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Ponaganset 6 Woonsocket 0

February 7, 2015
Chieftains sophomore C Josh D'Alessio

Chieftains sophomore C Josh D’Alessio

(Woonsocket, RI)  Josh D’Alessio scored a pair of goals and added an assist and Tyler Petrella stopped all 16 shots he faced as Ponaganset stayed undefeated with a 6-0 shutout of Woonsocket at Adelard Arena in Rhode Island Division III action.

Friday night’s game was the first for the Chieftains (12-0) in 20 days, due to a quirk in scheduling, but the visitors showed no rust on both ends of the rink from the opening whistle.

D’Alessio opened the scoring with his ninth goal, unassisted, only 3:23 into the contest. Co-captain Derek Merchant pushed the lead to 2-0 less than three minutes later, with his 16th goal of the season, on the power play, assisted by Tom Caine and Nate Morin. D’Alessio’s 10th goal of the year at 10:50, set up by Ethan Sederback, gave Ponaganset a 3-0 advantage heading into the first intermission.

Morin tallied the second period’s lone goal, his 22nd of the campaign, at the 3:02 mark, assisted by D’Alessio.

Despite a 4-0 deficit entering the final period, the Villa Novans (1-13) hung tough, despite a barrage of Ponaganset shots on net. However, the Chieftains broke through on a pair of power plays towards the end of the game, as Tate Schaefer tallied his first goal of the year with Merchant and Sederback collecting assists with 3:07 to play and on Dan Richardson’s second goal with 23 seconds remaining, assisted by Caine and John Cavanagh.

Petrella’s perfect night between the pipes gave the Chieftains their seventh shutout of the season while Woonsocket’s Nick Beals stopped 56 of 62 shots on net.

Both teams return to the ice next Saturday night as Ponaganset hosts Mt. Hope at Levy Arena at 8:30 while Woonsocket travels to the West Warwick Civic Center to face West Warwick/Exeter/West Greenwich at 6:00.

Post-Game Comments:

Josh D’Alessio on Coach Dan Morin keeping the team fresh and focused through the 20-day game-break: “We had lots of skating. Every practice was hard work: lots of drills. Coach Morin is a great coach.”

D’Alessio on Ponaganset’s goaltending tandem of Tyler Petrella and Curtis Briggs: “Petrella is, really, a leader. Briggs, when he’s a senior, will be one of the best in the state.”

D’Alessio on the Ponaganset fans at Adelard Arena: “They were excellent. They fight for us and motivate us.”

Chieftains Game Notes:

With Petrella’s shutout, Ponaganset, along with freshman Curtis Briggs, lowered its state-best goals-against average to 0.75.

Morin is tied with Tom Pecchia (WW/EWG) for the state lead in goals (22) and points (35) and has scored, at least, one goal in nine of 12 games and tallied a point in all but one game this season, including ten consecutive games.

Merchant, a winner of the 2015 Hobey Baker High School Character Award, has scored a goal in ten of 12 contests and has, at least, one point in 11 of 12 games.

D’Alessio has notched four multiple-goal games this season and has scored, at least, a point in six straight games.

Ponaganset features the three of the top ten scorers in Rhode Island: Morin (T1 – 22/13/35), Merchant (5 – 16/10/26) and D’Alessio (T10 – 10/13/23).

The Chieftains swept the season series vs. Woonsocket, outscoring the Villa Novans 22-0.

Ponaganset has won both games vs. their next opponent, Mt. Hope, by a combined 9-0 score.

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