CRANSTON — On Friday night, March 8, at the Cranston Ice Rink, the East Providence High School hockey team began its quest for another Division III championship, and for the second year in a row the Townies would have a date with the Tolman Tigers in the semifinals with each team playing for a chance to make it to the championship.
For the Townies it wasn’t the start to the best-of-three series that they were looking for. They looked “scared’’ according to head coach Kevin Croke while Tolman looked energized and ready to capitalize on East Providence’s poor effort, doing just that by taking the game 3-1 and getting the 1-0 advantage in the series.
Early on in the game East Providence looked like it lacked energy and wasn’t able to create many scoring chances. About five minutes into the first period the Tigers’ top scorer Jared Pedro put his team up 1-0 early on.
The Townies then had a power play opportunity but were not able to capitilize. The period then ended with the Tigers up by a 1-0 score.
The second period was a litter better for the locals as they got right back into it when they scored to tie the game 1-1 on a snipe to the type corner by sophomore defenseman Kyle Marquis. The Townies were able to kill of a couple of Tolman power plays to keep the score tied.
The third period wasn’t to kind to East Providence as Tolman came out and scored two goals in five minutes to eventually end the game and give them the two-goal win.
Coach Croke felt that the biggest problem for the Townies was that they played scared the entire night.
“We were sacred. We tried to do to many things perfectly and we weren’t playing our game,” said Coach Croke.
He also felt that the two quick goals in the third period were surprising to his team because they take pride in being a well conditioned team and they fatigued very quickly tonight.
“I think it was surprising because we take pride in being a very well conditioned team and we wore down so quickly and I was very disappointed. I don’t know why we fatigued so quickly but I think when they scored that power play goal we kind of took a step back,” said Coach Croke.
The coach feels that his team has to do everything better tonight for a better result.
“I think we have to do everything better. We have to show up, we have to out skate them. We have to out shoot them. We have to get to the net, and tonight we didn’t get to the net and we weren’t dominant,” he added.
So the Townies will skate again tonight, March 9, in Game Two of the D-III semifinals against Tolman at Lynch Arena in Pawtucket. Game time will be at 6:30 p.m.