Walpole, MA - The Walpole Express Premier team hopped back on the rails this weekend pulling out two hard-fought victories over conference opponents.
On Saturday, the Express travelled to Hudson, NH to face off against the Northern Cyclones. During the first five minutes of the game the Express found themselves in trouble as the ‘Clones kept the puck deep in the Express zone. Stellar goaltending by Connor Rodericks (Franklin, MA) kept the team alive. Eventually the Express gained traction and pushed back against their opponent. With under 10 minutes to play in the first period Captain James Varney (Oakland, ME) opened the scoring for the Express by redirecting a Kyle Moss (Sutton, MA) slapshot. The Express headed into the second with a 1-0 lead.
Once again the two teams engaged in battle. Five minutes into the second period Cody Rorick (Whitesboro, NY) scored a pretty tap in on the powerplay of a tic-tac-toe between Joe Hall (Hollan, OH) and Sam Topham (Marshfield, MA). In net Roddericks continued to stand tall and helped the Express head into the final period with a 2-0 lead.
In the third both teams were held scoreless. With six minutes left the Cyclones pulled their goalie to try to generate some offense. Danny Eruzione (Winthrop, MA) won a footrace to put the Express up 3-0 with four minutes remaining. But the Cylclones still had some fight left in them. With their goalie pulled they managed to score a goal off a pad in front and a rebound goal to get within 1. The Express stepped up to finish the battle as Connor Rodericks shut the door, stopping 44 of 46 shots faced.
On Sunday the Express returned home to Rodman Arena to face off against a gritty, well-coached East Coast Wizards team. Rodericks found himself back between the pipes and gave the Express another stellar performance. Unfortunately, the Express were held scoreless for two periods trailing 1-0 heading into the third. After a stern pep talk by the coaching staff between periods the Express came out buzzing. They controlled the pace of the play and D-man Garrett Geane (Newport Beach, CA) found the back of the net on a one-timer from Varney.
Moments later Geane rifled another shot from the point to be tipped in by forward Michael Ferraro (Southbridge, MA). The Express were up by a goal with the Wizards goalie pulled. Erik Pritchard (Scottsdale, AZ) blocked a shot from the point and found himself alone facing an empty net to make the score 3-1 and ending the game.
"It was a good weekend of hard-fought hockey,” Lounsbury said. “We need these wins but more importantly we needed to compete the way we did. I'm proud of the effort and hope it will continue."