Smithfield Rink was rocking with fans for both the La Salle Rams and Hendricken Hawks packing the seats for another installment of the historic rivalry. The last time these two titans faced off, it ended in a thrilling overtime win for Hendricken, tonight it went into overtime once again, the only difference was there was no victor, with the game ending in a 3-3 tie. Pregame, Hendricken Head Coach Michael Soscia spoke on the energy of the team heading into the rematch.
“It’s great, the kids know what it’s all about, they’re [La Salle] always a great rival, it’s going to be hyped up, should be a great fanbase here for both schools. The kids will be ready,” said Soscia
And ready they were. The first period of the game was action-packed, with a Hendricken goal six minutes into the period, scored by junior Griffin Crain who was assisted by senior Aiden Pennacchini. Hendricken has been very good at getting off to a hot start this season, and this game was no different. About two minutes later, La Salle answered, with a powerplay goal scored by Andrew Bradley, who had some help from defensemen Marcello Martinelli and Mark Frateschi.
Bradley has been having a killer junior season, leading La Salle in goals with six heading into the matchup. What makes Bradley’s season so far even more impressive is that he was not always a forward, last year he was on defense. La Salle Head Coach Shawn Tingley spoke on Bradley’s impact pregame.
“Drew has been an impact player since he’s came here as a freshman, we moved him up to forward this year and he’s been lighting the lamp every single game, so he’s been a huge impact for us up front. Our defense is the core of our team, so for him to be selfless and go play forward and then produce the way he’s producing has been huge for our team,” said Tingley.
The game would stay tied at 1-1 until late in the second period, with Hendricken having a powerplay goal of their own, scored by junior Jack LaRose off a deflection from senior Nick Regine, fellow junior Andrew Smith got a piece of the action as well. The Hawks' goal came with just over 16 seconds left in the period, making the score 2-1. The Hawks would pad their lead in the beginning of the third period with another goal, this time off the stick of sophomore Aiden Ferriera, while Giacomo Caliri and Pennacchini got credit for the assists.
Midway through the period, the momentum shifted in favor of the Rams, with them creeping back into the game thanks to a powerplay goal by sophomore defenseman Marcello Martinelli, a recent transfer who had glowing compliments from his Head Coach.
“Marcello I think is the best defenseman in the state, and he’s came in and made a huge impact. He’s killing penalties, he’s on the powerplay, he’s scoring goals, he’s setting up goals… he’s a huge part of our team,” said Tingley.
Two minutes after Martinelli’s goal, with just over six minutes left in regulation, La Salle had a noticeable surge of energy, and that resulted in another goal, tying the game at 3-3. The goal was scored by who else but Bradley, assisted by juniors Ronan Peterson and Cam Tasca. The game-tying goal was Bradley's second on the game and eighth on the season. With neither team getting the upper hand, the game was sent into overtime.
Although Hendricken had their chances to repeat the miracle they had in the last matchup with La Salle, with a few shots on goal, the game ultimately ended in a tie. A big part of La Salle’s success in the game and so far this season is their senior goaltender Caleb Jawharjian, who is currently ranked best in the state, with 184 saves coming into the game, and finishing the night with another 23. Head Coach Shawn Tingley commented on Jawharjian’s impact.
“Caleb is our backbone, we feel he is the best goalie in the state and his play will dictate our success this year,” said Tingley.
On the other side, Hawks Head Coach Michael Soscia described what it’s like to go against the red-hot Rams goaltender.
“He’s a very good goalie, he’s technical, he’s sound. We just have to put pucks on net, go for rebounds and get down and dirty in the greasy areas and bury some goals. You’re not going to score on your first shot, you gotta score on your seconds and thirds and go from there with it,” said Soscia.
Hawks sophomore goalie Colin Murray has been putting together an impressive season as well, having 123 saves on the season so far. Murray helped Hendricken in the matchup, having 26 saves.
When these two teams get together, it is always a thrilling game, and this one was no different. There was no shortage of offense, with each team having a total of 26 shots on goal. It was obvious that both teams played hard and left it all out on the ice, although the result is probably not what either team wanted, it’s still not a loss! With La Salle now in the rearview, Hendricken will face a 1-3 North Kingstown team on Wednesday. As for La Salle, with their undefeated record still intact, they will face a Prout team that is at .500 on Wednesday.
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