Burlington, MA – Two playoff teams from different divisions both got their seasons underway tonight as the Red Devils of Burlington took on the Wildcats of nearby Wilmington. This promised to be the marquee matchup of this Wednesday and we were able to catch the action on LiveBarn, our newest sponsor here at Neutral Zone! If you missed the game, feel free to check out all the highlights on-demand over on their website. It should also be noted that this contest was played in two 22 minute halves.
The first half started off a bit tenuous, both teams were just getting back into the swing of things and you could tell that each line and D pair was testing the waters to get the feel back of game action. Ultimately not much transpired in the opening minutes but as the players came over the boards that third and fourth time: the pace and physicality really began to pick up. The scoring opened midway through the opening half as senior forward Jack Jay did what we saw a lot of last season, dug a puck loose behind the cage and centered it for his linemate, the sophomore Nick Berglund who put the Red Devils up 1-0. Wilmington made a push shortly thereafter, and despite their efforts, both squads went to the room with the same 1-0 score.
The second half started somewhat auspiciously as the Wilmington goaltender lost sight of the puck for a brief second and Jay popped up from behind the cage and tucked it in under his left pad: 2-0 Red Devils just seconds into the frame. Later in the frame there was another puck battle behind the net and senior forward Dalton MacKinnon emerged with the puck and centered it to waiting senior Brian O’Neil who deposited it up top to make it 3-0 Burlington.
This was where Wilmington pushed back. The play started with senior D Matt Pendenza taking the puck deep into the zone and producing a rebound which a Burlington defender attempted to clear. That attempt deflected right to big sophomore Michael Daniels who spun and fired it off the goalie’s stick and knocked the water bottle off it’s perch: 3-1. A few minutes later Wilmington would strike again: this time after a Burlington power play had ended. Once again, Pendenza shielded the puck and carried it into the zone. In the process he drew two defenders to him which left his teammate Daniels wide open on the weak side: 3-2 was the score with only a few minutes remaining in the tilt. The score remained that way for a few minutes and then guess who, Jack Jay entered the zone and took what looked to be a harmless shot on goal, which trickled through the Wilmington goalie’s pads. He thought he had it, but Burlington would celebrate: 4-2 was your final.
- F Jack Jay, Burlington (2G, 1A)
- F Michael Daniels, Wilmington (2G)
- D Matt Pendenza, Wilmington (2A)