Northfield skates past BBA
MANCHESTER -- Northfield's Jackson Tucker wears a maroon Marauders jersey with the number 14 on the back.
After Wednesday night's performance against Burr and Burton Academy, he might want to trade it for one with a Superman ‘S'.
Tucker scored the first six goals as he led Northfield to a 7-1 Lake Division win over the Bulldogs in boys hockey at Riley Rink.
"If he can use his speed, he'll kill you," said BBA (2-13) coach Joe Farrara. "Once he gets momentum on the rush, he's hard to stop. He has good hands and feet and a great sense of the game."
Tucker, who came into the game with 28 goals as the top scorer in the state, started four minutes in by working his way through the BBA defense, taking a pass from Jordan Lumsden and burying the puck between BBA goalie Kevin Souls' legs.
Two minutes later, the Bulldogs went on the power play after Luke Gadbois was called for boarding, but Northfield immediately went on the offensive and Tucker scored again -- this time short-handed for a 2-0 lead.
"To start off, I was trying to bury a couple and get the team going," said Tucker, who now has 34 goals this season. "I'm trying to get points on the board and get [my teammates] pumped up. Tonight I had the chances and made the most of them."
At the same time, Northfield goalie Riley Corey kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard, making a nice save on an Andy Ishu breakaway near the end of the first period.
Corey ended up with 22 saves.
"Andy had three or four breakaways and their goalie made some good saves," Farrara said. "They're a good team, fast and they do well without the puck."
Tucker completed the first hat trick of his night 30 seconds into the second, making it 3-0, but BBA continued to fight, forcing Corey to make 12 saves in the second.
One BBA shot clanged off the post and bounced out, while Corey snagged a slapshot off another try through traffic.
"We were very positive after the first period, both [goals] were stoppable," Farrara said. "We kept playing hard down two, but we lack firepower and it's hard to come back 2-0 [or] 3-0."
Tucker added two more in the second period to make it 5-0 heading into the third.
Three minutes in, Tucker finished his night with another score for a even six-pack.
"He's going to get his 1 or 2 or 3 against even the better teams," said Northfield coach Paul Clayton. "He plays hard every night, but teams that have more depth, they'll overload on him."
Lumsden scored the other Northfield goal with 6:42 left, while BBA avoided the shutout as Nate Eisenman scored on a scramble in front of the Marauder net. Nolan Johnson was credited with an assist.
"I thought we played pretty well tonight," Farrara said. Northfield is No. 2 in the state. We struggled in net a little bit, and you can't get down with a good team like this. We have to limit mistakes and when we do make them, they make you pay."
Clayton said that while BBA is down this year, the Bulldogs will be back in the title hunt before long.
"Everything is cyclical, we all go through it, what's happened to this group," Clayton said. "This year is down in the cycle. Every team in this league goes through it, they have to stick with it and they'll work through it."
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