By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston co-op boys hockey team has a huge matchup this Friday night when it travels to take on PCD/Wheeler/St. Ray's in the regular season finale. Cranston currently sits at 5-8-3 this season, and has yet to secure a playoff
By ALEX SPONSELLER The Cranston co-op boys hockey team has a huge matchup this Friday night when it travels to take on PCD/Wheeler/St. Ray’s in the regular season finale.
Cranston currently sits at 5-8-3 this season, and has yet to secure a playoff berth. A win on Friday is virtually necessary in order for the team to advance to the postseason, while a loss could spell the end of the road as multiple teams have games in hand to finish.
Cranston fell to first-place North Kingstown 4-0 last week but rebounded to get points against both Rogers/Middletown/Rocky Hill and Portsmouth.
Cranston tied Rogers/Middletown/Rocky Hill 1-1 last Saturday on Senior Night. The two teams scored a goal apiece in the second period but failed to get anything going the rest of the way. Jay Medina netted Cranston’s lone score, while Kaden Santurri and Mark Cicerone assisted.
Portsmouth would edge the team in a 3-2 overtime decision on Sunday. Portsmouth took an early 2-0 lead in the first period, but Cranston would tie things up on goals from Santurri to force overtime. Justin Drohen recorded an assist.
“Overall, the weekend was better. The effort was there both Saturday and Sunday which carried over from Wednesday. North Kingstown has been the best team in our division this season and I thought in the second half of our game that we competed with them. So this weekend, especially on Saturday with Senior Night, the effort was there which is what I was looking for,” said Cranston head coach Matt Brannon.
With Friday’s game carrying such significant playoff implications, Brannon simply hopes the team stays focused and plays its best game of the winter season.
“You need to go into it with the right approach. You don’t want to make them think that it is life or death, worst case scenario, you want them to play as if it is any other game. There are so many different possible scenarios, but the kids know that we put ourselves in this position, we haven’t played our best hockey this year and our backs are against the wall at this point. Every game is important and if we win on Friday, then we should have a good chance to get in. If not, we know why,” Brannon said.
The team will be relying on its veterans who were key in last year’s dominant state championship run.
“We’re going to lean on our experience. With most of our guys back from last year’s championship season, we’ll depend on them,” said Brannon. “Last year we didn’t face much adversity going undefeated, then we won our first four games this year, it was almost a full calendar year that they hadn’t lost a game. There has been adversity this year with guys not playing their best, COVID (postponements), sickness, it hasn’t been our best year so hopefully Friday night we can lean on our seniors and ride those guys.”
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