Kroboth, Cullett Lead Wahconah to Win over Drury
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Owen Kroboth’s short-handed goal early in the second period sparked a four-goal run for Wahconah, which went on to a 4-1 win over Drury Thursday in the season-opener for both teams at the Boys and Girls Club.
Mike Cullett scored a goal and assisted on the other three, and Jake Risley stopped 10 shots to earn the win in goal.
Despite earning a 7-3 lead in shots on goal in the first period, Wahconah had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. And it looked like Drury might jump on top when the Blue Devils earned a 5-on-3 opportunity just 42 seconds into the second period.
But on the first faceoff of the power play, Cullett won the defensive zone draw back to Kroboth, who raced to the other end of the ice and buried a shot past Drury keeper Nate Haley (27 saves).
“It was a big reliever,” Cullett said of the goal. “It started everything. We just build off one goal, and that’s it. The floodgates open.”
For Kroboth, who skated last year for Pope Francis, it was a homecoming in front of a big home crowd on Melville Street.
“It’s nice to finally play in front of all my friends and my city,” he said.
Wahconah coach Matt Risley agreed with Cullett that the game’s first goal was key to breaking the ice.
“That helped a lot,” Risley said. “Going off the first period, tied 0-0, they were starting to get a little anxious. I had to calm them down, tell them to relax, play your game, and we’ll be fine.”
After killing off the rest of the 5-on-3 to hold Drury scoreless on its three power play opportunities, Wahconah came up empty on a couple of man-up chances of their own.
But they scored an even strength goal midway through the second when Ryan Lapierre dug the puck out of the corner on the left wing side and centered it for Cullett, who finished to make it 2-0.
It stayed that way until there were 5 minutes, 28 seconds left in the third. That is when LaPierre converted assists from Cullett and Mason Alfonso.
Just 26 seconds later, Ernie Lampron made it a four-goal margin.
Up until that half minute stretch late in the third, it was still very much anyone’s game, despite Wahconah’s eventual 31-11 advantage in shots on goal.
“It was a 4-1 game, but it felt like we were in it most of the time,” Drury coach Derek Durocher said. “Hockey wise, I was really pleased with a lot of things we did. We did some things well. I was pleasantly surprised with our youth. We started a line with a sophomore and two freshmen.
“We’re gonna have to skate. We’re gonna have to be a little more composed. I expect us to compete every night.”
Drury's Abel scored with an assist from Tyler Pettit for the three-goal final margin.
It easily could have been a 2-2 game midway through the third if not for a pair of outstanding saves by Wahconah’s Risley.
In the final minute of the first period, Risley stoned Drury’s Camden Abel on a breakaway up the left side.
In the third, with Wahconah up by two goals, the Blue Devils had a 2-on-1 break with Brian Czarnecki and Chase Vanderwoude. But Risley made a sprawling save to keep Drury off the scoreboard.
“He absolutely kept us in it until we got our legs underneath us and started playing together as a team,” Matt Risley said. “We started finally getting more pucks toward the net, and good things happen when you get the puck toward the net.”
Wahconah goes to Chicopee Comp on Saturday.
Drury hosts Mount Everett next Wednesday.