Walpole, MA - The Walpole Express Premier team came back from Thanksgiving break with a mission to win out before Christmas. So far so good, as this weekend saw the team victorious in the first 3 of 6.
On Friday, the Express would travel to Haverhill to take on the Valley Jr. Warriors. Kevin Mainello (Troy, New York) would get the scoring started and give the Express the early 1-0 lead. The first frame would end with the same score. In the second, the team would see their lead increase, first with a goal from Ryan Miller (Buffalo, NY), followed closely with a goal from Nick Terry (Taunton, MA). In the dying minutes of the second period, the Warriors would get their lone goal of the night and the period would end 3-1. The Express weren’t done yet as Brenden Sinclair (Frisco, TX) would score in the opening minute of the third. Terry would end the game with his second giving the Express the decisive 5-1 victory. Ben Colangelo (Bedford, MA) would stop 17 of 18 shots in the victory.
Saturday, the Express would return home to take on the New England Wolves. Although trailing 1-0 after an early goal in the first, the team would power through with and offensive explostion in the second. Jon Merrigan (Hull, MA) would start the scoring with a shot from the point in the opening minutes. Soon after, Jake Geller (Brookline, MA) would find a rebound after the hard work of his teammates created the opportunity. Terry would increase the Express lead 3-1 with a burst of speed and a ‘big boy’ move down the left side of the ice. Before the period was over, Geller would have his 2nd of the night and take the Express to the locker room up 4-1. Early in the 3rd, Terry would score his 2nd of the night and give the Express the 5-1 victory. Christian Pelligrino (Arnold, MD) would get the win in net, stopping 29 of 30 shots faced.
The final game of the weekend came on Sunday, as the Express would travel to Brewster, NY to take on Applecore outdoors. This special event would once again see the team gain a big 2 points in the standings with a 5-4 victory. After trailing by 2 in the first the Express would once again come out with a flurry of goals in the second. Geller would get the scoring started in the opening seconds of the period. Evan Lichman (Hoboken, NJ) would score his first with the Express, and first of the night. Terry would continue his hot streak with a goal to take the lead at 3-2. Lichman would score to make it 4-2. Applecore would score to get within one, but David Cunniff (Milton, MA) would score to end the period and give the Express the 5-3 lead. Despite Applecore's goale in the 3rd, the game would end with a 5-4 final. Colangelo would get the win in net, stopping 30 of 34 shots.
“This was a huge weekend for us,” Coach Polino said. “We have the hardest stretch of our schedule coming up with a game against the Rangers and two against Vermont before the break, and then return from Christmas with the same thing.” The Rangers (19-1-2, 40 pts) lead the Northern Division with Vermont (18-5-0, 36 pts) shortly behind. “We are getting hot at a great time. Now we just have to continue to put in the work and power through.”