The Oliver Ames hockey team won one for the Davenport Division Saturday afternoon at Foxborough Sports Center. The Tigers beat Kelly-Rex Division Mansfield, 4-2 in the Hockomock Crossver game.
The win also created strong momentum for the 12-4-3 Tigers as they prepare for the State Tournament.
"People were saying we get no respect," OA coach Jim Sullivan said. "Well, you don’t get respect unless you play well. If you lose to teams that you should have beaten it comes back to haunt you, so today was a good win"
The Tigers came out firing in the first period. After Mansfield Captain Mike Blackman put the Hornets ahead at the 9:07 mark off an assist from fellow Captain Steve Folan, OA's Ryan McGrath answered with a goal 17 seconds later. McGrath was assisted by Drew Koeppell.
With just under 2 minutes remaining in the period, OA took the lead with a Justin Davidner goal and Andrew Mancini assist.
"We knew we could beat them," Sullivan said." The last time was a 1-1 tie. We got them to come out firing, which was good. I thought there was going to be a lot more penalties but if we stay out of the box we do well."
Mansfield Coach Rick Anastos said many of his players were playing out of position in the first period.
"It was senior day so we put a senior lineup together so we had kids that were out of position," he said.
After taking an early lead, OA didn't look back.
With an assist from Davidner, Koeppel extended OA's lead with 12:30 left in the second period off a breakaway goal. While Brendan Murphy added one for the Hornets in the final period, OA's Mancini sealed the game for the Tigers with a power play goal with just under 9 minutes to play.
Anastos knew his Hornets were in for a physical game.
"We were getting frusterated," he said. "We were getting trapped. It seemed like we were kind of tired, too. They keep coming. That’s the thing about OA."
Sullivan said his captains have displayed leadership for his team throughout the year. They also led by example Saturday. McGrath scored a goal and Koeppel added an assist and a goal. OA's third captain, junior Sean Kyne, played well throughout the day, too, Sullivan said.
"They get along well together," he said. "They have spagetti dinners on Fridays. They hang around all together so it’s working out well."
The 10-3-2 Hornets will host Winthrop Tuesday.
Anastos said he hopes to take away some positives as Mansfield awaits State Tournament pairings.
"I thought [Goalie Richard] Shipman played great," he said. "I thought our defensemen played great. Our forwards need to figure out how to get through the trap."
The Tigers will take part in the Sandwich Tournament beginning Monday before State Tournament play.
"It was a good win," Sullivan said.