After suffering an overtime loss at the hands of the Taft Rhinos in their opening game just 24 hours prior, the Bears looked to bounce back with their first home game of the season in hosting an upstart Cardigan Mountain team. Though the Taft game had left the team physically and psychologically bruised, the Bears were able to refocus their energy and put forth 50 minutes of consistently high-quality hockey.
The line of Gray Riatti '14, Barclay Gammill '16, and Connor Shalleck '16 provided a significant offensive punch throughout the game, but could not find the back of the net. Joe Pezza '14, P.J. Webb '15, and Jared Shatkin '13 put together their best game of the weekend, dominating stretches with both physical play and puck control. New member Chris Zaffanella '15 played significant minutes throughout the game and helped generate offensive opportunities with linemates Alden Boldt '14, Josiah Tolvo '16, and Jack Gustavson '16.
The real story of the game (as the score would indicate) was the defensive patience that all players displayed throughout the game. New addition Hunter Reynolds '16 partnered with returning defenseman Johnny Grogan '14, while veteran players Jesse Hahn '13, Matty Wieczorek '14, Will Knight '13, and Charlie Yorke '13 each made their presence felt up and down the ice with timely hits, shots, and effective outlet passes.
Starting in goal was newcomer Brendan Moloy '15, who did everything but score a goal to help the team get that close to their first victory. As impressive as the stops were on the direct shots, Moloy's aggressive stick checks, quick feet to kick out seemingly sure-fire goals, and consistent deflections to corners were extremely impressive.
Though the Bears ended up with little to show for their efforts on the scoresheet, there were marked improvements in all areas of the rink compared with the previous game at Taft. Berkshire looks to improve on their play as they host another challenging team in the Winged Beavers of Avon this Wednesday, Dec. 5.