Clippers can't keep up with Chieftains
Monday, December, 17
By James Sullivan
With a December Nor'easter bearing down on the Haverhill Valley Forum, Newburyport opened it season against defending CAL champs Masconomet Saturday night. However, the Chieftains were more powerful than the gathering storm for the Clippers to overcome.
Led by the tenacious goaltending of Mike DiGiorgio, Masco defeated the Clippers. 4-2, to christen their new home. A pair of Dereks | McCoy and Freeman | scored for Newburyport.
"We came out sluggish, and they jumped out all over us in the first," said coach Paul Yameen. "We came back in the second and third, but we just couldn't bounce back in time.
"We didn't match their intensity in the beginning. We've got a lot of young guys out there," Yameen added. "They played a good game. We'll get better as we go. It's back to the drawing board."
Masco took the lead in the first five minutes on a goal by junior forward Andrew Roach. But the Clippers soon answered back when senior captain McCoy tied the score.
Assisted by Billy Eiserman and Kyle McElroy, McCoy blew a wrist shot past DiGiorgio from 10 feet out.
The tie was short-lived, however, as Masco moved regained the lead on a goal by senior forward Tophy Haines to end the first period.
The hits kept on coming as the Chieftains poured it on in the second, slipping in a pair of goals. The first was by junior defenseman Sean Jackson followed by junior forward Tom Brazil on a scramble in front of the Clippers net, making it 4-1.
Newburyport cut the lead in half with barely three minutes left in the game with a gliding shot from sophomore left wing Derek Freeman assisted by his brother, senior defenseman David Freeman, and McCoy.
The Clippers nearly made it interesting when it appeared forward Kirk Dillon redirected a shot past DiGiorgio. But the goal was called back when the referee ruled Dillon kicked it in.
"It was a judgment call that didn't go our way," said Yameen, while also noting that Masco had seven power plays to the Clippers' one. "You can't play short-handed all night on the road and expect to pull out the win.
"Having the game being canceled the other night (because of the snow) kind of hurt," Yameen added. "The kids were upbeat about the second and third period, and we expect to carry that momentum to Lynnfield."
Yameen was also upbeat about the play from his goalie, senior Brendan Doherty. who was playing his first varsity game.
"He had some first-game jitters, but he's a good, hard-working kid," Yameen said. "The kids are behind him."
The Clippers next hit the road Wednesday to face Lynnfield, which is coming off a 7-1 blowout of Amesbury.