Fall Season Starts 2-0 at Legacy Uncommitted Event!
The Clam fall 2018 season officially began down in Weymouth on a rainy and cool Sunday morning at the Laxachusetts uncommitted event. While still preparatory in nature, the refs were keeping score, so I suppose we can reference our scores; both saw us winning by a one goal margin.
In game #1, we squared off against a talented Team CT. The Clam coaches for the day, defenseman TJ Noonan and midfielder/attackman Tommy Wynn, both current Connecticut College players and former Clam standouts, gave a speech at the outset about being readier than our opponent, especially on rainy, cold mornings like the one we were facing. It seemed to resonate, as we jumped up 4-0. But Team CT woke up right before the half, and brought the game to within a one goal margin at one point in the second. But we managed to respond and stay ahead until the final whistle. Midfielder, Nils Holland (Proctor), scored a game-high two goals, Chris Meinhold (AB) stopped four first half shots while allowing just one goal, and JJ Jablonowski (St. John’s Shrewsbury) was a monster at LSM. The final score of game #1: 7-6 over a strong Team CT.
In game #2, we met a familiar foe, tournament host Laxachusetts, and played a highly competitive game where each team literally traded goals throughout. Tied at three at the half, the game would play out very similarly in the second half as it did in the first, and we found ourselves knotted at 5-5 with under two minutes two play. Discussion began to drift toward whether there would be an overtime or not, but after a big defensive play, we found ourselves with possession of the ball with under 30 seconds. And as it turned out, the midfielder with the ball in his stick was Nils Holland. Nils scored the first goal of the day and after an explosive dodge to his strong hand, he would also score our last, giving the Clams the 6-5 win. Midfielder John Alfano (Westford) tallied two goals in game #2, to lead all goal scorers in the game, and Shane Kilkelly (Oliver Ames) matched John’s point total, tallying a goal and an assist.
The play of the offense was very encouraging, as the ball moved very promisingly for this point in the season. Three players had three points on the day, Nils Holland and John Alfano (3 goals apiece), and Shane Kilkelly (1 goal, 2 assists). But as good as the offense appeared to be given the elements and lack of formal prep, the defense was at least as good, and possibly better. Defenseman Harry Trout (St. John’s Prep), Sean Conery (Loomis Chaffee) and Dylan Mentis (The Rivers School) played very strong close defense. But the pole who may have given us the most was probably JJ Jablonowksi, who was huge on the wings helping out Clam faceoff midfielder and newcomer, Aidan McDonough (Groton-Dunstable), and equally impressive all over the field. Our goaltenders were also quite capable, each stopping more than half the shots they faced. Chris Meinhold (Acton-Boxboro) led the way with 9 saves and 4 goals against, and Connor Nydegger (Bridgewater-Raynham) also managed 8 saves while allowing 7 goals.
Perhaps the most encouraging part of the whole day was how many of the player went right from the Laxachusetts event to play in their afternoon CELL game. It would have been easy enough to call it a day, for the morning games were competitive and rather tiring and draining. But numerous players who’d been out in the rain grinding at 8:30AM were finishing off their days in the afternoon, in the friendly confines of the Teamworks Indoor Sports Facility. With that work ethic as a foundation, the stage is indeed set for a very good November for the program. Our staff has been eager, but after today, we can’t wait!