The Bears started their season on the road facing a perennially strong Taft club. With many returning players from last year's squad, expectations were raised to continue to build on the successes of last year and both veterans and newcomers made their impact felt immediately.
The first goal of the season was scored on a rush by Gray Riatti '14 and assisted by newcomer Barclay Gammill '16. The two generated significant offensive opportunities throughout the day, pouncing on turnovers and setting the bar high for what appears to be a natural pairing of two excellent skaters. The Bears continued their offensive streak scoring a goal late in the second period off a turnover generated by Jared Shatkin '13. Coming down the right wing in the offensive zone, Shatkin managed to find the back of the net with a shot that required pinpoint accuracy.
The club has been learning a new system of offensive and defensive positioning this year, and though the first period ended with a 2-0 score, the Rhinos fought back and managed to tie things up with a 2-2 tie by the end of the second due to several defensive miscues by the Bears.
Entering the third period, the Bears continued to push forward on the attack and their efforts finally were rewarded with a goal towards the end of the period, scored by Gammill. Despite having the lead with under four minutes remaining, the Rhinos managed to convert with under two minutes to go forcing an overtime period, which they then scored upon with a few minutes to go in extra time.
Though the defeat was disappointing for all the Berkshire players, there were several positive results to note: freshman Sam Merrill '16 played an outstanding 50 minutes of hockey, stopping all the shots he was supposed to and even a few that he wasn't; newcomer Connor Shalleck '16 played a tremendous game and and although he wasn't recognized on the scoresheet he managed to do all the little things in all zones that made his linemates lives much easier.
Next up (24 hours later): Cardigan Mountain.