An early-season theme of different night, different contributors continued for the 2020-21 Greely Rangers Tuesday night, Feb. 16., at Family Ice as they battled to a 3-1 win over the visiting Gorham Rams.
For Greely (3-0-0), it was its third straight win in six days, and so far each win has been spurred by goals and assists and key plays from a number of different players. On Tuesday night, sophomore defenseman Matt Kennedy, senior forward Luke Stetson, and junior forward Mitchell Parent each scored their first goals of the season to help the team, while many others added key assists and made important plays.
Kennedy scored his first career Varsity goal just 1:51 into the game from the point off a nice low to high-zone pass from freshman Charlie Moore to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. It was the third first career Varsity goal for a Ranger in three games and the second time in three games that a young line of sophomores Jack McIntyre and Colin Petty and freshman Charlie Moore have gotten the scoring started for Greely early in a game.
With 4:30 to go in the first half, senior Luke Stetson made it 2-0 for Greely when he converted a pass from linemate Patrick Johnson from below the goal line to the low slot for his first goal of the season and second overall as a varsity player. Linemate Jacob Sharp got the play started from mid-ice by getting the puck in deep where Johnson tracked it down to make the well-placed pass.
Junior goaltender Spencer Osgood made 8 saves in the first half for Greely and did not allow a goal, to keep his early-season GAA at a fairly stingy 0.75. It was the third game in a row that Greely did not allow a goal in the opening 23-minute first half.
Greely moved out to a 3-0 lead 2:23 into the second half on a well-executed 2-on-1 when freshman Landon Werner, playing center in this game, collected a breakout pass from right wing Teddy Conway and Werner and left wing Mitchell Parent moved out through mid-ice on an early developing 2-on-1. Werner carried deep on the right wing side before sliding a perfect pass across the low slot to Parent who was driving hard to the back left post. Parent steered it home for his first goal of the season. It was Werner’s first Varsity assist.
Gorham cut it back to 3-1 just two minutes after Parent’s goal after Greely failed to clear a loose puck from the slot after a scrambled pile-up. It was the first even-strength goal allowed by Greely so far in the 2020-21 season.
Unfortunately, the final 15 minutes or so of the game were marred by a number of Greely penalties that put the team on the penalty kill for almost seven consecutive minutes. Backed by solid goaltending from sophomore Keji Wiessner (12 saves) and a variety of penalty killers, Greely was able to withstand the long shorthanded stretch and sustain the 3-1 lead through to the end.
Defensemen Zach Dubbert, Dawson Jowett, Brennan Rawnsley, Cam Malette, Matt Kennedy and freshman Tyler Haight, playing his first-ever Varsity game, all put in valuable minutes in the effort.
“It’s been great to see the number of different players contributing in these early games and we have felt all along that we have some nice depth on this team and a great group of new and young players,” said Coach Barry Mothes. “Each of the four forward lines worked hard tonight and had some good, solid shifts and we had a goal each from three of them. And our defensive group has been defending well and generally moving pucks well from the back. There are things we can certainly do better and smarter, and we’ll be working on that.