Monday, January 9, 2017, 1:03PM
The ’05 Pee Wee Minor Orange Shamrocks had New Year’s Eve Day circled on the calendar for quite some time. The 2nd place ’05 Minuteman Flames have been a thorn in the side of the 3rd place ’05 Shamrocks for many seasons. The Shamrocks had just this year beaten the Flames for the first time in the current coaching staff’s tenure (and in recent memory). Having played 2 games this year, the Shamrocks and Flames had split the matches with 1 win a piece. On the last day of 2016, the Shamrocks had been schedule to play the Minuteman Flames twice in 6 hours.
The first game saw a tight battle with the Shamrocks drawing first blood on a big rush by offensive defenseman, Nico Schmalz, assisted by winger, Matthew DiZoglio. Not to be out done the Flames would go on to tie the game and the first ended in a 1-1 tie. The second period was a titanic defensive battle that saw great backchecking by the forwards as well as excellent defense by the core of Ava Vautour, Coleman Connors, and Ryan Monaco. Keenan Considine was pressed into action due to illness in the defensive core and he didn’t miss a beat. The Flames would go on to take the lead with a goal midway thru the 2nd period. However, The Shamrocks would answer in spades. Prolific center, Tyler Beals scored on a feed from Nick Shinopolous. And, converted defenseman playing winger, Patrick Mozuch scored on a very patient play in front of the net. After receiving the pass from winger, Colby Robinson, Mozuch held the puck on the doorstep, made the goalie blink first and then took it far side for the score. The period ended with the Shamrocks up 3-1.
The 3rd period saw the Flames come out offensively with a vengeance but Shamrock netminder, Jake McLean, made like a mason and put up the brick wall. Fighting off the onslaught was rugged defenseman, Casey Robbins, as well as the rest of the defensive squad. The Shamrocks DiZoglio would go on to score off of a pass from Considine, putting the Shamrocks up 4-1. The flames rallied late, scoring 2 goals to bring it to within 1, but with the Flames goalie pulled and a flurry of opportunities being thrown at their net, the Shamrocks shut it down and got out with a win!
After regrouping at a team lunch and heading back to the rink for a 2nd match of the day, the Shamrocks had high hopes about taking 2 wins on the day and securing sole possession of 3rd place in the EMHL. This game started off with a BANG! Speedy winger, Ben Lees scored nearly off the puck drop at 14:52 on a goal assisted by line mate, Mat DiZoglio. The period then settled into yet another defensive battle with the Shamrock goalie and defense coming up huge in keeping the Flames off the score board early. Not to be denied though, the Flames scored with only 3:05 left in the period to tie the game.
In the 2nd period, tenacious winger, Mitch DeVaux ripped a shot past the Flames goalie off a beautiful pass from center, Kurt Vilmunen. Roughly 3 minutes later the Flames would tie the match once again. But, the Shamrocks have made never giving up their trademark this year. And, you guessed it; the Shamrocks took the lead back on an unassisted rush by center, Tyler Beals to go up 3-2. However, with under a minute to go in the 2nd period, the Flames would show resilience of their own by tying it once again for a score of 3-3.
Early in the 3rd period the Flames got the best of the Orange and Green by taking the lead 4-3. The Flames would go into defensive mode and got excellent goaltending from there on. But, as was stated before, Shamrocks never give up! With 4 minutes left to play, Vilmunen and winger Andrew Cappella combined on a tic-tac-toe play to get Mitch DeVaux the puck, where he banged it home to tie the game 4-4. With many family and friends in attendance due to the holiday, the rink erupted with away team enthusiasm. Then, with only 1:28 remaining in the game first year Shamrock winger, Colby Robinson put home the go ahead goal and eventual game winner off assists from Patrick Mozuch and Finn Glidden. The Flames went on to pull their goalie and put on solid pressure, but the North Shore Shamrocks would have none of that and held on for the 2nd win of the day.
2 wins on the last day of 2016 solidified the Shamrock’s position as the 3rd place team in the EMHL, but also was a statement as to how they play hockey; with tenacity, determination, team play, discipline, and passion.