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Hockey - Boys Junior Varsity
|Date:||December 4, 2013|
|Score:||Berkshire 2 - Kent 8|
Event Recap:Berkshire opened their season on the road against the Kent Lions. The Bears had spent the previous two weeks prior to the Thanksgiving break practicing together, with some returning players from previous years' teams mixed with newcomers representing every form on campus.Despite having not played the Lions at the JV level in years, the opposition is known for producing high quality hockey clubs and this year's installment was no different.
The first period of the season was disappointing for the Bears as they struggled to maintain pressure in all phases of the game; while one line would have a successful shift, two lines would follow with lapses in defensive responsibilities. The Lions controlled the pace of the period largely by asserting their physical style in the corners, in battles in front of the net, and on key faceoff situations. The lone bright spot for the Bears in the period, and the teams most consistent player all afternoon, remained between the pipes - goaltender Calder Ryan '13 - kept the game in contention. By the end of the first period Berkshire trailed Kent by a score of 3 to 0.
The conversation during the intermission focused on simplifying their play, reducing turnovers, and playing sound positional hockey. Many of the Bears certainly took the message to heart, and a renewed intensity and composure was apparent from the opening drop of the puck. The line of Connor Shalleck '16, Luke Amero '16, and P.J. Webb '15 lead the way and managed to score both of Berkshire's goals that period. Nevertheless, defensive coverage remained an issue for every line, and the Bears found themselves trailing by the same margin by the end of the second - Kent was leading 5 to 2.
The third period provided a mixed bag of good and bad hockey - individual play on one shift followed by a team-centered approach the next, grit along the boards followed by passiveness in open-ice contests, and discipline by one player ruined by the selfishness of their teammate. It was a game where emotions got the best of the team, and as the game wore on and defeat became more apparent, the intensity and excitement of an opening game was misdirected from doing what was best for the club to doing what was best for an individual. Systems broke down, assignments were missed, and Kent scored three more goals in the last seven minutes to win the game by a final score of 8 to 2. It was a disappointing loss, but provided a valuable lesson in contrasting what can be to what was. The Bears look forward to their upcoming game versus Taft to demonstrate that they possess the consistency and discipline to avoid repeating the mistakes of their first game.