A five-minute major penalty is rare in a high school hockey game.
Two is almost unheard of.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen two in a high school game to be honest with you,” said Woodstock Academy coach Mike Starr.
But the Centaurs were the beneficiaries of a pair of major penalties whistled against the Suffield-Granby-Windsor Locks cooperative Jan. 27.
The second one, a major for slashing in the second period, led to a pair of goals and a 3-2 win for the Centaurs over the Wildcats at the Jahn Ice Rink in Pomfret.
The Centaurs didn’t capitalize on the first five-minute penalty called against the Suffield Cooperative for boarding.
They failed to score.
The Centaurs did take the lead early when Matt Odom snuck one past Wildcat goalie Dan DeGagne with 57 seconds left in the first period.
“You put the puck on net and good things will happen,” Odom said.
Odom actually fell down on the play, got back up and was able to get his stick on the puck and flick it over DeGagne’s shoulder.
It made for a much happier locker room between the first and second period.
The Centaurs had a 5-on-3 power play in the period which they failed to take advantage of.
“They probably have the most aggressive penalty killers in Connecticut High School hockey- that penalty kill is fantastic,” Starr said. “Our message to the kids when they were going out on the ice was that it was going to be fast and they’re not going to let you set up and they didn’t. They surge toward the puck and are right on you.”
The Wildcats (5-7) tied the game 5:57 into the second period when Julian Cultrera snuck into the faceoff circle to the left of Woodstock Academy goalie Dylan Shea and sent it into the net.
The Wildcats then killed off the five-minute major, only to have another called on them with 1:21 left in the period.
This time, the Centaurs capitalized and again, it was Odom.
Jacob Black sent the puck at DeGagne with 57 seconds left in the period but the Suffield goalie could not cover it and Odom was there to put the rebound in.
“(Odom) really commanded the ice (Jan. 27). When he was out there, he definitely made a difference. We shuffled our lines last Saturday, going from a two-line to three-line system and I think it wears the other teams down a little,” Starr said.
Being in penalty-killing mode constantly probably didn’t help the Wildcats cause.
The Centaurs still had the man-advantage for 3 ½ minutes of the third period and got what proved to be the game winner with a minute left in the power play when Ethan Thorpe passed the puck to Guerin Favreau. The freshman’s shot was re-directed by Jake Starr into the SGWL net with 12:31 to play.
Tyler Gadzik did score for the Wildcats with 2:38 to play, but Shea was able to keep the tying goal out of the Centaurs net.
“I walked into the locker room, the kids were all pretty quiet when I walked in and I just screamed, ‘That’s the way to play hockey’ and they all jumped up. They’re excited, I’m excited,” Starr said.
The Centaurs ended a four-game losing streak on the ice with a 4-3 overtime win over Bolton-Coventry-Rockville on Thursday at the Bolton Ice Palace.
The Centaurs playing their second game in two days, got a pair of goals each from Odom and Black.
Dylan Shea made 21 saves in net for The Academy.
It was deja vu all over again for the Centaurs boys’ hockey team on Wednesday.
For a second straight game, they took on Tri-Town and, for a second straight game, lost in overtime, 6-5, this time at the Enfield Twin Rinks. They had lost the Saturday before in overtime at the Jahn Ice Rink to the Terror Cats.
Black had three goals.
Thorpe added three assists for the Centaurs  while Doug Newton and Liam McDermott both added goals.
Ryan Wojciechowski, Odom and Jake Starr also had assists for the Centaurs.
Girls’ hockey falls
The Centaurs girls’ hockey team saw its five-game winning streak come to an end at the Steriti Rink in Boston’s North End. The Centaurs fell to the Windsor School, 3-1. Lily Wilcox scored the only goal for Woodstock Academy (5-3) while Emma Ciquera had an assist.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director


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