The Groton School Zebras scored nine times on those 63 shots, including five power play goals, in a 9-1 shellacking of the Pingree Highlanders in boys’ hockey action at Pratt Rink Monday.
“We were buzzing around the net pretty well,” said Groton head coach Bill Riley. “They put a lot of rubber on [Pingree goalie Chris DeVito].”
Groton controlled the offensive tempo from beginning to end, peppering DeVito with seven shots in the first four minutes before Matthew Winter forced a power-play goal through a mass of humanity in front of the Pingree net at 4:37.
Andrew Popp got his very productive evening (2 goals, 4 assists) started at 12:37 of the first period, taking a feed from Jason Calhoon to beat DeVito from close range.
Winter struck again just 42 seconds later as he picked up a juicy rebound in front of the net and fired it over DeVito’s right shoulder to put Groton up 3-0.
Pingree got on the board at 1:10 of the second period, when Will Slattery scored from the blue line eight seconds into a slashing penalty, making the score 3-1. That would be as close as they would get, as Groton scored twice more in the period, with a goal by Paul Johnson on a one-timer from just inside the blue line and another by Robert Beshere on another long rebound. He would assist on the next four Groton goals, scored by Winter, Paul Johnson, Robert Beshere, and James Betts.
Pingree (0-3) tried once again to claw back into it in the third period, firing seven shots on goal in the first three minutes but failing to find the back of the net each time. Chris Usseglio had a chance for a breakaway goal, but was denied with a spectacular glove-side save by backup Groton netminder Will Corman, who had just come in for starter Matthew Pompa (27 saves).
James Betts, Tanner Coffins, Ace Cowans, and Popp finished off the scoring in the third period, with the latter three scoring on the power play.
Twelve different players scored a point for Groton (2-0-1), including eight with multi-point games.
“A lot of players had the best period or two of their careers,” said Riley. “I think the team is rolling and playing quite well.”
Groton’s next game is Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at Roxbury Latin, currently 2-0 as the season begins.