Saturday, December 21, 2013

Callahan leads Eagles in season opener - By Scott Beard

The Windham Eagles hockey team opened up its 2013-2014 campaign, rolling past Massabesic/Old Orchard Beach 10-0 on Saturday night at Biddeford Ice Arena. Zack Callahan paced the Eagles attack, scoring five goals and adding an assist on the night. Fellow sophomores Tyler Johnson and Gage Chenard each chipped in two goals apiece, and freshman Giovanni Ruotolo notched a goal.
The Eagles got on the board early, as Callahan poked a loose puck under Massabesic/OOB goaltender Craig Finley just 17 seconds into the contest. Freshman Chris Lekousi picked up an assist on the play. Four minutes later, Ruotolo scored his first career goal (unassisted) when his shot deflected off of a defenseman out in front and found the back of the net. Tyler Johnson got his first career goal minutes later, taking a feed from Callahan in the slot and lifting one over the glove of Finley. Callahan would round out the first period scoring with six minutes left.

After killing off an early penalty to start the second period, Gage Chenard found the net twice in a 12-second span to push the lead to 6-0. The first, an unassisted tally came on a wrist shot from the top of the face-off circle and beat Finley high to the glove side. The second was a low shot that glanced off the goaltender’s pads as Chenard moved into the offensive zone. Penalties in the latter half of the period limited chances throughout the remainder of the period.

Staked to a 6-0 lead after two, the Eagles scored four times in the third. Callahan (unassisted) lit the lamp with a shorthanded goal 21 seconds into the period. Tyler Johnson (assisted by Stuart Johnson) scored shorthanded goal of his own two minutes later. Callahan rounded out the scoring with another unassisted shorthanded goal, and an unassisted even strength goal.

Windham did not score in six powerplay opportunities while Massabesic/OOB could not convert on ten powerplay chances.

Junior goaltender Clayton Owens stopped all 22 shots he faced to pick up his first career shutout. Finley made 39 saves on 49 shots for Massabesic/OOB.

Asked about the outcome, coach Greg Leclair said, “To come out of the gate like we did was good to see. The kids have been working hard for three weeks and for them to be rewarded for those efforts is very gratifying. While the score was a bit lopsided, we have many things we need to improve upon in order for us to be successful as the season progresses. We took way too many penalties tonight and that’s something that cannot continue. We’ll go over some things and get that corrected this week. Overall though, the kids put forth a great effort and we are pleased to earn the result.”

Windham faced South Portland on Thursday at Portland Ice Arena before opening up their home schedule at USM Ice Arena versus Mt. Ararat on Saturday, December 14th at 4 p.m.

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