Kingston, MA: The Duxbury Dragons worked their way to a methodical 2-0 win over the Braintree Wamps in the opener of the Island Creek Oyster Cup.
Duxbury struck just 27 seconds into the game as junior Ben Cheney whacked home a rebound and the home team was off to a great start. Most of the first period was a bit sloppy and neither team really put together quality shifts. Play was on the wall a lot. With 1:16 left sophomore Billy Mrowka fired a puck that seemed to have eyes on goal from the point and it found its way into the cage. Jack Venturelli picked up an assist. The puck appeared to hit something but best we could tell, Billy was credited with the score. The Dragons headed to the room up 2-0 as the Braintree Wamps looked for answers.
Despite no goals being scored, the second period featured far better play with more pace and more plays being made. Duxbury survived two good Braintree power play opportunities with smart positioning and good goaltending from junior Steve Pisani plus some grit as they blocked several shots. The period ended with Duxbury up 2-0 and Braintree had gained some momentum.
In the third period the bigger, heavier Dragons took control. They started to win more and more pucks and that 2-0 lead felt a lot larger. Duxbury played a smart game and limited turnovers and transition chances for the speedy Wamps. Game ended 2-0 and Duxbury will play for the Cup against Natick Saturday at 7:15.
Postgame, winning coach John Blake had this to say about the game and the Island Creek Oyster Cup competition:
I like this tournament because it has four competitive public schools. Games yesterday were close: 4-3 OT and 2-0. As for our game, I thought it was a well-played, physical game that had good goaltending at both ends. Braintree is a tough team to play against because they don’t give you an inch of ice out there. They make you work for everything. They are deep at forward and defense and they wear you down as the game goes on.
For Duxbury, we liked junior forward Zach Stewart. He is athletic with good feet. Junior Tanner Smith is raw, was able to beat opponents with strength, reach and some speed. Has some jump and some wiggle. Overall mobility and skating needs work but big guys take longer and he showed some good movement. Mrowka is a smart player who needs strength and weight; he gets pucks through and his shot creates rebounds. Senior Jake Brennan has some length and strength and can pass the puck. Pisani made himself big in the net and is aggressive at smart moments. Junior Ben Luscko moved the puck well also.
For the Trojans, Wonson’s speed was a factor. Sophomore D Will Genaske showed a little offensive flair. Senior John Delehanty played hard and made a diving play at the end of the second to prevent a 2-on-0 rush.
1. Steve Pisani (Duxbury)
2. Ben Cheney (Duxbury)
3. Billy Mrowka (Duxbury)