SPECIAL TO THE HERALD
NEWINGTON - Newingtonâ€™s The Tribe didnâ€™t have much trouble in their opening round matchup of the Nutmeg Gameâ€™s 14 & Under Ice Hockey Tournament Thursday afternoon.
In fact, it was one sided, as The Tribe beat the New Haven Warriors 5-0 at Newington Arena.
â€śThere is still a lot of work to do,â€ť Tribe head coach Mike Kingston said after the victory. â€śWe got a lot of work to do in our zone, skating and being able to get to the puck.â€ť
Jake Martin had no trouble getting to the puck. He scored three goals for The Tribe in the win, the first of which came approximately three minutes into the first period.
The game started slowly for both teams offensively with each having trouble hanging onto the puck leading to a lot of back-and-forth action.
Kingston said the reason it took a while for The Tribe to get going was that it the first time many of his players had been in a game situation with one another and had yet to figure out each teammateâ€™s style of play.
â€śI think they just have to get used to playing with each other, I think that is the biggest thing,â€ť Kingston said. â€śThere were a lot of butterflies.â€ť
Each team had a penalty a piece in the first third, but neither could capitalize on the power plays.
Owen Johnson scored Newingtonâ€™s second goal of the afternoon in a chaotic play at the goal line, but he was able to get the puck through to double their lead.
Martin got back to work in the third period, scoring his second goal of the game after taking advantage of a one-on-one opportunity two minutes into the period.
Matthew Labaty followed up Martin three minutes later with a goal of his own to give the Tribe a 4-0 lead, essentially sealing the victory against New Haven as the defense kept the Warriors off the board.
â€ś[The Warriors] werenâ€™t aggressively forechecking us, they were more of a trap type, wings-on-wings so we just moved the puck up the middle,â€ť Kingston said about the teamâ€™s approach. â€śIf we get the beyond the wings, then we have a pretty good shot at scoring.â€ť
Martin capped off the scoring for The Tribe with close to three minutes remaining, putting in his final touch on his offensive performance.
â€śHe is pretty strong, he is a strong player,â€ť Kingston said about his young player. â€śHe is hungry and you want to feed a guy like that. We are working on that and we will keep on doing that.â€ť
With a victory already under their belt, Kingston emphasizes the most important thing that team must do is have fun and continue to work on their craft to get better.
â€śWe are just getting rid of rust and working on some of our stuff,â€ť Kingston said. â€śSuch as positioning and the positioning of our players where they should be offensively and defensively and that is some stuff we will work on the next few games.â€ť
Kimberly Pena can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @Kimberly_P12