MARLBOROUGH, Mass. -- Scoring two goals in under a minute is rare enough, but two shorthanded goals? That’s a true rarity.
The planets aligned for No. 23 Lincoln-Sudbury Wednesday afternoon at the New England Sports Center. Buoyed by two shorthanded goals in 52 seconds, the Warriors defeated Tewksbury, 4-2, in a big DCL/MVC Division 2 matchup.
“We’ve scored a good number of shorthanded goals this year,” L-S head coach Peter Elenbaas said. “We’ve got some guys with some speed. They did a terrific job.”
After a tentative first 20-plus minutes by both sides, Warrior senior Jordan Dow broke through on a two-on-one break and slotted the puck home after whiffing on the first attempt. Dow added an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game to seal the victory.
Fellow senior Shane Sefton got in on the man-down fun with a short shot that snuck through Kyle Paquette’s 5-hole to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead and forced the Redmen into damage control.
“We consider our power play to be really good,” Tewksbury head coach Derek Doherty said. “They did a pretty good job. They forced us to create turnovers and we did.”
Sefton added the eventual game-winning goal late in the second when a fluky bounce put the puck on his stick at the top of the crease and he buried it.
The Redman came alive in the third period thanks to an early goal from Shannon Alukonis. Tewksbury continued to buzz around the offensive zone for much of the early part of the third but couldn’t put another past Erik Kessler, who finished the game with 13 saves.
“We didn’t play hard the first two periods, we came to play the third period,” Doherty said. “You need to play three periods to win a hockey game and Lincoln-Sudbury came out and outplayed us the first two periods. That’s where the game was won.”
The Redmen made a final run in the last three minutes. It started, ironically enough, with a shorthanded goal from Ryan Petti who took a pass from his brother Derek and blasted it past Kessler.
Tewksbury pulled Paquette in the final minute the final Redmen attack wasn’t enough.
“The boys have been psyched for this for weeks,” Dow said. “We really had guys step up today. We talked about earning it all week in practice. This is huge.”
Both coaches acknowledged that their teams played tentative hockey for stretches. Elenbaas said that it might have been a case of big-game butterflies.
“I think both teams were looking at this like ‘Whoa this is a huge game. Both of us have big records’,” Elenbaas said. “Everyone looked like they were waiting for the play to come to them.”
For the Redmen, it was only the third time all season they were held under three goals. Doherty was at a loss as to his team’s lack of production.
“We’ve been putting the puck in the net, but tonight I don’t know what it is,” Doherty said. “Maybe it’s playing an afternoon game. Make no excuses L-S is a good team.”
Neither team will have to wait long for a rematch as the two teams will square off Monday afternoon in Tewksbury. Both coaches said there was much to improve heading into Monday’s matinee.
“We’ve got to play better on the power play, and that’s coaching,” Elenbaas said. “We still have to play better without the puck."
“This time of year you want to start trending up," Doherty added. You don’t want to be leveling off or trending down. I’m sure we’ll have round two on Monday and it’ll be a good one.”