Both teams came in undefeated at 2-0. Both teams came in having not allowed a goal in either of those two wins.
So, something had to give when Belmont and Winchester met at O’Brien Rink Wednesday evening in a key Middlesex League Liberty Division clash.
The teams, not suprisingly, played to a scoreless first half before the Marauders broke through in the second stanza.
Matty Rowan scored on a rebound, and then sophomore Cam Fici sealed it with an empty-netter as Belmont, a Division 1 co-state champion last winter, blanked Winchester, 2-0.
Both goalies, Belmont’s Ryan Griffin, a transfer from the Belmont Hill program, and Winchester veteran senior Robbie DiVincenzo, were solid throughout this one.
“They had us in the first and we made some nice adjustments on their break outs to slow them down and cause turnovers,” said Belmont coach Fred Allard. “Matt Rowan being in the right place and willing to sacrifice his body out front to finish the goal was big for us.”
On the game-winner, a Winchester clearing attempt was intercepted at the blue line by Marauders defenseman Thomas Grace, who fired on net. DiVincenzo made a pad stop but Rowan was right there to shovel home the rebound.
As the game wore on, Winchester (2-1-0) generated several chances, but were stoned by Griffin, and some yeoman defensive work by Ben Fici, who blocked a couple of Winchester shots down the stretch.
Cam Fici put home the empty-netter after chasing down a chip off the glass from defenseman Henry Stonehouse. It was the sophomore’s fourth goal of the season.
The game started slow as both teams were feeling each other out. About midway through the first half, the pace picked up and both goaltenders were forced to make some good saves to keep this one scoreless.
These two teams will meet again this coming Monday at Belmont’s Skip Viglirolo Rink (4 pm faceoff).
- Zach Lebowitz contributed to this report