Junior Team?s Win was in the Stars

By Mike Shalin February 1, 2005

Down, 3-1, to the Walpole Stars, the Junior Warriors rallied last Saturday to take a 4-3 lead, were caught and then pulled out a 5-4 victory to cap a three-point weekend.

After the Jan, 23 game against the Huskies at the Valley Forum was snowed out ? and re-scheduled for March 9 ? Andy Heinze?s team dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to those same Huskies in Tyngsboro last Friday before beating the Stars the next night.

The win and the overtime loss left the Warriors at 21-11-2-2 in the EJHL standings (still third overall) and 24-13-3-3 overall on the season.

Ryan Leary (Marblehead, Ma.) scored the only goal of the third period to beat the Stars ? Leary connecting off assists by Phil Pinter (Villach, Austria) and Joe Cucci (Bloomingdale, Ill.). Earlier, Dan Rossman (Boxford, Ma.) scored to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead ? on the first shift of the game -- but the Stars scored twice before the end of the first period.

Heinze talked to his troops between periods about their poor play and the words weren?t quickly heeded as Walpole scored just eight seconds into the second period for a 3-1 lead.

But newcomer J.C. Velasquez (Clakston, Mi.), Rossman (on the power play) and Mark Roebothan (St. John?s, Newfoundland) scored in a 7:52 span (Strathman with two assists) to give VJW a 4-3 lead. Walpole then tied it to set the stage for Leary?s winner.

In the game against the Huskies, the Warriors built a 2-0 lead after two periods ? Strathman (on the power play) and Ken Brandt (Plymouth, Mi.) scoring the goals (Cucci, Rossman, Billy Ninteau (Litchfield, NH) and Velasquez earning assists). But a short-handed goal with 8:31 left and a controversial tying goal with 1:11 on the clock sent the game into overtime, where the Huskies won it.

?We played pretty sound against the Huskies for about 2 ? periods,? Heinze said. ?I thought we may have sat back a little bit and it was a dogfight until the end. Unfortunately, we didn?t pick up the two points but (the Huskies) played hard. They?re a good team ? I think they?re 12-2-2 over the last 16 games. They?re a good club.?

?When we started the game against the Stars I was pretty confident. But the first period we played awful. Defensively, we weren?t picking up our checks like we should have ? but we?ll work on that this week in practice.  Walpole is another team playing very well and we were fortunate to pick up the win against them.?
Jeff Green (Medway, Ma.) was in goal in both games for the Warriors, who visit the Huskies again this Friday before hosting the Boston Harbor Wolves Saturday night (8:00) at the Forum.

?You have to work for your points in this league and that?s what I keep telling my guys,? Heinze said. ?Every single game is a tough one.?

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