GLOUCESTER -- With Winthrop coming to town last night, the Gloucester hockey team knew what to expect in a game it desperately needed to win.
The Vikings live up to their reputation as a defensive force, having surrendered just 1.4 goals per game through their first 14 games.
Having that knowledge, the Fishermen knew they had to pepper Winthrop goaltender Ray Feeley with shots if they intended to get back to .500 with a win last night.
Ultimately, though, the 18 shots Gloucester managed were far from enough to overcome the vaunted Winthrop defense, and the Vikings rode two second-period goals to a 2-0 win and Feeley’s fifth shutout of the year.
With the win, the Vikings clinched a postseason appearance, and with the loss, the Fishermen fell ever closer to another year without a state tournament berth.
“I think Winthrop played a good defensive game,” Gloucester coach Don Lowe said. “We didn’t get enough shots on net. I think the boys worked hard, we just didn’t get enough shots on net and that’s just Winthrop’s style.”
The Vikings took it to Gloucester from the opening puck drop, but the Fishermen were able to keep Winthrop’s opportunities to the perimeter and eventually level the ice as the first period wore on.
The Fishermen even gained some momentum after successfully killing off a lengthy 5-on-3 from the Vikings at the start of the second period and began to push for the game’s first goal.
It all began to fall apart for Gloucester, though,when Winthrop’s leading scorer Chris Page undressed a Gloucester defensemen in the neutral zone and walked in all alone on Owen Parisi (25 saves) before ripping a shot just inside the left post to put the Vikings up 1-0.
Five minutes later, Winthrop defenseman David Capone laced a bomb from the point on the power play to increase the lead to a commanding 2-0.