The Tilton Rams headed to Proctor Academy for the first Lakes Region contest of the season Friday night where the two New Hampshire rivals squared off. The game started fast and physical with Tilton on attack mode. “Our game plan is to execute our systems,” said Tilton Head Coach Brooks McQuade. “What that means for us is playing aggressive, playing fast, getting pucks to the net and playing defensively sound hockey.”
While Tilton definitely came out hard, they also took some costly penalties which gave Proctor several power play opportunities including some 5v3 time. However, the Proctor Hornets where not able to capitalize and they skated to a 0-0 draw after the first period.
Just under 6 minutes into the second period Proctor was finally able to convert on a power play when sophomore duo Grant Porter and James Tepper connected to go up 1-0. Porter got the puck in the slot fired a low wrister which hit off the goalies pad and out to Tepper who buried it from beside the net.
Tilton responded with 4:08 remaining in the period when goaltender Owen Cuddyer cleared the puck down the ice to Quebec native Jack Seymour while Proctor was changing. Seymour took the puck in the zone, drew the Proctor defender and slipped a beautiful saucer pass to space for Brendan Sjostedt who went in all alone and sniped a quick release snap shot just under the bar.
The period ended 1-1 but Tilton had the momentum heading into the third period. Less than 3 minutes in the final period Tilton took their first lead of the game when Ryan Harrigan jammed home a rebound off a point shot. With the 2-1 lead the Rams stayed aggressive and found the back of the net 3 minutes later where Seymour was able to shake a defender again, slide a nifty cross crease pass on a 2v1 to Mark Blaney who got a stick on it and extended the lead to 3-1.
Proctor had a chance to make the game close at the 5 minute mark when Ronan Walsh caught a pass in the slot off a 2v1 chance and got his own rebound but Tilton netminder Cuddyer made a great stop. While Proctor was able to score a goal with 3 seconds remaining in the game off a well placed point shot from Aidan Torres it was too late and the game ended in a 3-2 win for Tilton.
“Any Lakes Region win is big for our team,” said McQuade. “It means a lot to our kids and we see these teams a lot, we recruit a lot of the same kids so these games have extra importance.” He was happy with how his team competed and kept the foot on the gas in the third period instead of letting up. “I thought we executed well, I think our goalie did a great job as they have a talented group of forwards and we battled hard. We have a good group of unselfish hard working kids and if they can stick to the game plan I think we could surprise some teams this year.”
Tilton is now 2-0 on the season with their next contest against another Lakes Region rival in New Hampton. Proctor is 1-1 with their next game coming against Brewster.
Three Stars of the Game:
1st Star: Jack Seymour, Tilton
2nd Star: Brendan Sjostedt, Tilton
3rd Star: Mark Blaney, Tilton
This was a good game; both teams competed hard and there are some diamond in the rough prospects here worth seeing. Both goalies showed well; Proctors Cole Chingras has size and athleticism and made a lot of difficult saves. Owen Cuddyer, Tiltons starter, isn’t overly big but he’s quick and savvy and kept Tilton safe when they took penalties. Proctor has a group of ’02s who are all intriguing in their own right; Grant Porter is a small, smart, skilled playmaker; Cooper Rice is a big, up and down power forward, Bryson Martin is a smooth skating defender and Cam Joslin is a nifty, witty undersized forward who competes hard every shift. However, the two ’02s getting the most attention are Ronan Walsh who didn’t have his best game here but is a tall, long, soft handed forward with deceptive vision and skill. The best of them all was forward James Tepper who already looks more confident and making more plays than we saw at the Proctor Jamboree a week ago. He’s skilled, he’s clever and he made a lot of plays tonight.
Tilton is an older team, they have speed and they play really hard. The player of the game for us was Jack Seymour who has an elusive stick and great vision and passing ability. They compliment that with good sized, athletic, strong skaters in Ryan Harrigan, Taesuk Lee and Brendan Sjostedt. Also worth noting was former Minnesota High School forward Jack Haley who played hard, blocked shots, cleared pucks out on the penalty kill. However, Tilton’s top pair on the blue line might be their two best prospects. Mark Blaney is a mobile, skilled, two-way defender and Jagger Benson has size, mobility, makes a clean, accurate first pass and strong defensive game.