BURRILLVILLE â€” Looking rather glum, Steve Daigle stood outside Burrillville Highâ€™s locker room at Levy Rink on Monday afternoon and sighed at what had just transpired.
â€śIt was a disaster,â€ť he said after his Broncos had suffered a humiliating 6-0 Division I loss to powerhouse Hendricken. â€śThe kids just didnâ€™t come ready to play for some unknown reason. They just didnâ€™t have it. They didnâ€™t come out of the gate with any kind of energy, which is something you definitely need against the privates.
â€śThere are no words to describe it; this is the worse loss weâ€™ve had all year,â€ť he added. â€śWeâ€™ll just start (Tuesday) morning at 5:30 with some spirited skating. We have to make up for these three periods of no skating.â€ť
Junior forward Andrew Fera notched a hat trick and an assist for the Hawks, who bettered their marks to 10-1 overall and 8-0 in D-I. Senior co-captain Eddie Markowski contributed a goal and two assists, while sophomore Matt Creamer posted a goal and a feed and senior Dakota Hersey and freshman Riley Young two assists each.
Burrillville fell to 6-5-1 overall and 3-5-1 in league.
â€śWe couldnâ€™t have played any worse if we tried,â€ť Daigle noted. â€śWeâ€™ve only had a full team for two games this year; we were missing one defenseman (senior Blake Boutiette) with a wrist injury, and (sophomore) Tom Libby was out with pneumonia, but thatâ€™s still no excuse for our poor play.â€ť
Creamer gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead on a feed from Fera; he ripped a wrister off the crossbar and into the net just 2:13 into the contest, but it looked like the Broncos would tie it up when sophomore Nick Koprusak drilled a slap shot from inside the blue line at Hendricken senior netminder Mitchell Proulx, though the latter made a stellar sweeping stick save at 8:02.
With 6:08 left in the period, Broncosâ€™ junior Tyler Gautreau skated to the box after an interference call, but senior Drew Buxton, sophomore Ben Robinson and freshman Tyler Kearney did a fantastic job on the penalty kill.
But with 2:15 remaining, senior Dan Takita was called for interference, joining classmate Evan Lafond in the penalty box and giving the Hawks a 30-second span of a 5-on-3.
Lafond managed to get back on the ice, but Takita didnâ€™t, as Markowski slipped a point-blank shot (on passes from Hersey and Creamer) under Burrillville junior goalie Kyle Wilkinson to make it 2-0 with 1:59 left.
Just 1:21 into the middle session, it look as if the Broncos would slice the gap in half when freshman Riley Tupper found himself on a breakaway and fired a slapper from outside the right circle at Proulx, but he made an outstanding stick save.
Amazingly, moments later, Daigleâ€™s crew had a chance to take advantage of a pair of Hendricken penalties. With 12:40 remaining, referees called Markowski for boarding, and 44 ticks later, junior Tucker Alberigo for hooking; that gave the hometowners 76 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage.
Immediately, Lafondâ€™s wrist shot from the left circle rang the left post, and a similar try by sophomore Chad Stone was corralled by Proulx. The Broncos had an additional 44 seconds of a 5-on-4, but Hendricken killed that penalty as well.
â€śWe called a timeout, and what I wanted them to do is get as many pucks on the net as we could and just hope something went in the net,â€ť Daigle claimed. â€śOur power play has one of our best assets this season, but we didnâ€™t move very well.
â€śWe just had too many penalties called against us,â€ť he continued, noting Burrillville finished with 10 (the Hawks had seven). â€śConsidering we donâ€™t have depth to begin with, that took any momentum we had out of our hands. That (failure on the 5-on-3) was the start of bad things to come.â€ť
Hendricken made it 3-0 shortly after, when junior Jonathan Finelli whacked in a wrist shot from the slot (and on passes from Hersey and Josh Olson) at 8:55.
In the first 2:53 of the third period, Gautreau was cited for hooking and sophomore Pat McConnell for cross-checking, though the Broncos didnâ€™t allow a tally.
Just after those penalty kills, Fera skated down ice, juked a defender and flipped an unassisted wrister just under the crossbar to make it 4-0 with 8:56 left. Only 48 ticks later, Fera converted his second, thanks to passes from Markowski and Miller, and the same trio hooked up again for Feraâ€™s hat trick at 12:54.
All told, Hendricken mustered only one power play on nine chances.
â€śOur penalty kill was definitely on, sure, but the thing is, we shouldnâ€™t have been in the box,â€ť Daigle mentioned. â€śA lot of our penalties came in the offensive zone, which isnâ€™t good.â€ť
The head coach did mention that Robinson, Koprusak and Gautreau did exhibit some solid defensive play in the losing effort.
â€śWe only came in with two returning defensemen, so theyâ€™ve really stepped up to the plate for us,â€ť he said.