It certainly isn't the way anyone connected to the Taconic hockey team wanted to see the season start. Four games in, the new-look Braves -- now a co-op program with both Pittsfield and St. Joseph high schools -- are 0-4.
But take a look at those games. You'll find that the program calling itself "St. Pitonic" has faced a number of tough tests so far. And good luck convincing Braves coach Stephen Terpak that his team plays like a winless one.
"The vital thing that I want to emphasize with our team is that we're very young," he said. "We're playing one senior [Nick Whittaker], three juniors [Harrison Rapant, Connor Conant, Hunter Hoag] and the rest are freshmen and sophomores.
"The beginning part of our schedule is against some very formidable opponents. Most of the teams we're playing against have a majority of upperclassmen."
It's rare to see a Berkshire County high school team go west into New York's Capital Region and have a lot of success. Mount Greylock's cross country program will fare pretty well in an Albany-area or Saratoga-area meet from time to time, but teams from the Berkshires don't even see Albany that often.
Taconic hockey had to start its season "over the mountain," so to speak, meeting Christian Brothers Academy at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. The Braves fell 2-1 to the Brothers. Not even a week after holding off Taconic, the Brothers put 12 pucks in the net in a rout of St. Michael -- with eight of those goals in the first period.
Taconic then dropped a 5-1 decision to three-time defending Berkshire County/Hennessy League champion Wahconah at the Boys & Girls Club. Two more games yielded the same offensive effort -- one goal -- in Chicopee Winter Classic losses to Chicopee and Chicopee Comp.
Terpak sees his Braves get chances to put the puck in the net. What keeps them from doing so, he believes, is that lack of experience.
"Instead of looking up, which we'll have to train them and they'll get ... it happens so fast that they're just not used to it to make the correct decisions at the crucial point where you light the lamp or you don't," he said. "There's seven decisions a player has to make in 2 seconds in order to score a goal. They're making five or six of them, but one or two of them might not be the right decision. If the goalie's out, they're shooting instead of deking. ... They're acceptable mistakes."
Taconic gets a break tonight, as its game at Greenfield has been postponed due to the weather. Terpak believes the squad could "very easily" be a .500 team right now, even though he's certain they didn't play at their best in the loss to Wahconah. He expects the young players will, with more ice time, get used to the pace of play required to win at the high school level.
"All that being considered ... I'm very, very proud of the way our guys hang tough," Terpak said. "We're not getting blown out of any games at all."
You'll have to wait until Saturday for what looks like one of the more solid early-season girls basketball games in the Berkshires.
Defending Western Mass. Division II champion Hoosac Valley was supposed to host Pittsfield on Thursday night, but the snowstorm that hit the Northeast pushed the game back to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at HVHS. The game will be the Hurricanes' first since returning from the KSA Holiday Tournament in Orlando, Fla. Pittsfield, despite a 1-2 mark, is averaging 54 points per game and hasn't been beaten by more than 3 points this season.
Two other girls basketball reschedulings: Taconic will now host Hampden Charter on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 5:30 p.m.; and McCann Tech will travel to Pioneer on Thursday, Jan. 16, at 7:30 p.m.
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