By Mike Shalin January 19, 2005
The Junior Warriors took different paths to a pair of EJHL victories last week.
Andy Heinze?s team scored four power-play goals and DJ Del Buono (Westborough, Ma) stopped 25 shots in a 5-0 road win over the Boston Harbor Wolves ? before VJW tallied five goals and even strength in a 5-3 home triumph over the New Jersey Hitmen.
?These are two teams that are fighting for playoff spots and those games are always a bit scary,? Heinze said after the two wins raised the Warriors? league record to 20-11-2-1. ?I didn?t think we were real sharp in either game but we were pretty opportunistic ? especially in the Wolves game. Their goaltender played very well and we just kept peppering him with shots.?
When it was over, the shot total was 52 ? and Mark Roebothan (St. John?s, Newfoundland) had put four of them in, Ken Brandt (Plymouth, Mi), with a goal and two assists and Joe Cucci (Bloomingdale, Il), Dan Rossman (Boxford, Ma) and David Strathman (Tempe, Az) with two assists apiece. Roebothan, one of the top players in the EJHL this season, scored the first three goals of the game.
With the road win ? at BU ? in the bank, the Warriors met the expansion Hitmen for the fourth time this season ? and notched their fourth straight win. The visitors led this game, 1-0 and 2-1 (Rossman tying it at 1-1, with assists to Roebothan and Cucci) before Phil Pinter (Villach, Austria) tied it 1:09 into the second period and Bill Bomba (Merrimac, Ma) put his team ahead for good at 6:25, with assists to Scott Savard (Framingham, Ma) and Chris Tutalo (Basking Ridge, NJ).
Ryan Leary (Marblehead, Ma) then worked off assists from Brandt and Pinter to make it 4-2 and, after the Hitmen cut the deficit to one, Tutalo, from Ben Loss (Wilmette, Il.) was the only goal of the third period ? with three Del Buono was in goal for this game, too, the Warriors outshooting the Hitmen, 35-31.
?We were a little bit loose in the second game but got better as the game went on,? Heinze said. ?We tightened up and it made a difference.
The Warriors have only one game this weekend, hosting the Tyngsboro Huskies Sunday at the Valley Forum. The Warriors beat the Huskies at the Forum, 4-3, way back in the second game of the season.
?With a lot of home games down the stretch, we should have pretty good success,? says Heinze, whose team has nine of its last 14 games at home.