The Cumberland hockey team remained undefeated in Division I with a 4-1 victory over Barrington Saturday night at Rhode island Sports Center. 

NORTH SMITHFIELD — Intermission couldn't come soon enough for the undefeated Cumberland hockey team Saturday night against upset-minded Barrington.

The pesky Eagles dominated the latter half of the second period and, if not for some incredible point-blank saves by Clipper senior goalie Jared Johnson, Cumberland's once comfortable two-goal cushion would've vanished.

The Cumberland team that took the ice for the third period looked completely different from the one that trudged off the ice after the second. The Clippers skated faster, made crisper passes and dominated the Eagles to keep their dream season going. Troy Senn and Christian Oliveira scored goals 30 seconds apart early in the final period to lead the Clippers to a 4-1 Division I win at Rhode Island Sports Center.

“Us putting up those two goals early in the third period meant so much,” Oliveira said after setting Senn up for the first goal in the period and then scoring on a breakaway. “When [coach Mark Andreozzi] goes into the locker room in between periods he lets us know some of the stuff we're doing wrong and what we need to fix. He gives us good criticism, but something had to click in our heads because that period is such a big period.”

“We got ourselves into a bit of pickle and that second period was definitively a rollercoaster,” Senn said after scoring a pair of goals. “We settled down in the locker room, fixed what we were doing wrong and started moving our feet. We just picked up on the little things and fixed them.”

Cumberland (7-0-1, 4-0-1 Division I) is the only undefeated team left in the state's top division, but there's a long way to go until the best-of-three quarterfinal series in early March. The Clippers are tied with La Salle for second place in the division, but the Rams have played one more game. The Clippers face North Kingstown and East Greenwich next weekend before going to first-place Hendricken on Jan. 27.

“We're finding a way to win, but we still haven't put a complete game together,” Andreozzi said. “The year is still young and we have a ton of hard games still to play. This one was hard, so we just have to keep plugging. We still aren't executing crisp and strong right now and it's mostly on the mental side.”

Barrington (4-6, 2-4 Division I) has lost three straight games since beating injury-ravaged Burrillville 4-1 earlier in the month. The Eagles received a shorthanded goal from sophomore Henry Kelsey after Johnson (24 saves) robbed junior Drake Almeida of a goal moments before. The Eagles had a couple of other prime scoring chances in the final five minutes of the period, but Johnson made a great glove save on a two-on-one and he also stopped two other attempts from close range to keep his team in front.

“Jared has been unbelievable and from freshman year we knew we were going to have a good goalie for four years,” Senn said. “He hasn't let us down one bit. We know we have a brick wall in that net and we can trust him when we need too. We just have to have his back a little better than we did today.”

The Clippers grabbed the lead for good just 1:10 into the opening period when Senn fired a shot past sophomore goalie Dominic Bruzzi for an unassisted tally. The Clippers controlled the rest of the period, but a second goal didn't come until 4:39 into the middle period when Seth Perron found sophomore winger Sean Taylor, whose shot was saved by Bruzzi. Sammy Lopes was on hand to score his fourth goal of the season.

Barrington dominated the rest of the period and despite going down a man late in the period because of a holding call, grabbed a goal back on Kelsey's rebound finish.

Cumberland regrouped in the locker room and responded with two quick goals. First, Oliveira created a chance for Senn to finish at 4:53 to extend the lead to 3-1.

“It was nice to get a little bit of a cushion and get the ball rolling again,” Senn said. “From there, we just kept pouring it on.”

Oliveira's team-leading fifth league goal came 30 seconds later when senior defenseman Jacob Lopes scooped the puck out of the zone. Oliveira was the quickest to read the play, skated on to the loose puck and scored to finish the scoring.

“Once I saw Jacob set up his hands for a little Hail Mary type flip pass, I just saw an opening and took the space,” Oliveira said. “I just went straight through and slipped it in. We know we have some hard-fought games coming up and we need to treat those games like we've treated these because they're going to be hard or even harder than the ones we've already played.”

Follow Branden Mello on Twitter @Branden_Mello

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