GREELY TAKES DOWN FALMOUTH FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN
In normal times, the Family Ice Center would have been packed Saturday night, Feb. 20, for a marquee regular-season match-up between the Greely and Falmouth Boys’ Hockey teams.
Still, with just a few adults scattered behind the glass running the game clock and managing the rink and broadcasting the game via livestream, the two longtime neighboring rivals played a spirited high school hockey game that saw Greely skate off with a 5-3 win. Greely improves to 4-0-0 with the win; Falmouth drops to 2-2-0. The two teams will meet again Sat., March 13, at FIC in what will be the 2021 Dudley Cup game.
Greely played perhaps its best 23-minute half of the early season so far in moving out to a 3-0 lead on Falmouth. First it was junior defenseman and newly elected captain Brooks Williams, snapping off a hard wrister from the left point on the power play off a crisp pass from low in the zone from Zach Dubbert to make it 1-0 5:20 into the half. In addition to Williams, junior Ryan Moore and senior Brennan Rawnsley were also voted as captains on Friday by teammates and coaches.
Six minutes after Brooks WIlliams’ goal, the line of Alex Wallace-Evan Dutil-Mitchell Parent teamed up to get a puck deep where Mitchell Parent almost pulled off a near-side tuck around at the post with the Falmouth goalie struggling to get back in his net. With the puck sitting in the crease near the goal line, Evan Dutil stepped in and pushed the puck in from between the goalie’s legs to make it 2-0. Wallace also assisted on the goal with the initial dump-in play.
Then, with 6:53 to go in the first half, Evan Dutil rushed into the Falmouth zone on the right wing and eventually slid the puck to the low slot where Wallace took a first shot then swiped again at a backhand that slid under Falmouth goalie Chase Bunin to make it 3-0.
Sophomore Keji Wiessner was solid in net in the first half for Greely, stopping all 10 shots he faced and steering and controlling rebounds well. Wiesnner now has allowed a stingy average of .5 goals per half in the four halves he has played so far this season, with two of those halves (first halves vs. Cheverus/Yarmouth and Falmouth) being 23-minute shutouts.
“Keji and Spencer have been very, very good splitting the games through our first four games and that has been another key piece to our success,” said Coach Barry Mothes. “Sophomore Aidan McAuslin has also been playing very well in a number of JV games and in Varsity practices. It’s another area where we have some nice depth.”
Falmouth cut the Greely lead to 3-1 five minutes into the second half while on the power play when defenseman Cam Charron collected a pass on the right wing face-off dot and fired a quick, high shortside wrister over Spencer Osgood’s glove/left shoulder.
Falmouth pushed the pace trying to cut further into the Greely lead, but after a back-and-forth 5-minute stretch the Rangers built more pressure and drew a Falmouth penalty. From there, the newly formed power play unit of Zach Dubbert-Dawson Jowett-Alex-Wallace-Brooks Williams-Brennan Rawnsley struck yet again with a key power play goal. Williams rushed the puck down the left wing boards of the Falmouth zone and ran into traffic behind the net where Ryan Moore, just on for Wallace, picked up a puck and slid it back across the slot towards the left side where Zach Dubbert one-timed a low hard shot to the back of the net to make it 4-1.
“Zach’s goal on the power play was a big one,” said Coach Mothes. “We knew we had to keep pushing in the second half and that Falmouth wasn’t going to go away. At 3-1, they had a lift and had some dangerous rushes, but our defense worked hard to contain them. To build the lead back out to three on Zach’s goal was huge. That new second power play unit made up of four defenseman and Alex has been excellent with moving pucks quickly and getting good shooting opportunities and taking them. The two goals they produced tonight had a huge impact on this game.”
About four minutes later, Greely moved out to a 5-1 lead when Evan Dutil chipped one past the Famouth left defenseman on the breakout and raced out on a long 3-on-1 with Ryan Moore and Tyler Grasky. Attacking on the right wing side, Dutil kept the puck snug on the forehand and snapped off a low glove- side wrister for his second goal of the night, with Moore and Grasky getting assists with plays back deep in the Greely defensive zone to get the puck out.
But with Greely leading 5-1 with 6:15 to go after Dutil’s goal, the momentum suddenly shifted Falmouth’s way. After 40 minutes of generally strong, solid puck control and smart execution, Greely got loose and sloppy with the puck and Falmouth cut it to 5-2 just 57 seconds after Dutil’s goal when a hard pass from below the goal line caromed in off a Falmouth skate at the top of the crease.
Then, with Falmouth pushing, the Yachtsmen struck again with 50 seconds left in the game on a quick pass from the deep right wing corner to the mid-slot where an open Owen Drummey snapped it hard on the ice past Osgood’s right pad to suddenly make it 5-3. Despite more heavy pressure around the Greely net in the final 50 seconds with the goalie pulled for an extra attacker, Falmouth was not able to score again as the buzzer struck with the play swirling around the Greely net.
“Overall, this was a strong game by everybody and a rewarding team win against a tough team,” said Coach Mothes. “But those last 6 minutes or so after Evan’s goal also give us some things to think about and work on in terms of really seeing the game through to the end. We had played so well for those first 40 minutes to put ourselves up 5-1 and then we suddenly started making a lot of blind, lazy, sloppy plays with the puck that cost us, especially in our defensive zone. We need to make sure we recognize what happened and clean that up going forward. Hopefully we’ll have more leads late in hard-fought games and we want to take care of that the right way.”