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Ponaganset 9 Woonsocket 0

January 13, 2015
James Manni 1

Ponaganset F James Manni (photo courtesy of Cayyt Daigneault)

(Burrillville, RI)  It would be understandable if Ponaganset suffered a letdown vs. Woonsocket 24 hours after Friday night’s intense 5-4 win over then-undefeated West Warwick/Exeter/West Greenwich Co-op.

Considering the Chieftains opened the season with a 7-0 victory over the Villa Novans, perhaps the boys in green and white could let up a bit against a team with one victory in nine games.

The coaching staff would have none of that.

James Manni and Nate Morin, each, lit the lamp three times and Derek Merchant added a goal and three assists as undefeated Ponaganset cruised past Woonsocket 9-0 Saturday night at Levy Arena.

To their credit, the (1-9) Villa Novans were able to keep the (10-0) Chieftains off the board through the first half of the opening period, but it was, only, a matter of time before the Rhode Island Division III leaders cranked up their second-ranked offense into high gear.

Manni teamed with Brandon Benoit to open the scoring at 9:39 and, from there, the flood gates opened. 46 seconds later, Ethan Sederback extended the Chieftains’ lead to 2-0 with his 10th goal of the season. assisted by Josh D’Alessio and Morin. Manni would notch his hat trick in the final seconds of the period, as he combined with fellow co-captain, Merchant, on a power play goal at 14:47 and an even-strength marker, his 12th of the campaign, with six seconds to go before the first intermission.

Staked to a 4-0 lead, Ponaganset’s offensive explosion continued into the early portion of the second period as Tom Caine notched his third goal of 2014-15 at the 1:08 mark, assisted by Merchant, and tallied an assist of his own, along with Sederback, on Morin’s 16th goal of the season 3:38 into the period. The Villa Novans’ defense stiffened for the rest of the period, yet were denied, offensively, as the hosts held a 6-0 advantage after 30 minutes of play.

Despite piling up numerous shots on net, the Chieftains were held scoreless in the final period until Morin extended the lead to 7-0 with his second goal of the night, assisted by D’Alessio, at 6:59. The high-scoring sophomore completed his hat trick with his 18th goal at the 13:18 mark for an 8-0 bulge as Manni chalked up an assist. Merchant capped the scoring 31 seconds later, assisted by Elijah Wiggell, on his 14th goal and fourth point of the night.

Senior goaltender Tyler Petrella secured the Chieftains’ fifth shutout of the season by turning away all ten Woonsocket shots while his counterpart, Jared Rivard, stopped 31 of 40 Ponaganset shots on net.

The Chieftains, who have outscored their opponents 73-9, return to Levy Arena Saturday night to host (4-3) Warwick Vets at 8:30. Woonsocket will host (0-8) Scituate at Adelard Arena Saturday at 7:30PM.

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