Arlington, MA – This morning was the home opener for the defending Super 8 co-champions Arlington Spy Ponders, taking on Middlesex League rival Woburn Tanners in an early 11:50am puck drop. Unlike the games most are used to from last season, this game was split into two halves 22 minutes a piece and both clubs were trying out different combinations on their special teams and in key situations 5-on-5.
In the first half was where most of the scoring happened. Arlington came out of the gates hot with sophomore forward Drew Fecteau putting home a rebound at the netfront six minutes in. Just a minute later it looked as though Jake Russell had scored the team’s second goal, but the tally was erased due to a whistle for a high stick (according to the broadcast team). Two minutes later Arlington did get its second marker thanks to a slick goal by freshman attacker Jack Sadowski, slipping into the offensive zone off the right wing and snapping off a nice backhander that beat the Woburn netminder over the shoulder. That’s when the Woburn pushback began less than a minute later with a Jackson Powers drop pass to Jonathan Surrette who buried a nice snap shot to make it 2-1. Five minutes later came the equalizer on the power play. Junior defender Mikey Arsenault made a nice cross ice feed which Aiden Robinson deposited a few feet from the right post. It looked like that would be it for the scoring in the frame…but Robinson wasn’t done, he found some open space near the edge of the blue paint and cleaned up a rebound chance to give the Tanners a lead they would not relinquish. 3-2 was the score heading into the locker rooms.
The story of the second half was the Woburn defensive layers. While they gave up shots to Arlington, most of them came from the perimeter and the defense did a nice job of collapsing around the net and giving senior Ryan Moriarty clean looks. There were a few netfront scrambles, but Moriarty was equal to the task: owning his crease. The only goal in the half came off the stick of Surrette, his second of the game, an empty netter with 12 seconds left from the defensive zone. 4-2 was your final.
- F Aiden Robinson, Woburn
- F Jon Surrette, Woburn
- G Ryan Moriarty, Woburn
Top 10 Player Scouting Reports:
NZ’s Five Takes
- If today’s game is any indication, nobody is going to enjoy playing Woburn: they have a nice mix of size, skill and snarl. They were great at limiting chances in their own end and creating offense down low. Big sophomore Connor Welch was a factor throughout: blowing up Spy Ponders in open ice and limiting chances with his reach and strength.
- Arlington is very young but they have some intriguing options up front. Sophomores Ryan Gilbert and Jake Russell showed great poise with the puck and made good decisions.
- Speaking of the Arlington youth movement: Jack Sadowski is going to be a contender for the top rookie in the Middlesex League. The 2006-born freshman has confidence, quick feet and nifty hands: teams will need to start game-planning for him…
- Arlington split their sophomore goaltenders in this opener, with Mike Hayes in the first half and Jake Davies in the second half. Davies didn’t give up any tallies in the second half, but the defensive gaps were tighter after the D core got 22 minutes under their belts. A tougher assignment for Hayes earlier with more wide open looks and unmarked forwards.
- It’s worth talking about senior Woburn goalie Ryan Moriarty: he isn’t all that big in the cage, but he was quiet in the paint and bodied up pucks very well. He gave the Spy Ponders nothing in the second half and that was the key to securing the W.