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Week 3: Woodstock Academy powers past Tri-Town

It was an easy holiday week for the Woodstock Academy boys hockey team.

The Centaurs had just one game to play and that one didn’t take long to decide.

A six-goal flurry in the first period pretty much wrote the script for the outcome as the Centaurs rode it to an 8-2 win over Tri-Town in a Nutmeg Conference game at the Enfield Twin Rinks on Friday.

Woodstock Academy improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference with the win.

While it was easy for the team, it wasn’t that easy for head coach Mark Smolak.

He, like so many others, came down with the flu and couldn’t take advantage of the time off to work on things in practice.

“I had to miss the two practices that we had on Wednesday and Thursday so I really didn’t get to see what the boys went over. I did talk (with his coaching staff) and discussed what I wanted from the team and the practices seemed positive, but having a week between games I don’t think we were ready to have the consistency throughout the whole 45 minutes of play,” Smolak said.

The Centaurs did have a great start.

Sophomore Maxx Corradi got things off on the right foot for the Centaurs as he took a pass from Noah Sampson (2 assists) and put it into the net just a minute, 24 seconds into the game.

Six minutes later, Corradi came knocking again and with help from both Sampson and Donnie Sousa made it 2-0.

Before the end of the period, Corradi would have the hat trick and his ninth goal of the season.

“He was nominated for (Eastern Connecticut Conference) Athlete of the Week and he threw up a hat trick in the first period, that’s pretty good going forward. He’s taking the extra step that we asked of him. Last year, he was a very consistent player with assists and goals. He’s still getting a decent amount of assists and is putting in more goals- that’s what we want,” Smolak said.

Sousa got a tally of his own with 4:46 left in the period which opened the door for plenty more.

In addition to Corradi's third goal in that final four-minute span, both Jayden Fuller and Max Larkin would also score to give Woodstock Academy a comfortable 6-0 lead.

Maybe too comfortable.

“It made it worse,”Smolak said of the early advantage. “We tied the second and third periods 1-1 and our quality of play and decision-making with the puck especially on the defensive end really struggled,” Smolak said.

One of the problems, defensively, was that freshman Ian Sherman was out sick.

“He’s a huge, pivotal piece on the back end for us and (Friday) proved what an important piece he will be moving forward,” Smolak said.

Sampson added his ninth tally of the season in the second period and Seamus Coleman finished things up with a third period goal.

In all, the Centaurs had 12 skaters record points on Friday with Corradi getting four, Sampson three, and Sousa, Larkin and Alex Gessner all recording two.

The Centaurs open the 2023 part of the campaign on Monday with a home game versus Burrillville, R.I. at noon. The game will be broadcast live on the Woodstock Academy website