Hockey - Boys' Varsity
Avon Old Farms School
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Loss 1-3
Today the boys’ varsity hockey team battled the Winged Beavers of Avon Old Farms for the season opener in Odden Arena. The Rhinos and Winged Beavers both entered the game with a 1-1 record in the early stages of the 2018-19 season. The 4:30 pm start on Wednesday would be the last game for Taft before the Lawrenceville tournament and the team was focused on playing a physical game against a younger Avon team. After a questionable tripping call against Peter Kenerson was made, the penalty killing unit was tested. With a commitment to blocking shots and strong communication, Ben Craine, Dennis Franklin, Zack Tonelli and Justin Humenay shut their power-play down.The momentum in the first period continued in favor of Taft. Avon’s goalie was forced to make numerous saves. Christian Jimenez and Ryan Colwell provided the offensive punch but the score remained tied to finish the period. The second period began much the same with Taft creating chances from sound structure. Peter Kenerson generated a 2 on 1 opportunity by chipping the puck to himself and accelerating towards the goal. Bobby Barrasso found open ice with powerful strides. Peter made a pass across to Bobby for a great scoring chance but the Avon goalie slid over and made the save. Avon was able to tally first with a 2 on 3 rush. Their player cut to the middle of the ice after crossing the blue line and fired a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle to give Avon a 1-0 lead 5 minutes into the 2nd period. Avon dominated Taft in the faceoff circle and managed to possess the puck for the majority of the period. Taft created it’s best chance when Christian Jimenez reversed the puck to Finn Walker on the breakout who found Ryan Colwell for a breakaway but yet again the Avon goalkeeper was up to the challenge. Taft responded on the power-play with quick puck movement from Billy Dobensky, Zack Tonelli and Christian Jimenez. Christian carried the puck to the middle of the ice and found Tristan Fasig open for a shot off of the wing. Tristan collected his own rebound and beat the 6’5 goaltender to put Taft even at 1 going into the third period. The third period remained even until Taft turned the puck over in the neutral zone while some of the players were going for a change. Avon’s quick transition led to a 2 on 1 and they were able to slide the puck past Thomas McAleer for a 2-1 lead with 11 minutes to go in the game. Taft then was forced to take chances. Another breakaway chance by Ryan Colwell and a shot that hit the post by Andrew Ebersol were both denied. Taft called a timeout with 2 minutes remaining and with the goalie pulled attempted to even the score. Avon won the faceoff and were able to fire a 185 ft. shot into the empty net. Final score 3-1 Avon. The Rhinos enter exam week with a 1-2 record before heading to the Lawrenceville tournament when they open against Canterbury at 1:30 pm on December 14th.