Hockey pg 11 2-7-19

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Woodstock Academy coach Kevin Bisson gave probably his most animated pregame speech of the season Feb. 2.
He knew how much a win would mean to the Centaurs in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Division II standings.
He also wasn’t all that happy with his opponents.
It produced the results he wanted, a 7-3 victory over Burrillville, R.I., Feb. 2.
“I would be lying if I said that I didn’t really want to win that game. I really wanted to beat that team for a lot of reasons,” Bisson said.
When the Centaurs went over the state line to Rhode Island to play the Broncos in their first meeting in January, they were unaware they had to provide their own pregame pucks.
Thus, the Centaurs were given only one, the game puck, to warm up with and instead of the customary eight-minute warm up time, Burrillville opted to cut it to just three.
Their pregame routine disheveled, the Centaurs still managed to hold the Broncos scoreless in the first period.
Then came surprise No. 3. No ice cut between the first and second periods. “I’m a very prepared person and that irritated me from the coach’s side. To have those different things happen, frustrated me in the moment,” Bisson said.
It all added up to a 3-0 loss for the Centaurs.
It was a game the Centaurs wanted back.
And they played like it Feb. 2. The Centaurs jumped out on top early.
Doug Newton scored his 13th goal of the season just two minutes into the game and Austen LeDonne followed 4 minutes, 15 seconds later on a back hand. Freshman Brendon Hill followed with a third goal a minute later.
“We flipped the script,” Bisson said.
Woodstock Academy (11-4) has been a notoriously slow starter this season or, if it has jumped into a lead, has seen the opposition quickly counter.
The Centaurs forced Burrillville to switch goalies.
It wasn’t the only time in the game the Broncos would do so.
“It’s not very often that you can get the other team to pull two goalies in a game. That was pretty sweet,” Bisson said.
Burrillville did get two goals of its own before the end of the first period, but the Centaurs didn’t let up.
Freshman Kyle Brennan, who assisted on two goals in the first period, got his own in the second just minutes in to give the Centaurs a two-goal cushion back.
Matthew Odom followed with his 18th goal of the season and sophomore Guerin Favreau added another to put the Centaurs up 6-2.
Favreau scored his eighth goal of the season to account for the final.
“Did we need a breakout game? I don’t know if it was a full-blown necessity. I think we’ve been playing pretty strong and well. It definitely gives that confidence boost to these kids to know how they can play. Even as a coach, knowing that these kids can really get in there and go to work the way that I always thought they could. I saw (Saturday) the team in the locker room that I thought I had all this time. It really showed itself and it was pretty sweet to watch,” Bisson said.
The Centaurs coach had to look  to see how the win affected the standings in CIAC Division II. They came into the Feb. 2 game as the 12th-seeded team.
The top 16 teams qualify and the top eight get a first-round home game.
Following the win over Burrillville the Centaurs were the No. 7 seed.
It was a good week overall for Woodstock Academy.
The Centaurs went to Veteran’s Memorial Rink Jan. 28 and downed Hall-Southington, 4-2.
Odom scored what proved to be the game-winner and added an empty-net goal for the Centaurs.
Odom did have a very little scoring drought for two games, but has poured in five goals in his last three games. “It’s a great feeling when the puck goes into the net. It’s never going to get old and it gets the team going. You have to score to win the game so it’s an amazing feeling when you are scoring,” Odom said.
Newton and Connor Starr also added goals.
The Woodstock Academy coach specifically pointed to the Hall-Southington contest where the cooperative pulled its goalie, down 3-2. Newton won three face-offs to get the puck out of the Centaurs end.
“Without Doug winning those face offs, Hall-Southington has possession, is on the attack right away and that puts us in danger. That’s where Doug shines,” Bisson said.
The Centaurs also downed the Northeastern Shamrocks Jan. 31, 4-1. The game was significant because junior center Jake Starr scored his first goal of the season. “He had two tremendous games back-to-back. He’s been working hard all season, but he hasn’t found the back of the net like I know he wants to. He finally put one home against Northeastern and you could see the monkey being lifted off his back. He was able to play much freer the rest of the game, knowing he got that out of the way,” Bisson said.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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