Patience and defense were key for the King Philip boys' hockey team Saturday evening at the Asiaf Arena in Brockton in a Hockomock League clash against Oliver Ames.
Despite being out-shot by the Tigers, 37-23, the Warriors managed to put together a 3-0 victory against a solid Tigers team.
With the win, KP improved to 1-3-2 (the Warriors beat Milton in overtime during Quincy Holiday Tournament).
"We’ve been battling up until this point," King Philip coach Mark Homer said. "This is a real first actual win. Getting that first win is great and then coming over here and beating a team like Oliver Ames - they’re undefeated."
The Tigers finished the game with their first loss, falling to 4-1-1.
Coming off a great win against perennial power Canton, OA coach Jim Sullivan said his team was not ready to play.
"They’re just not up for the game. It’s hard, they have that mentality that King Philip was 0-3 and they think they’re going to skate right through it," he said. "That doesn’t happen in the Hockomock League. They don’t understand – you can’t do it."
King Philip pulled ahead when freshman Tyler Sullivan found the net during a power play near the end of the first period.
50 seconds into the third period, KP Junior Jack Riley was assisted by Nick D'Amico for KP's second goal.
"They got the first goal – no big deal, we’ve come from behind many times," Sullivan said. "Then they got the second goal and we’ve still got time, and couldn’t do it."
KP's third goal was with 1:24 remaining when senior Kevin Cronin found an empty net.
The Tigers were anchored by sophomore goalie Jimmy Tierney, who has been solid for them all season, Sullivan said.
"He’s been fantastic," Sullivan said. "He’s the one that’s been keeping us in these games. We can’t fault him for letting two goals in. It’s still low. He’s a great goalie. We wouldn’t be where we are right now without a goalie like him."
KP junior goalie Dylan Unger recorded his team's first shutout of the year.
"Tonight he came up really big," Homer said. "You could tell he had a lot of confidence tonight."