It sounds worse than it is, but the Mad Dogs have been struggling to get points going lately. A 1-8 loss to Framingham January 26th was followed by a 0-4 tough game against Tewksbury on January 30th. The third loss came the next night at UMASS Boston.
At the Brooks School in North Andover on January 30th, coaches Bill Pepicelli, Stephen O'Brien and Chris Marchese led the team through some rough puck battles and penalty kills against Tewksbury. The relentless pace of the game saw all the players skating fast and putting in effort.
In the first period, it looked like the game could go either way, but the Redmen's dramatic first goal with 45 seconds left in the first, did not bode well. A hard slap shot was deftly blocked by goalie Brian Wilshusen, but as he lost sight of the rebound, another Tewksbury player tapped in the puck. After the next face-off, Tewksbury went hard at the net and the Mad Dogs defense took the penalty to stop the breakaway and prevent a quick 0-2 lead. So the second period started short handed for the Mad Dogs and they did a great job killing the penalty. Jeff Russo even got a breakaway but the quick shot he sent dinged against the post, echoing the team's disappointment. Soon after, Tewksbury scored again. Rafael DeCarlucci came into the game as goalie halfway through and played strong in net.
The third period saw the Mad Dogs down by three and despite great effort, the tall Redmen goalie was a wall they could not get past. Great passing skills throughout and an empty net goal put the game away for Tewksbury as the Mad Dogs tried in vain to stir up some offense. We left the spacious rink hoping for a better outcome the next day.
At UMASS in Boston at 8:10pm on January 31st, another tough match up tested the skills of the Mad Dog players as they played BC High's middle school team. The first period quickly showed this game would be intense and the fast pace did not let up. Great effort and determination kept the team motivated. Coaches Pepicelli and Marchese led the players through creative line changes and interesting 3 vs. 5, 4 vs. 5 and even 4 vs. 4 situations as the penalties and power plays added up.
In the first period, the Mad Dogs scored. Robbie Ramirez, assisted by Ryan O'Connor and Nick Dalla-Santa had a sweet power play goal. Unfortunately, it was the only goal for Burlington as the outnumbered team could not out skate the BC High players, who came out for their shifts better rested. DeCarlucci was in net for all three periods and faced over 15 shots. The second period was well played by both sides and the third started with a tight score of 1-2.
The exciting third period started shorthanded for the Mad Dogs from a hooking penalty and their luck did not change and BC High soon scored. Again in the last two minutes, an empty net goal for the other team capped the points as the Mad Dogs tried the extra man out to put some pressure on the opposition. An exciting 1-4 loss did not deflate the team's hopes for better games ahead.
With a 6-7-1 record for the season, the Mad Dogs are looking to start February strong against Gloucester on the 4th. Check out the season details at maddoghockey.net as MSMS Mad Dogs continue their competitive match ups.