FITCHBURG -- One mistake cost the New England Jr. Huskies in a big way.
In a well-played game between Eastern Junior Hockey League foes, Bay State capitalized on a miscue deep in the Huskies' zone to pot the lone goal in a 1-0 victory Thursday night at the Wallace Civic Center's Landry Arena in the 10th annual New England Jr. Huskies Invitational Showcase Tournament, which continues through Sunday.
"We played a good hockey game, but obviously we got shut out," Huskies coach Paul Jenkins said. "That's our second 1-0 loss to them. ... We've lost three times to them, they've swept us. They've had our number, but we're not going to win any hockey games scoring zero."
The Breakers improved to 15-8-1 overall, while the Huskies fell to 5-15-3.
After a scoreless first period during which the Huskies simply couldn't generate much offense, the Breakers finally figured out a way to solve the solid defense of the Huskies and sensational goaltender Colby Drost.
The Huskies coughed up the puck deep in their own end, and Breakers sniper Matt Vidal was right there to steal the puck in front. Vidal made a quick move to make Drost commit, then went upstairs with a backhand shot to break the scoreless deadlock with 8:33 left in the game.
"It was a bad mistake, but we had plenty of chances that didn't go in," Jenkins said.
Obviously, it wasn't Drost's fault, according to his coach.
"He was outstanding," Jenkins said. "Colby is a Division I goalie.
He had three Division I schools here watching him tonight. He certainly gave us every opportunity to win, like he does every game. He's an outstanding goaltender."
Per tournament rules, the teams play two 25-minute periods, and the Huskies didn't have much time left in hopes of netting the equalizer.
Late in the contest, the Huskies mounted a threat as Zeth Zielinski and Nick Gawron each were denied on high-percentage shots. The Huskies were awarded a power play with 1:26 left, but just couldn't sneak a shot behind Bay State netminder Blake Dougherty. Townsend's Matt Lemire, Dan Mazzei and Zielinski all came up empty with shots on the power play, as Bay State walked away with another shutout victory.
"We need to be able to get to the net, crash the net a little bit more to find a way to put them in," Jenkins said.
Bay State outshot the Huskies, 27-23, for the game.
The Huskies had one great chance to score in the first period, as Even Bedell's shot while falling to the ice was batted away by Dougherty. The goaltender couldn't smother the puck and Mazzei was there on the far post, but was denied on a clutch save by Dougherty.
"We didn't come out of the gate very well," Jenkins said. "We basically had zero chances to score in the first half. We need to come out of the gate a little stronger."
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