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Ponaganset 4 Johnston/North Providence Co-op 1

January 12, 2016
Ponaganset remained the only undefeated hockey team in Rhode Island with a 4-1 victory over Johnston/North Providence Co-op.

Ponaganset remained the only undefeated hockey team in Rhode Island with a 4-1 victory over Johnston/North Providence Co-op.

(North Smithfield, RI) Josh D’Alessio scored twice and Curtis Briggs stopped 19 of 20 shots to lead undefeated Ponaganset to a 4-1 victory over Johnston/North Providence Co-op in a battle of the top two teams in Rhode Island Division III hockey at the Rhode Island Sports Center.

A pair of freshman combined to give the Chieftains (6-0) a 1-0 lead as Matt Meinertz scored his fifth goal of the season at the 5:40 mark, with Quint Bonin tallying the assist. Johnston/North Providence (5-3-1), the defending Division III champions, tied the score at one with 4:37 remaining in the opening period on Jacob McCullough’s tally, assisted by Brian Iannucillo and Brandon Tanguay.

The scoreboard remained unchanged until the final minute of the second period when D’Alessio beat David Kelly for his eighth goal of the campaign, at 14:04, assisted by co-captain Ethan Sederback and Ryan Watts.

D’Alessio gave Ponaganset a 3-1 lead just over a minute into the final period with Sederback collecting his second helper of the game and freshman Jake Lincourt capped the scoring with his third goal of 2015-2016, assisted by Watts, with 7:26 to play.

With the win, the Chieftains moved into first place in Division III, despite playing three less games than Johnston/North Providence and are the only undefeated team in Rhode Island. Briggs has been in net for all six Ponaganset victories, posting a .938 save percentage and a 1.17 goals-against average – both among the best in the state.

On the offensive side, the Chieftains lead the state in goals per game (6.17), goals allowed per game (1.17) and goal differential per game (5.0). D’Alessio leads Ponaganset with nine goals, Nick Ferrucci paces the team with seven assists and Watts, his twin brother Nate, and D’Alessio share the team lead in points with 11.

The Chieftains return to Levy Arena on Friday January 15 to face East Providence at 6:00PM ET in the second matchup of the teams. Mienertz registered a hat trick while Nate Watts and Brett Marceau scored twice in Ponaganset’s 13-1 win at the Cranston Ice Rink on December 5.

Johnston/North Providence will travel to Adelard Arena on Saturday January 16 to take the ice vs. Woonsocket/Scituate Co-op in the third and final regular season game between the squads. Johnston/North Providence has won, both, previous games by a goal, including a 3-2 overtime victory on January 2.

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