Less than 16 hours after shocking the Cape Ann League with a 4-3 victory over North Reading, the Newburyport hockey team came back to the Graf Rink Saturday afternoon and handed that win right back, losing 4-3 to a scrappy Saugus.
“It’s disappointing,” said Newburyport coach Paul Yameen after the loss. “I thought we might come out a little sluggish because of last night, but there are no excuses. They out-battled us. They won the one-on-one battles.”
Newburyport (9-7-1, 7-4-1 in the CAL) started the game Saturday camped out in the Sachems’ end. Newburyport sophomore Scott Webster eventually scored his team’s first goal of the day, slipping the puck past Sachem goalie David Aiken’s right hand. Fellow sophomores Tyson Gudaitis and Conor Brennan had the assist on the play.
But Saugus (5-10, 4-7 in the CAL) answered right back with only 12 seconds remaining in the first period when Joe Russo banged one in past Newburyport sophomore goalie Noah Kolesha to knot things at one going into the first intermission.
Saugus came out swinging to start the second period when Mike Sarnacchiaro aced a slap shot past Clipper freshman goalie Robbie Federico’s left side. Newburyport tied things up three minutes later courtesy of a Travis Wile goal, assisted by Ben Ventura.
With six minutes to go in the second period, Saugus took the lead on another Russo goal set up by Steve Kay. Kay extended his team’s lead with a minute and a half to go in the period on a goal assisted by Pat Cross and Brendan Ronan.
Gudaitis inched Newburyport closer four minutes into the third period on a nice goal assisted by AJ Williams and Brendan Barraclough, but that was as close as Newburyport got.
“We certainly have to play better in between the pipes,” said Yameen, who played Kolesha in goal during the first and third periods and Federico in the second. “I thought a couple of those goals were soft. We’re going to try and get one of (the goalies) hot. That is what we are trying to do. But I give (Saugus) credit, they played harder than us.”