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TAUNTON, Mass. – Though Stoughton was significantly out skated for the majority of the opening period, the backstopping of AJ Scott and an explosive second frame from Mark Sheehan allowed the Black Knights to capture a 4-1 win over Attleboro on Saturday.
“Like last week against Taunton, when we skate we can play,” Stoughton head coach Dan Mark said. “When we don’t skate, it doesn’t matter who it is. If you don’t skate, it makes all the difference in the game.”
Trailing by a goal after a first period in which the Black Knights were outshot 14-2, Sheehan went to work to erase the deficit. Similar to his game-tying goal in a win against Taunton last week, the senior captain hustled into the offensive zone, cut through the defense and slid the puck past Attleboro goaltender Tim Gile (13 saves) to even the score.
“We told them they were going to have to come out strong,” Attleboro head coach Mike Cripps said of his message during the first intermission. “They weren’t going to be quitting and we needed the next goal, but unfortunately we came out a bit flat in the second period.”
Later in the second, Jon Lessa sealed in a clearing attempt at the line and fed it down low to Nick Hardy, who ripped a wrist shot past Gile to give Stoughton the lead. Just over a minute later, Sheehan netted his second of the game to add some insurance for the Black Knights. Stoughton flipped the script on Attleboro in the second, outshooting the Bombardiers 11-1 in the period.
“The kids decided to skate,” Mark said of his team’s second period effort. “The second part of that first period I thought they really started to pick it up speed wise. I thought the second and third period we really skated hard.”
Sean Doherty added a late goal for Stoughton on a two-man advantage to seal the win. Doherty also had two assists in the game while Sheehan and Lessa each had a helper.
“The kids are starting to feel good about themselves, which is good,” Mark said. “They can do it when they want to.”
Despite collecting 14 shots in the first period, Attleboro could only solve Scott once. About five minutes into the game, Sam Larkin buried a rebound from a Cam Littig shot to capture the early lead. But Scott, who finished with 20 saves, kept his team in the game until they could figure it out offensively.
“They have an extremely strong goalie,” Cripps said. “We knew going in that is was going to be low scoring for us.”
With its second league win in three games, Stoughton hockey improves to 6-10-3 overall, 4-6-0 in the league, and will have a week off before hosting Bishop Feehan next Saturday. Attleboro, now 5-10-2 overall and 1-8-1 in the league, will host Dighton-Rehoboth on Monday.
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