The ‘98 Selects are making strides in the Mass State Hockey League and currently sit in second place with a game in hand on the rival River Rats over the battle for first place.
The squad has jelled nicely over the course of the young season as they have compiled a 5-1 record, allowed a league low nine goals against average and posted the fewest penalty minutes in the Mass State Hockey League with only 15 PIMS over the six-game stretch.
Forwards Coach Paul Collins credits discipline in all three zones of the ice for the team’s early success.
“The kids have a pretty good understanding of where they are supposed to be at all times when they’re on the ice,” said Collins. “Offensively, they’re looking to move the puck quickly and create better opportunities for their teammates every time they have the puck.”
“The back checking and support in the D zone by the forwards has been outstanding all year,” added Collins. “Every player on this team possesses a ‘team first’ attitude and it shows. There’s constant movement by the forwards in all 3 zones of the ice and the hard work put in by the kids in paying off in their early season progression”
On the defensive side, coach John Quatieri is equally impressed.
“The kids don’t chase and they don’t run around in the defensive zone,” said Quatieri. “There’s no panic by the young lads when the have the puck in the D Zone, they’re moving the puck to the right spots and it’s showing up in the low GAA average by our goaltenders.
“There’s a good amount of D-to-D movement in all 3 zones and it’s really spreading the ice on our opponents and allowing our D to move the puck effectively” Quatieri said.
Between the pipes, the performances have been nothing short of spectacular. The tandem of Nick Howard and Steven Canale has been rock solid having given up a stingy nine goals over the first six games including a recent highlight reel save by Nick Howard on a 2-and-0 breakaway late in the third period of the Warriors victory this past Sunday to preserve the Warriors 4-0 shutout victory over the defending Mass State Champion NorthStars.
On the offensive side of the ice, the team is led by the lines of Billy Falter, Domenic Raneri and Steven O’Connell, Jack Norton, Billy Fairweather and Tyler Rogers as well as Justin Collins, Jack Cusack and Cole Julius.
The rock solid defense is led by the defensive pairings of Even McDonald and Brain Groom, Liam O’Neill and Anthony Quatieri and Tanner Derby and Shawn Giroux as well as key contributions from Kyle Helfrich.
The ‘98 Selects will be looking to keep the puck rolling while playing other top talent in the upcoming Jr. Pics tournament as well as the Bell Cup in Ottawa in December.