Thoroughbred Hockey Falls to the Pilgrims, Triumphs Over the Hawks: The Thoroughbreds lose home opener, rebound next night to go .500 on the weekend

Posted by Katie Peverada The Thoroughbreds opened the scoring at 2:43 when Nick Mannarino '15 scored the first goal of his career, but New England College (NEC) bounced back, scoring three unanswered goals. The first came from NEC's Ben MacLaughlin at the 5:16 mark. The second came when NEC's Jonathan Boxill and Jesse Ostring dug the puck out of the corner and worked it up to James O'Reilly who put the puck top-shelf to take the lead. Just 36 seconds later a NEC's Jacob Andersson shot beat the outstretched glove of Brad Cray '15 for what would prove to be the game-winning goal. The Thoroughbreds started the second period by peppering NEC's Shawn Sirman with 3 shots in 30 seconds. Their hard work was rewarded when 4:04 into the period Skidmore took a 3-on-2 into the offensive zone and T.J. Schneider '15 put the shot low on Sirman's blocker side for what would prove to be Skidmore's final tally. NEC went on to add two more goals, with one coming from a Samuli Turunen breakaway and the other from Jonathan Boxill on an empty net. Despite the loss, there were a handful of bright moments for the Thoroughbreds. In the third period, Cray stood tall in net with timely saves and controlled rebounds, seldom allowing the Pilgrims a follow-up shot. Halfway through the third he slid across the crease to make a nice save, and thirty seconds later he gloved a shot from the top of the circle. Offensively, Thoroughbreds failed to capitalize on quality scoring chances, a lot of which were created by Schneider. In the waning minutes, shots hit posts, pucks bounced across the crease and there was even a breakaway, but none of these resulted in goals. The final buzzer rang with a final score of 5-2, but the Thoroughbreds didn't have much time to dwell on their loss. The next night, the team brushed off two goals in the first 10 minutes and scored four unanswered goals on their way to a 5-4 victory over the Hawks of St. Anselm College. Initially, the Thoroughbreds defense looked shaky, as it was unable to clear the rebounds in front of Spencer Sodokoff '15. This resulted in an early 2-0 deficit, but the team quickly turned it around and seized control. At 11:31 in the first period, David Limoges '15 stole the puck in the neutral zone and carried it in on St. Anselm's Robert Kang, decking to his blocker side and calmly lofting the puck into the net with his backhand. St. Anselm's Liam McKillop completed his hat trick to end the first period, but the Thoroughbreds came out ready to fight in the second. Ben Freiberg '16, in for Sodokoff, made a nice save 1:03 in, allowing them to take the puck back down the ice where Erik Nilsson '15 stuffed it in for a goal. Four minutes later, Vlad Gavrik '14 rushed up the ice and ripped low a shot that Brad Schuler '14 redirected into the net to make it 3-3. Freiberg remained strong in the cage, making two nice saves as the second period winded down. The Thoroughbreds started the third period the way they ended the second when Jack Even '16 fired a slap-shot blocker side for the first goal of his Thoroughbred career. Just under six minutes later, Brendan Cottam '13 dug the puck out from the corner and carried it around the circle, flicking his shot over the goalie's shoulder for the final Thoroughbred goal. The Hawks would add a power play goal with 7:16 left, for a final score of 5-4. There were several nice plays and individual efforts from the Thoroughbreds throughout the game. Freiberg started the third period with a flurry of saves and remained strong throughout, with a great kick-save coming with 11 seconds left. Limoges had multiple steals on the game, creating several offensive opportunities. Dalton Weinstein '14 did an excellent job on the forecheck, with Nilsson also creating quality-scoring chances.

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