Walpole, MA - The Walpole Express Premier team returned from holiday break eager to get the second half of the year started. After a great week of practice the team took off for Hooksett, NH to participate in the EHL MLK weekend showcase.
In Game 1 the Express came out firing on all cylinders and were able to take down the South Division-leading CT Oilers 4-2. Connor Rodericks (Franklin, MA) was strong in net as he turned away 23 of 25 shots faced. Offensively, Joe Hall (Holland, OH) scored two big goals, the first of which came in the opening minutes of the game. Both teams battled back and forth throughout and impressed scouts with the fast-paced play. Cody Rorick (Whitesboro, NY) scored the eventual game winner as he fired home a power play goal from the point.
"It was a good win coming back from break,” said Coach Jon Lounsbury. “The Oilers are a very strong club, but we were able to get on them early and hang on for the win."
Game 2 brought a different outcome as the Express failed to match the intensity of the NY Bobcats. Early in the first period the Bobcats forced a turnover at the blue line and successfully fired it past goaltender Rodericks to take the lead 1-0. The Express pushed back but came up short and headed into the locker room trailing 1-0. In the second, the team came out with a little more focus but couldn’t generate high-quality chances to even the score. Eventually, the Bobcats struck again and shut the door on the Express for the night.
"We didn't work hard enough to get to the little areas to win this game," Lounsbury said. "We need to be more determined to get to the net and score in the dirty areas to be successful."
Game 3 held the same fate for the Express. The New Jersey Rockets came out of the gates flying and took the lead with 10 minutes left in the first half. Once again, the offense was held scoreless as the Rockets kept the Express to the perimeter of the rink. Eventually, the Rockets scored an empty net goal to take home the 2-0 win and leave the Express scoreless in two games.
“It’s disappointing,” Lounsbury said. “We work hard without a purpose. The guys need to have a better focus and buy into how we want to do things.”
The Express are on the road Friday as they take on division opponent East Coast Wizards at noon.