After 20 long days without a league game the East Greenwich High School hockey team went back to work Friday night. The team played a must win game against Toll Gate at Thayer Arena.
The Avengers came out slow allowing Toll Gate to score first. The goal, which rang loudly off the pipe, seemed to serve as an alarm clock for the Avengers’ offense. The team woke up quickly with Ross Trinque scoring to even the score. Will Heffernan and Matt Klinkenberg assisted on Trinque’s goal. Toll Gate’s style of play made it clear that if the Avengers wanted to win this game they were going to have to work for it. The first period ended with Toll Gate leading 2-1.
The Avengers came out strong in the second period. Max Hagenburg pushed the puck up ice to Austin Vutech setting up what appeared to be a simple line change. As all of his teammates left the ice, Vutech learned quickly that a routine dump and change was not going to be so routine. With Toll Gate applying pressure in the neutral zone Vutech was forced to skate the puck into the offense zone. Vutech was literally one on five as he moved into the zone. Vutech moved the puck like he was on a mission. Finally one Toll Gate defensemen took it upon himself to deliver a check that knocked Vutech off his feet, all but ending Vutech’s one-man show. However, Vutech had one last encore planned and released a shot just as he was being hit. Vutech’s shot beat the Toll Gate goalie top corner and tied the game at two. Late in the second period Max Hagenburg picked up his second assist of the night on a goal by Paul Dunwoody. Dunwoody’s goal allowed the Avengers to go into the intermission with a 3-2 lead.
For the better part of the third period the Avengers controlled the play of the game. With several scoring opportunities and constant pressure on the Toll Gate goalie the Avengers were searching for what they hoped would be the knock out goal. That goal came when Pierre Luc Genest took a tape-to-tape pass from Ross Trinque and drove the puck into the net at the speed of sound. With the Avengers leading 4-2 Toll Gate fought back picking up their third goal of the night. With just over a minute left Toll Gate pulled their goalie and began mounting their strongest offense pressure of the game. Freshman Goaltender Jake Horoho stood strong making several key saves as the team battled relentless pressure from Toll Gate’s 6 on 5 advantage. With just over two seconds left on the clock and already having two assists on the night Max Hagenburg decided to share the assist wealth and off of a Chris Pearson pass ended the game with an open net goal.
East Greenwich improved their record to 2-4-1 and is heading in the right directions with ten games left in the season. The Avengers play again Sunday 1-26-14 at the Boss Arena when they take on South Kingstown. GO AVENGERS!!