FITCHBURG-- The New England Huskies have had problems putting the puck in the net all season long.
But they found the mark against South Shore Saturday afternoon at the Wallace Civic Center at Fitchburg State University.
The Eastern Junior Hockey League Huskies scored four second-period goals, including two short-handed tallies, in an impressive 5-2 victory in the 10th annual New England Jr. Huskies Invitational Showcase Tournament.
"Coach changed up some of the lines and got some different combinations in there," said Townsend's Matt Lemire, the Huskies' first-line left wing. "We've been rolling with it, and the chemistry has been great. Scoring goals feels awesome."
Lemire led the Huskies offense with two goals and two assists, including a short-handed goal and helper.
"(Lemire's) been pretty much on fire," Huskies coach Paul Jenkins said. "He needs to be a two-point-a-game kid. If he's going to be a Division I player he needs to basically act like it and play like it, and today he did. I'm going to continue to expect that out of him. He was very good up in all three zones. He set up some nice plays obviously, and he had a real big finish for us. It's nice to see him do well."
After a sluggish first period, the Huskies (6-15-3) came out of the locker room and completely dominated the second 25-minute period.
Right winger Marcus Mitchell got the Huskies going with a quick shot from the right circle that eluded backup goalie Brad Barone, who replaced starter Gene Lane to begin the period. South Shore (17-8-3) coach Scott Harlow quickly yanked Barone, who allowed the first shot he saw to go into the net.
"The second period we came out a lot stronger, we came out much more physical and we were ready to play," Lemire said.
The Kings responded three minutes later to knot the game up at 2-2, as Jake Friedman knocked in a rebound past goalie Colby Drost (24 saves) on the power play.
But the Huskies' outstanding and aggressive penalty kill delivered 7:12 in. Dan Mazzei stole the puck in the Huskies' own zone and found Lemire at center ice. Lemire glided out on a breakaway, deked the goaltender and went to the backhand for the short-handed tally and 3-2 lead.
"One of their 'D' pinched and the puck happened to squirt out to my linemate (Mazzei), and I just broke to the center ice and he hit me with a pass and I got the breakaway goal," explained Lemire.
Billy Kent, assisted by Mazzei and Lemire, scored to give the Huskies a 4-2 lead, and then Mazzei potted the Huskies' second short-handed goal of the game, assisted by Lemire and Patrick Borer, 20:18 in.
The Huskies outshot the Kings, 29-26, for the game.