In what will be the only regular season meeting between the rivals in this abbreviated 2021 season, the Essex High School (EHS) boy’s ice hockey team skated to its third-straight win Saturday afternoon.
The Hornets scored in both the first and second periods while keeping BFA St. Albans off the board to collect a 2-0 victory.
Game at a glance
The ever-popular matchup was an evenly played back-and-forth until penalties started being called. A couple of the best chances in the first period came off BFA’s sticks while the Bobwhites were on a power play, but EHS junior netminder Maxwell Foster made big-time saves to keep things scoreless.
BFA was then whistled for a pair of infractions in a matter of 29 seconds to give the hosts a 5-on-3 opportunity. The Bobwhites were able to kill off the first penalty, but Essex capitalized on the man advantage right after that player hit the ice when senior Joseph Maher whipped home a rebound from the top of the left circle.
Maher got on the scoresheet once again with his second of the day coming early in the second period. Just after returning to full strength, the Hornets worked the puck around the visitors’ third of the ice before it got shuffled out towards the blue line. Maher met it with a clapper to fire home an insurance tally.
After a skirmish in front of the benches ensued at the end of the second period, the game’s physicality picked up in the third. Bodies were sent into the boards on a regular occurrence during the final 15 minutes as the Bobwhites scrambled to trim their deficit. Foster turned away all 9 shots on net, however, to wrap up the shutout.
Essex improves to 3-0 on the year with the win.
Junior Braedon Hemenway assisted on Maher’s first goal while senior Hazen Pierce and senior captain William Couture were credited with assists on the second.
Foster finished the day with 25 saves.
The Hornets have won their last three games against BFA and own a 5-4-1 advantage in the last 10 meetings and a 12-7-1 advantage in the last 20.
Next up for Essex is a 7:30 p.m. Wednesday home tilt against Woodstock.
Thoughts from Essex Head Coach Chris Line
“It’s always a good feeling when you can come out of a BFA game with a win. They always will test your patience and expose your weaknesses. Moving forward, we need to be a little more disciplined, but I really like this team and its potential.”