So much for the Medfield High School boys' hockey team coming off a 12-day layoff rusty.
The Warriors erupted for six goals in their MIAA Division 3 South Sectional State Tournament game Monday and set the tone early with three first period goals, including two in the opening three minutes enroute to a 6-2 victory over Silver Lake Regional of Kingston at Asiaf Arena in Brockton.
"They came out with our game plan and attacked and did all that they needed to do," Medfield head coach Toby Carlow said of his Warriors. "We knew we could win this game doing the easy things and making the simple plays and that's what happens when you take the pressure off yourself by making easy plays, it can make the whole difference in the game."
With the victory, Medfield advances from the preliminary to the first round of the state tournament, where it will play Medway, a winner over Wareham Monday at a time, date and location yet to be determined.
"This game's over, we can enjoy it for the rest of the day, but we need to be ready for whoever we play and we will game plan for that whenever I know," Carlow said. "Just play a smart, disciplined game and we will be all set."
Medfield's Ben Cox got the scoring started, converting a power play chance 1:26 into the game after Silver Lake Regional was called for interference. Jim Magrath assisted on the goal. Less than two minutes later, Cam Donnelly increased the Warriors lead, 2-0, netting a pass from Mike Brown at the 3:03 mark. Tyler Etzkorn capped off the first period scoring with a tally of his own at the 10:25 mark , assisted by Matt Crowell.
Medfield maintained its first period momentum into the second, adding two more goals to the onslaught, building a 5-0 lead before Silver Lake finally responded late in the period as a result of undisciplined play by the Warriors.
Medfield committed three careless penalties with the five goal lead over the last seven minutes of the period. The Lakers capitalized on a too many men on the ice penalty with a goal at 8:57 to stop Medfield's scoring frenzy and pull within four. Silver Lake had a chance for more after Medfield committed two more penalties, seven seconds apart from each other. Cox was called for a minor holding penalty at 12:26 and Chris Diana, during the Warriors penalty kill, was called for unsportsmanlike conduct at 12:33 after spraying the goalie with snow as he stopped in front of the net on a break-away attempt.
"That's what happens," Carlow said. "You never know what they're going to call when they're going to call it. You can't give [Silver Lake] the opportunity, that's the thing. You put yourself in position to take a penalty and that's your fault. We need to stop doing that and if we play like we played in the first half of this game [the opponent] is going to take a lot of penalties to keep up with us."
Medfield stepped up its defense during Silver Lake's five-on-three opportunity and killed the three minute stretch of penalties to close out the period with a four-goal lead.
Medfield committed three more penalties in the third period and gave up another power play goal but answered that with a power play goal by Magrath with 11:33 remaining in the period. The score would remain 6-2 the rest of the way.
Goalie Connor Roddy played outstanding between the pipes for Medfield, allowing just the two goals on a team that averages over four goals per game and bailing out his defense throughout the second and third periods with a flurry of tremendous saves, remaining cool under pressure in a state tournament game.
Medfield improves to 13-5-3 on the season while Silver Lake ends its season at 10-10-3.