikiciuk for a shot from the blue line that Frommer got a piece of. Frommer scrambled and was able to keep the puck from crossing with the help of senior defenseman Jeremy Smith.
But on the ensuing face-off, Oliver Ames finally did cash in. Senior defenseman Jack Maloney ripped a shot that was saved, Beatty had his rebound shot saved but then was able to tuck his own rebound into the net to tie the game with 8:02 to play.
The Tigers kept the pressure up, taking the lead less than a minute later. With Oliver Ames cycling through the offensive zone, the puck popped free into the middle of the ice. OA senior Michael Ziino pounced on it and fired a wrist shot that found its way under Frommer’s arm to make it 2-1.
The momentum carried into the second period and it looked like Oliver Ames put the game to bed early in the middle fame.
Just 49 seconds into the second, Oliver Ames made it 3-1. Williams tracked down a puck in the offensive end and fired a perfect pass across the crease to an open Beatty. Beatty stepped around the goalie and tucked it home for a quick 3-1 lead.
The Tigers went on the power play following a late hit on the goal and took less than a minute to add another goal. Senior Jared Costello tracked the puck down off the side boards and took it right to goal, stuffing it in at the near post for a 4-1 lead.
“We had five or six goal scorers last game against Foxboro and then had four tonight so that’s nice to see,” Bertoni said. “That was Michael Ziino’s first start of the year, we had one of our top guys out for the first period and Michael stepped up. James Beatty has been a third line guy, he got to play on the second line today and scored two goals. We’ve been waiting for him because he’s got the skill. It was nice to see him get two big goals too.
“Our forecheck was very good tonight and we generated a lot of shots. We’re creating a lot of turnovers behind the goal line. The last three games we’ve had over 35 shots in each game. The theme this year has been finishing. The kids say it all the time, it’s just bearing down and having a net-front presence and making sure you’re buying the puck. The kids had a good response.”
Frommer denied Oliver Ames a fifth goal near the midway point of the period when LeBlanc had his breakaway chance turned aside. A minute later, KP went on the power play and took advantage.
Gavin Maxwell won a face-off in the offensive zone and junior Collin Cooke connected on a cross ice pass to find Jeremy Smith at the blue line. The senior took a step in and fired a rocket top shelf to cut the deficit to two with 7:36 left in the period.
After Walsh made a point black stop on a shot from Gavin Maxwell right in front with 44 seconds to go, Maxwell was able to find the back of the net with 19 seconds to play. The junior stepped in front of a clearance attempt and roofed his shot to make it 4-3 heading into the third period.
But a penalty just before the end of the second meant KP started the third in a four on four situation and then, after 90 seconds, went a man down.
The Warriors were able to fight off the penalty but Oliver Ames found the back of the net within a minute after going back to full strength. The puck popped free to Nikiciuk at the blue line and he fired through traffic to find the back of the net, making it 5-3.
King Philip picked up back to back penalties shortly after, first a minor for tripping and then a four minute penalty for boarding, halting any thought of a comeback.
OA put the game out of reach on the power play with 6:54 to go when Costello skated towards the center of the ice near the blue line and wristing a shot through a screen for the Tigers’ sixth goal.
“We had a variety of scoring, we had at least one power play goal,” Bertoni said. “We’ve been practicing on just taking the puck to the net, net drives in practice and it showed tonight. It’s good to see them sacrifice and go to the net, and they might get punished, but they might get a goal out of it.
“The players deserve all the credit but as coaches it’s nice to see when they run the system. One through three, all lines, it just shows when you establish a forecheck and stick to the system good things happen.”
King Philip added the final goal of the game with just over two minutes to play on the power play. Smith played catch with Garrett Maxwell on the blue line before the sophomore fired a shot on target. Walsh turned it aside but KP Freshman Chris Daniels was there for the tap in for his first career goal.
“You have to give OA credit, they came out and wanted it a little bit more,” said KP head coach Paul Carlow. “They went to a three man forecheck, put the pressure on us and definitely took the game over there for a stretch. We got back in the game at the end of the second but then we took a penalty. We start the third shorthanded, and even though they didn’t score on it, it burns your guys out. Then we took another penalty and that pretty much did it.”
Oliver Ames hockey (9-4-1 overall, 5-2-1 league) will take on North Attleboro in a non-league D2 showdown on Monday at 4:30 at Asiaf. King Philip (3-12, 3-5) will be the road team in a clash with Foxboro at the Foxboro Sports Center on Wednesday.
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