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Week 6: Centaurs offense continues to churn in win over SGWL

The offense has been clicking for the Woodstock Academy boys hockey team.

And no one has been more on fire than sophomore Maxx Corradi.

The winger scored five goals in a 9-2 win over Lincoln, R.I. early in the week and followed up that effort with a hat trick in a 10-0 win over the Suffield-Granby-Windsor Locks cooperative program on Saturday in Simsbury.

What has been more impressive, according to Centaurs coach Mark Smolak, is the manner in which Corradi has been putting the puck in the net.

“A lot of his goals have come from absolute, pin-point accuracy shots,” Smolak said. “He hit one in Lincoln that whizzed right between the three inches that the goalie gave him between his head and the post. Maxx was able to throw that puck right there without hitting anything but the net. To have that kind of accuracy on his shots from extreme angles is absolutely ridiculous and great to see.”

The three goals against the Wildcats gives Corradi a team-high 20 coming into the week and gives the Centaurs another big scoring threat aside junior Noah Sampson who is still the team’s scoring leader with 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists).

“Most of Noah’s points last year came from assists while Maxx was equal between goals and assists and Don (Sousa) had significantly more goals than assists. What we’re seeing this year is that they are all leveling it out. They are evenly distributing the puck, staying level with assists vs. goals, which is great because that means they’re working together, moving the puck, capitalizing on chances and not playing selfishly,” Smolak said.

For example, Sampson assisted on the first five goals of the game against the SGWL cooperative and Sousa finished with two goals and an assist in addition to Corradi’s 3-goal effort.

The Centaurs also got production from outside their first line as Jayden Fuller and Ian Sherman (2 assists) each had two goals and Keegan Covello also scored.

Andrew Newton and Jared Nielsen each had two assists.

If there was one thing that Smolak was concerned about, it was how the Centaurs started.

Corradi scored in the first period but it was the only goal Woodstock Academy would generate until it scored four times in the second and five more times in the third.

“We’re starting to see some bad habits creep in. We’re not really ready to play at faceoff and that is a little of a concern moving forward,” Smolak said. “If we show up for the second and third period and not for the first, we’re going to be struggling in March.”

Part of that could also be the competition.

The win over SGWL raised the Centaurs record to 10-1 overall and 5-0 in the Nutmeg Conference.

The conference has hardly been a challenge for the Centaurs who have won the five games by a 45-2 total. Only Tri-Town, whom Woodstock Academy downed 8-2, has scored a goal against the Centaurs.

“It’s unfortunate because we are playing teams who aren’t going to qualify for the tournament and we’re getting this heightened sense of what we are as a team. Then, we go out and play really strong teams and the games tend to be significantly closer. We’re trying to mimic that intensity and be ready to play every team with the same determination and focus as we would against a Bishop Hendricken or North Haven,” Smolak said.

Even the first period against Lincoln was a bit of a slow start.

The Centaurs fought to open a 3-2 lead as Sousa, Corradi and Jacob Jurnovoy scored early for Woodstock Academy.

Corradi put it away in the second period as he scored the first four Centaurs goals and Fuller added a fifth to put Woodstock Academy up by six goals going into the final period.

Jurnovoy, who added two assists, concluded the scoring for the Centaurs in the third period.

Sousa added three assists in the victory.