Boys' Varsity Hockey
vs Westminster School
Score/Result: 5-2 W
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Taft vs Westminster
Odden Arena @ 2:30
The varsity boys’ hockey team took the ice this afternoon in Odden Arena to take on perennial Founders League power the Westminster Martlets. To the joy of the home fans, the rhinos were able to skate away with a 5 – 2 victory, scoring three goals in the third period to advance their overall team record to 6 – 3 – 1. To Westminster’s credit, they played a strong game and continuously bottled up Taft’s transition game with a disciplined fore-check through the first two periods of play. Consequently, Taft made the necessary adjustments between the second and third period; and as a result, the rhinos skated better, passed the puck with more precision, and played their best hockey of the game during the last eighteen minutes of play.
In the first period, Taft’s Jordan Tonelli ’19 helped the rhinos get off to a quick start, when Tonelli ’19 received a nice short breakout pass from Azan Dorsett ’18, the Armonk New York native, then moved the puck up quickly to his left wing John Michael Di Gregorio ’17. Then the line of Di Gregorio ’17, Tonelli ’19, and Ryan Colwell ’19 traveled through the neutral zone with speed, and attacked the Westminster defense three on two. Di Gregorio ’17 made a smooth back diagonal pass to the trailing Tonelli ’19 who then fired the puck past the short side of the Westminster goalie to give Taft 1 – 0 lead. Dorsett ’18 continued to have a hand in the Taft’s first period offense when Misha Mrotchek ’17 collected the puck on the half board in the defensive zone and made an nice indirect chip off the wall past the Westminster defenseman, and Dorsett ’18 jumped forward on the loose puck with speed to travel down the ice on a two-on-one with LJ Foley ’17. Dorsett ’18 showed great composure by looking to pass to Foley ’17, but then decided to take the shot and beat the Westminster goalie low and to the far side. Westminster then showed great resolve by potting a goal within the last two minutes of the first period and then again in the second on a power play opportunity.
In the third period, Taft took the ice with better focus and determination, led by Montreal native Jeremie Lavallee ’17. Lavallee ’17 popped in the game winner early in the third period when he drove the net hard to have a Finn Walker ’19 shot bounce off the Westminster goalie’s pads and then ricochet off Lavallee’s ’17 shin guards into the net. Lavallee’s ’17 second goal of the game, and final Taft tally came at the twelve minute mark of the third period to give the rhinos the coveted three goal lead when Ryan Colwell ’19 and Lavallee ’17 went in on a two-on-one break and Colwell ’19 made a beautiful pass to Lavallee ’17 on the backdoor for an open net goal. Taft’s Mrotchek ’17 was the other rhino scorer in the last period of play, when he capitalized on a rebound from a Matteo Mangiardi ’17 breakaway attempt to give Taft their second of three goals for the final period of play. Taft’s Andrew Farrier ’17 played another great game in net, as he stopped thirty-nine of forty-one Westminster shots, always settling down the home team when needed. Taft travels to Choate on Saturday to take on the Wild Boars at 7:00 PM.