East Providence High sextet wins semifinal series opener

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WEST WARWICK — Jared Estrella’s goal mid-way through the second overtime session lifted the East Providence High School hockey club past host West Warwick/Exeter-West Greenwich, 4-3, in Game 1 of the teams’ Division III playoff semifinal series Friday night, March 14, at the Ben Mageira Rink.

Jared Estrella skates up ice for the EPHS hockey club during Friday's semifinal playoff game he won with a goal in double overtime.

Jared Estrella skates up ice for the EPHS hockey club during Friday’s semifinal playoff game he won with a goal in double overtime.

Estrella’s game-winning tally, assisted by Kyle Marquis, came with 2 minutes, 48 seconds remaining in the second overtime. Townies’ goalie Marc LaValley made 39 saves, including one on a penalty shot with under two minutes to go in the third period of regulation time.

The goal was the second of the night for Estrella, who scored earlier off feeds from Josh Letendre and Marquis. Ryan Costa had another of the E.P. tallies, assisted by Brynne Costa, and had the helper on Tyler Maxwell’s goal.

The Townies actually trailed 2-0 in the second period before netting three unanswered goals prior to intermission. The Wizards potted a goal three minutes into the third to knot the score at three, where it would remain through the rest of regulation and through the first five-minute overtime period.

The back and forth, evenly played contest finally came to a close with Estrella’s shot past West Warwick goalie Ivan Forcier, who also made 39 saves on 43 East Providence shots.

“We dug down deep and were the stronger team as the overtime progressed,” EPHS head coach Kevin Croke said. “We dug down deep and found the will to win. It was a gritty Townie effort.”

Third-seeded East Providence can finish off the best-of-three series with the second-seeded and reigning league champion Wizards by winning Game 2 slated for Saturday night, March 15, at the Adelard Arena on the Mount St. Charles campus in Woonsocket. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

— Photos by Tim Marshall

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