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Martlets Battle Hard in Loss to Chiefs

The Martlets welcomed the always hard-charging Connecticut Chiefs to Jackson Rink for a late Wednesday game. The Chiefs brought a fair amount of speed and skill to the contest, and at times the Seconds had their hands full in the loss. The 1-5 score, in fairness, is not representative of the overall game, as the Martlets competed for long stretches and generated some sustained offensive bursts. All credit to goalkeeper Will Scott '20, who turned aside 40 Chiefs' shots, including several terrific saves. For their part, the Seconds mustered 22 shots for the game. The Chiefs jumped out to an early lead in the first minute of the game when a streaking forward drove hard to the net, beat the Black and Gold defensemen and roofed a snap shot over Scott's shoulder. The game settled in after that, and the 0-1 Chiefs lead lasted well into the second period. Again, however, the Martlets found themselves killing off too many penalties, and a Chiefs powerplay goal midway through the frame made it 0-2. An unfortunate bouncing puck and a couple of deflections four minutes later put the Chiefs up 0-3, and that's how the second period ended. The third was a pitched battle, with both teams spending some time in the penalty box — but it's difficult to claw your way back into a game when you're playing 4 vs. 4 or killing a penalty against a talented team. Another Chiefs' powerplay goal put the visitors up 0-4 midway through the third, but the Martlets finally found the back of the net when Alex Tonioni '22 carried the puck into the Chiefs' zone on a rare Martlet powerplay and deftly slipped a pass to Newt Cutler '22. Cutler didn't hesitate, and fired a wrist shot over the Chiefs' keeper's glove hand to get the home side on the board. But it was too little, too late, and a bit of sloppy play in their own end late in the game led to the Chiefs' final tally. Looking ahead to Saturday's tilt against rival Loomis, the Seconds will look to play much more 5-on-5 hockey and try to get more pucks and bodies to the net and score some scrappy goals. The score notwithstanding, the coaches were pleased overall with the effort, particularly from the short-handed defensive corps of Tonioni, Nate Stevens '21, Jack Rockefeller '23, Beck Winsor '21 and Sawyer von Jess '22. The Martlets will hit the road Saturday and head to Windsor to take on Loomis; word is the booster club has secured a block of seats and rented a Winnebago for fans looking to make the trip.

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