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Week 3: Centaurs and Rockets finish deadlocked

Lots of rotations.

Mixing up the lines.

Woodstock Academy coach Eric Roy has done what he can early in the season to get his players familiar with each other in the brand-new cooperative program.

It paid off on Wednesday at the Jahn ice Rink at Pomfret School as the Centaurs skated to a 2-2 tie with the Auburn (MA.) Rockets.

It’s the same Rockets team that just the week before had skated past the Woodstock Academy cooperative team, 4-2, on their home ice at the Hogan Rink.

“That’s a great result,” Roy said. “After what they did to us last week, we were able to hang with them. We wanted to clean up our game and have some fight and get away from the first period jitters and everything looked a heck of a lot better out there.”

The Rockets did have the better of the play in the first period.

They outshot the Centaurs, 11-6.

But the important thing was that no puck went into the net.

It accomplished the goal of getting over the slow starts that the Centaurs (1-3-1) had been bothered by in three of their first four games.

Auburn did break through for a goal with just 1 minutes, 42 seconds left in the second period, however, when Maddi Langevin picked up a rebound off a shot from Maddi Wall and stuffed it into the Centaurs net.

But Woodstock Academy would answer.

With just 29 seconds left in the period, Juliette Hammer took a shot from the left point, it was deflected by teammate Mia Williamson on to the stick of Caitlyn Flynn who re-directed it into the Auburn net.

It was a focus that the Centaurs had been working on in their three practices leading up to the Auburn game- battling in front of the net for position.

“We fought,” Roy said. “Every time, we fight which I’m proud of these girls for. They battle back. They don’t get down and discouraged. That’s a good sign.”

That fight was on display again in the third period.

Auburn again forged ahead when Leah Medeiros with help from Maddi Leonard and Fiona Knott put one past Woodstock Academy goalie Elizabeth Morgis with 8:10 left to play.

The Centaurs, however, forged the tie when freshman Maci Corradi with help from senior captain Bryn Miller and fellow freshman Riley Faber equaled things up with 5:24 to play.

“We had a good breakout and as we got it into the zone, I went to the net, crashed it, tipped it and put it in,” Corradi said.

It was her team-leading sixth goal of the season.

“She’s a sparkplug,” Roy said of the freshman. “She has a way to put a puck in the back of the net. She can shoot, is always in the right spot. She’s a great teammate and a great leader.”

Morgis was solid all game long as she made 20 saves on the 24 shots that Auburn put on net.

“She’s been a rock for us. She saw one game last year and has just been thrust into it this year and has done a heck of a good job. She comes to work and she wants to win hockey games,” Roy said.

The team, as a whole, is starting to come together.

“After the first few games, Coach saw who could play together and he worked us together so that we could bond a bit,” Corradi said.

For example, Flynn is from Norwich Tech, Hammer hails from Ledyard and Williamson from East Lyme and they combined to score the first goal.

“You can see it, they’re starting to gel,” Roy said. “It’s different to have so many schools and girls coming from different places. But they’re getting along at practice, always picking each other up. It’s a good group of girls.”

The Centaurs have one more game to play this holiday week. They are scheduled to play at Pope Francis School in Springfield, MA. on Friday night.