Shorthanded Wahconah beats Minnechaug in hockey

Sunday January 20, 2013

NORTH ADAMS -- Down to just 10 skaters and a goalie, the Wahconah hockey team still had enough offense to win Saturday night.

Ryan Ouimet scored three times, the defense toughened in its own zone and the Warriors held off Minnechaug 5-4 at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink.

Wahconah was outshot 23-22, with the Falcons turning up the heat on offense in the third period, but Wahconah also never trailed and got everything it needed offensively from its top line. Nick Montferret and Lane Grogan also scored for the victors, with Montferret tallying three assists and Grogan and Ouimet dishing out two each.

Goalie Roger Stedman turned away 19 shots for the Warriors, who seemed to test themselves with six third-period penalties alone. Still, Minnechaug couldn't capitalize, adding a goal with 6 seconds left in the game to account for the one-goal difference between the teams.

"That's been a large part of our focus in practice the last 10 days, our defensive zone," WRHS coach Don Disbrow said. "You look at some of the better teams in [Division] III-A, and they're putting up good numbers in terms of points. ... This was a really good effort out here with our guys."

Ouimet opened the scoring in the first period, knocking in rebounds from Chaug goalie Steve Bidus' right side with 5:58 and 2:20 left. He'd finish his hat trick in the third, deking out a defender 1-on-1 before beating Bidus with 9:26 left in the game.

Montferret's goal, with 12:37 left in the second period, came in a 5-on-3 advantage for the Warriors. Grogan's goal opened the third-period scoring with 12:08 left.

"It's all on them," Disbrow said of his first line. "We've had several conversations with that second line. They're not expected to put the puck in the net. If they do, that's an added bonus. Depending on the opponent we're playing, we might go with a more balanced lineup. But [the first line] did a fantastic job. This was the first big test for them."

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