Warwick, RI Saturday saw two teams on a collision course meet on the Mulissha home rink. The Rhode Island squad was looking to maintain their perfect season, as well as extend their season series lead over the Bees .Boston came in looking to take two from their southern neighbors who stole two wins in Holbrooke in December. As well, with two victories, Boston could re-set its season at .500.
The action was fast paced from the outset. Boston’s rangy defenseman Matt McCombs opened the scoring mid-way thru the first period with a spectacular rush, carrying the puck around several defenders before using his reach to tuck the puck past goalie Derek Antunes. Five minutes later, Mulissha’s Christian Iacobellis corralled a bouncing clear from Jerry Turcotte, went around a defender and pushed a low puck far side past Boston’s Billy Gilbert, to tie the score at one.
A minute and a half into the second Rhode Island’s Josh Melo was called for a high stick. As the penalty clock wound down, Bees player/coach Kevin Mason scored a power play goal. Less than a minute later, leading scorer John Chevalier extended the Bees lead to two on a set up from Mason and Will O’Connell. With four minutes to play, Chevalier scored on a drive from the point. RI’s Antunes removed himself at this time and second game starter Jay Willard entered the game. Boston closed out the scoring with a minute and a half left as Josh Giordani scored an unassisted goal.
Mulissha’s perfect start screeched to a halt, they went 0 -1 on the power play, goalie Antunes stopped 10 of 14 shots, while Jay Willard stopped 1 of 2. The Bees scored on their only power play, goalie Gilbert stopped 17 of 18.
The second game began as the first had ended, Boston raced to a 2-0 lead, Chevalier then O’Connell scored, and the rout seemed to be on. Mason took a cross-checking penalty with just under three minutes remaining in the first half and Mulissha defender Matty Love scored a power play goal on a pass from partner Justin Zarella.
In the second half, Love and Iacobellis combined to set up Mulissha scoring leader Josh Antunes on the tying goal with 8 minutes gone. With 3:08 to play, Mason took a roughing penalty. Rhode Island took a timeout and came out firing. Defensemen Josh Melo and Sean Grady held the puck at the point, then with 2:47 to play Turcotte powered a shot past Boston’s Carl Nemes for their first lead of the night. This would be the game winner as Mulissha’s Willard closed the door the rest of the way, stopping 10 of Boston’s 12 shots overall. RI scored on two of its four chances with the man advantage, and did not allow a Boston power play. Bees’ Nemes stopped 24 of 27 shots he faced.
Boston (6-8) returns to Rhode Island (7-1) for a much anticipated re-match this weekend, February 5, at 7:30pm.