WOBURN, Mass. – Nearing the halfway point of the hockey season, these are the times when teams begin to feel the grind.
Proof and point is No. 12 Winchester, which in Saturday night’s duel with fellow Middlesex League unbeaten No. 19 Arlington, was in the midst of a five-game stretch in the span of 10 days.
Instead of letting the grind get to them, the Sachems did what they did best – grinding their opponents down with a mix of opportunistic scoring chances and stifling defense. In doing so, Winchester dealt the Spy Ponders their second straight loss in a methodical 3-0 shut-out win.
“I thought across the board we skated well tonight,” Sachems head coach Matt Spang said. “We played within our system, overall, it was one of our better efforts this year.”
Winchester (6-0-2, 6-0-2) scored a goal in each period and saw it all stand up behind sophomore goaltender James Offner, who made 20 saves in the shutout.
The Sachems’ top line of Brendan Greene, Nolan Redler and David Troiano accounted for each of their goals. Both Greene and Redler had a goal and an assist.
But, as always, Winchester’s offense stems from their ability to play good team defense, rooted in a sticky 1-2-2 forechecking scheme.
“With Spanger [Spang], the emphasis is always on the D-zone,” Redler said. “We’re out there blocking shots, and taking bodies out front. And I think we’ve got the best goalie in the league.”