Auburn and Wachusett skate to 3-3 tie.

3rd Annual Hockey High School Faceoff
By: Andrew Nawn

In the 3rd annual Hockey High School Faceoff between the Auburn Rockets and the Wachusett Mountaineers, the two Quinn Conference opponents skated to a 3-3 tie on Saturday afternoon at the DCU Center. The game was highlighted by Auburn’s sophomore goaltender Evan Lockwood who had 28 saves on 31 shots and Wachusetts’ Marc Happy who tallied 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist) and was the Player of The Game.

In the first period both teams light the lamp at different points of the period making it 1-1 at the end of one. Wachusett started the scoring early in the first, when sophomore forward Jack Watkins deflected a shot from the point on the power play at 4:28 in the period to give the Mountaineers a 1-0 lead. Auburn would eventually tie the game at one on a nice series of tic-tac toe passing that lead to an easy tap in by Auburns’ Cameron Lanier at 6:10 of the first period. The Mountaineers outshot the Rockets 11 to 7 at the end of one.

Auburn looked to have taken the lead early in the second period, when Auburn senior captain Derek Piekarczyk intercepted a pass from Wachusett Goalie Jake Strasser and put it in the empty net. The goal was ruled no goal on a controversial offside call. The Rockets would take the 2-1 lead at 4:02 of the second period when senior James Wall tipped in a Pekarczyk shot from the point past Wachusetts’ Strasser. The Rockets would again light the lamp to make it 3-1 at 13:03 of the second period. Auburns’ Jason Vrusho took a pass from linemate Josh Crombie and slipped one past Strasser on his blocker side after making a nice deke to beat two Wachusett defenders. The shots were once again favor of Wachusett as they outshot Auburn 11 to 7 to hold a 22 to 13 advantage for the game.

The Mountaineers took little time to cut the two goal deficit as Marc Happy took a nice feed from Matt Cappucci and shot one over Lockwood’s left shoulder making it 3-2 at 2:45 of the third period. Happy would strike once again tying the game at 3 at 9:13 of the third period, scoring the same way as he did on his previous tally of the period. For the remainder of the third period both teams had opportunities from power plays to take the lead but were unable to find the back of the net due to solid goaltending from each team, resulting in the game ending in a 3-3 tie. Wachusett outshot Auburn 9 to 4 in the tird period and 31 to 17 for the game.

Game Notes….
In the annual alumni game between these two schools before this game, Wachusett alumni won 6-2….Player of the Game was Wachusetts’ Marc Benny who had 3 points (2 goals, 1 assist) ….Shots were in favor of Wachusett 22 to 13….Goalies..Wachusett: ….Auburn: Evan Lockwood28 saves on 31 shots….Wachusett: Jake Strasser 10 saves on 13 shots….Ryan Fitzpatrick 4 saves on 4 shots….Power Play….Auburn 0 for 2….Wachusett 0 for 3….

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