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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The Wellesley High School boys varsity hockey team travelled to face rival Newton North at John Ryan Arena in Watertown on Saturday. Coming off a 3-3 tie against Walpole on January 2, the Raiders (5-2-1, 2-1-1) entered on a four-game point-streak (3-0-1) and looked to make it to five against the Tigers (0-8-0, 0-5-0).
Thanks to a two-point performance by senior captain and forward Drew Cohen (one goal, one assist) as well as a 10-save shutout by senior captain and goalie Andrew Hubbard, the Raiders fought their way to a 2-0 victory.
Wellesley dominated play throughout the first period, holding an 11-2 edge in shots on goal after 15 minutes. However, the Raiders were unable to crack Newton goalie Nolan Cooper (28 saves) in the opening frame, and the game entered the first intermission still scoreless.
The Raiders continued to carry the play in the second period, but also continued to have difficulty finishing scoring chances. Finally, with 2:17 to play in the period, freshman forward Sean Maxwell broke through for Wellesley. A strong forecheck in the left corner by Cohen freed a loose puck. Cohen grabbed the puck and fed a pass to Maxwell between the hash marks, who turned and fired a shot home via the five-hole to draw first blood for the Raiders. Wellesley carried their one-goal lead into the second intermission.
With Wellesley on the power play midway through the third period, Cohen flew down the middle on a breakout, cut to his right and fired home a wrist shot upstairs to double Wellesley’s lead at 2-0 with 7:50 to play. The Raiders continued to cycle the puck well and chewed up clock following the Cohen goal. Newton North went on the power play with a little under two minutes to play and pulled Cooper for an extra attacker for a six-on-four advantage. The Raiders locked down their defensive end and continuously cleared the puck until the clock hit zeros, as Wellesley came away with the 2-0 victory.
Wellesley will look to continue their winning ways when the Raiders host rival Natick on January 18.
For funny and insightful sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.