WESTFIELD — The Taconic hockey team fell behind in its game against St. Mary's yesterday. And despite some quality offense, it never was able to get back within three goals after falling behind by four early in the second period.
The Saints were too strong offensively, scoring at least four goals in each period en route to a 13-5 victory over the Braves at Amelia Park Arena.
Shaun Gezotis scored four goals and added an assist for St. Mary's (6-6) while Tanner Hart registered a hat trick and chipped in four assists. For Taconic (1-7), Brandon Peaslee scored twice while Kevin Quinto recorded a goal and added three assists.
Despite their under-.500 record, it hasn't been unusual for the Braves to score some goals this season. Taconic has scored at least four goals in six of its eight games and has put in at least five goals in half of its contests.
"We have two very solid forward lines," Taconic coach Steve Terpak said. "I would put our two forward lines against any team, we can hang with anybody. They're making plays, making passes and scoring goals. We missed a few, but that's going to happen in any game."
After the teams traded goals to open the game, with Quinto's score tying it just over five minutes into the game, St. Mary's netted the next three goals to take a 4-1 advantage. Those came from Hart and then Gezotis twice. Gezotis first scored on a two-on-one, then put on in the back of the net on a breakaway.
Brian Henault scored for Taconic with 2:48 left in the first, cutting the Saints' lead to 4-2, but the home team scored one more time before the first intermission took place, this time on a goal from Kevin Bonney, who finished with two goals and two assists for Saint Mary's.
"For us it was about shots on goal," St. Mary's coach Don Goodreau said. "We wanted to keep the puck down in the offensive zone as much as possible."
The Saints then scored two quick goals to open the second period, coming from Aaron Blanchard and Gezotis, making it 7-2 in favor of St. Mary's.
Just as Taconic had already done multiple times, though, it answered. Peaslee scored off a dish from Quinto, but once again St. Mary's scored quickly. This time it was Hart putting one in the back of the net only 31 seconds after the Braves had scored.
Taconic, after falling behind 7-2, would never get closer than four goals again. Aiden Kotski scored to pull the Braves within 8-4, and after another St. Mary's goal, Peaslee netted one only 1:50 into the fourth to make it 9-5 in favor of the home team. But Taconic didn't score again.
"I think defensively we actually played pretty well," Terpak said. "We kept the majority of the shots to the outside, that's our goal. With inexperienced goaltending, trying to keep them on the perimeter gives us our best chance."
Now with a .500 record, St. Mary's needs to go at least .500 the rest of the way for a Western Mass. playoff berth. As for the Braves, they continue their season on Wednesday when they host Mount Everett at 6:30 p.m. at The Boys and Girls Club in Pittsfield.
SM — Shaun Gezotis (unassisted), 0:52. T — Kevin Quinto (Aiden Kotski, Shane Tierney), 5:12. SM — Tanner Hart (Matt King), 6:17. SM — Gezotis (Aaron Blanchard, John Pitoniak), 8:15. SM — Gezotis (unassisted), 10:33. T — Brian Henault (Andy Cella, Nikos Gian), 12:12. SM — Kenny Bonney (Hart), 13:50.
SM — Blanchard (Reilly Siart), 2:02. SM — Gezotis (unassisted), 3:54. T —Brandon Peaslee (Quinto), 11:01. SM — Hart (unassisted), 11:32. T — Kotski (Connor Champoux, Quinto) 12:31. SM — Hart (Gezotis), 13:45.
T — Peaslee (Quinto) 1:50. SM — King (Ried Hannan, Bonney), 4:23. SM — Bonney (Hannan, Hart), 5:34. SM — Hannan (Hart), 10:09. SM — Jack Labbe (Hart, Blanchard), 14:00.