Thayer Beats Rivers 4-1 at Home in Preseason Play
Neutral Zone made the trip to the new Thayer Sports Center in Braintree, Massachusetts to watch Thayer and Rivers in a preseason game. Thayer scored four unanswered goals and skated to a 4-1 victory on home ice in a physical affair. The teams played three 18-minute periods and the pace of the game was fast and physical. Rosters were tough to come by, but we did our best to piece together information.
Rivers opened the scoring in the first period, when Phil Tresca (Newton, MA – Yale) tipped a shot from the point from Ryan Rahbany (Sudbury, MA) and the puck snuck past Gavin Fitzpatrick (Norwood, MA). Thayer answered a few minutes later when Peter Kramer (Bridgewater, MA – Providence College) wheeled around in the slot and snapped the puck past Casen Janko (Stoneham, MA).
Thayer took the lead for good in the second when C.J. Monturio (Weymouth, MA) corralled a loose puck in the slot and snapped the puck low blocker side, just after a Thayer penalty was expiring. Thayer then pulled away in the third period with goals from Joseph Kramer (Bridgewater, MA – Providence College) and Michael Stenberg (Needham, MA – Penn State). Kramer snapped a shot home from the low faceoff circle for a 3-1 advantage and Stenberg closed the scoring by taking a nice feed from Monturio and roofing the puck as he walked in alone on the goalie.
First Star: CJ Monturio (Thayer)
Second Star: Peter Kramer (Thayer)
Third Star: Phil Tresca (Rivers)
NZ Notes: It may have been an early season scrimmage but the game was physical and fast, with each team playing to win. Thayer is a deep team on forward and relies upon three solid lines to keep pressure on the defense. Rivers had to replace some key pieces from last year but returns some skilled forwards and defense and should have a solid squad once they round into form. There were several penalties, so each team was able to work on special teams. It will be interesting to see the result when these two teams meet next week at Rivers School in a league game.
For the home team, several players stood out. Nick Roukounakis (Pembroke, MA – Boston University) is more athletic this year and looks to have gained some agility and speed. He is a physical force and is tough to pin down off-the-cycle in the offensive zone. He used his soft hands to walk to the puck off the wall and also break down forwards in transition. Stenberg also plays a solid north south game and plays physical in all situations. He is skilled and knows how to finish in tight. Both of the Kramer brothers play on the same line and were constantly creating offensive chances. Joe plays a heavy game and creates space by being physical and using his body well. Peter plays a slick, skill game and is tough to contain in space.
On the back-end, Declan Loughnane (Milton, MA) logs a ton of minutes. He is still adjusting to the pace having made the jump from BC High, but is a solid puck-mover that sees the ice well and made simple, smart reads. Cam Mannion (Dorchester, MA) looks to have grown a few inches and will be counted on to play big minutes in all situations. He was solid today moving the puck and jumping into the play. He plays a physical style in his own zone and uses his long reach to cut down passing lanes/angles.
For Rivers, Tresca will be counted on to drive the top line along with Michael McEachern (Marblehead, MA – Colby College). Tresca is a skilled center that is effective in transition and pushes the pace on zone entries. McEachern is a smaller forward that has a high motor and is constantly in the right position. He also has some puck skills and is tough to catch down low.
On the back-end, Rahbany was a bright spot for Rivers. He is a big, long shut-down defender that plays physical. He has a big shot from the point and does a good job anticipating. He will be expected to play big minutes, along with a 2004 birth year Ollie Chessler (Watertown, MA). Chessler made some mistakes today but he is gaining confidence and should blossom into a top 4 defender for Rivers. He is confident with the puck and uses his feet to escape pressure and skate to open ice. He is certainly a youngster to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images