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Ponaganset 9 Johnston/North Providence Co-op 0

January 23, 2016
Ryan Watts scored twice and added three assists while Curtis Briggs posted his second solo shutout of the season in Ponaganset's 9-0 win over Johnston/North Providence Co-op.

Twin brothers Nate and Ryan Watts combined for four goals and four assists while Curtis Briggs posted his second solo shutout of the season in Ponaganset’s 9-0 win over Johnston/North Providence Co-op.

(Burrillville, RI)  Ryan Watts netted a pair of goals, along with three assists, Nate Watts and Josh D’Alessio each scored twice and Curtis Briggs stopped all 17 shots he faced as undefeated Ponaganset blew open a close matchup with a four-goal outburst late in the second period to hammer Johnston/North Providence Co-op 9-0 in Rhode Island Division III hockey action at Levy Arena.

The Chieftains (8-0-0), coming off a 10-0 whitewashing of East Providence last weekend, took a 1-0 lead, 7:36 into the contest, on Nate Watts’ fourth goal of the season, with assists from his twin brother, Ryan, and Tom Caine, for the only tally of the opening period.

Ponaganset wouldn’t light the lamp, again, until the 7:17 mark of the middle frame, when freshman Matt Carlson beat J/NP (5-4-2) goalie David Kelly for his second goal of the campaign, assisted by Brett Marceau, to increase their advantage to 2-0. Kelly was able to keep J/NP in the game through the first 26 minutes elapsed on the scoreboard, but the lone undefeated boys’ hockey team in Rhode Island offense scored quickly and often in the final four minutes of the second period. Jake Lincourt started the onslaught at the 11:43 mark with his fifth goal, assisted by Ryan and Nate Watts. 33 seconds later, the freshman twins struck again, as Nate Watts scored his fifth goal, assisted by Ryan Watts. Co-captain Ethan Sederback notched his fourth goal off a D’Alessio assist at 13:34 and Nick Ferrucci set up Ryan Watts for the eighth goal of the freshman’s campaign 30 seconds before the break and a 6-0 Chieftains lead.

Despite a six-goal lead, the Ponaganset defense bore down and continued to stifle the visitors’ offense through the third period and added to their advantage when D’Alessio beat Kelly for a pair of unassisted goals, at 4:52 and 9:30, to increase the junior’s team lead to 13 and Ryan Watts closed the scoring, unassisted, with 2:20 to play, on his ninth season tally.

Briggs, a sophomore, was brilliant between the pipes as he increased his save percentage to an eye-popping .947 while notching his second shutout and third, overall, as he shared the net-minding duties with freshman Braedyn DeMarco in last weekend’s 10-0 blanking of East Providence. Kelly, for his efforts, turned aside 28 of 37 Ponaganset attempts on the evening. Briggs and DeMarco have, also, combined to shut out opponents over the past 124:37 of game time with the last puck getting past the duo late in the first period of the Chieftains’ 4-1 win over J/NP on January 9.

Ponaganset, also, remains the top offensive and defensive team in Rhode Island, averaging 7.0 goals per game while allowing less than a goal per contest (0.88).

An impending snowstorm has postponed Ponaganset’s next game, scheduled for Saturday January 23, vs. Mt. Hope at the West Warwick Civic Center. No date has, yet, been set for that contest. The next scheduled matchup for the Chieftains is Saturday January 30 at 7PM ET vs. Warwick Vets at Levy Arena. Ryan Watts registered a hat trick in his high school debut as Ponaganset defeated the Hurricanes, 8-1, on December 4 to open the season.

At press-time, Johnston/North Providence’s next game, Saturday January 23 at 6PM ET vs. Warwick Vets, is scheduled to take place without delay at Thayer Ice Arena in Warwick, RI.

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