WETHERSFIELD - A Wethersfield High School ice hockey team that has been struggling to produce offensively this season found the fuel to light the lamp during a 5-1 torching of Rocky Hill/RHAM High School Wednesday, Dec. 19.
Senior defenseman Joe Accarpio had two goals, and the Eagles returned to the dominant, offensive pressure mounting form that characterized the first period of their season-opening loss to Farmington/Avon/Windsor-only this time they cashed in.
“We were moving the puck better,” said Eagles Head Coach Dennis Tulmieri. “We were able to go out and put a lot of energy on the ice.”
Accarpio’s two tallies proved to be difference makers, as the Terriers were starting to climb back from a 3-0 deficit in the second period. Rocky Hill/RHAM, who had struggled to establish a sustained attack in the Wethersfield defensive zone, found some life following a shot from the point that found the back of the net at 10:10 of the second period.
The Eagles responded quickly, however. Senior forward Patrick Dowd skated out from behind the Terrier’s net and snuck a pass through the slot to Accarpio, who drove it home at 7:24 of the second period. Accarpio would tally his second only two minutes later, banging in a rebound to put the Eagles up 4-1.
“He was playing D for us, so seeing him jump into the play and get back on D, for us that was important since we’re not that gifted at scoring,” Tulmieri said.
Truth be told, the Eagles might have had even more, had it not been for the efforts of Terriers goaltender Tim Volpe, who came up with difficult saves in a slew of situations.
Late in the second period, sophomore forward Adrian Budas skated the puck down the right side, cutting in front of the scrambling Rocky Hill/RHAM defense to put a wrister on goal that Volpe swallowed in his glove.
Volpe also denied a 2-on-0 opportunity with a right pad save at the 2:44 mark of the first period.
Sophomore Mario Marena got things started for the Wethersfield at the 8:31 mark of the first period. Camped at the point, Marena took a dish up the boards from sophomore Ryan Byrne. He wristed one that hit a body in traffic and bounced into the low right corner of the net for the Eagles’ first goal of the game-and the season.