Heading into Saturday's game against Commonwealth Athletic Conference frontrunner Shawsheen, Rockport head coach Kyle Nelson preached to his team the importance of playing a full 45 minutes.
While the Vikings have played well in spurts all season, they were still looking to put together a complete, three period performance. Against Shawsheen, Rockport got the complete game it was looking for in a hard fought, 2-1 win at the Talbot Rink.
With the win, the Vikings move to 3-4-2 on the season, 3-2-1 in the CAC. Shawsheen (5-5), on the other hand, suffered its first conference loss of the season, falling to 4-1.
"The last few games we've played lower tier teams and played down to their level so it was nice to see us play up to the level of a very good Shawsheen team," said Nelson, whose team avenged an 8-2 loss to Shawsheen last month. "For the first time all year we played a full 45 minutes and it was a great, total team effort."
After a scoreless first, where Rockport carried the play, Rockport opened up the scoring when John Andrew put home a pass from Rowan Silva to make it 1-0. Shawsheen controlled the early stages of the second, but the Vikings shifted momentum with the goal.
Rockport added to that lead just 13 seconds into the third period when Andrew struck again, this time on a feed from Andrew Guelli.
Shawsheen pressed from there and ended up holding a 9-2 edge in shots on goal in the final period. Dylan Timmons cut the lead to 2-1 and the Rams later got a 5-on-3 power play chance in the middle of the third which Rockport killed off.
Cal Twombly got the win in net with 21 saves, most of them coming in the final two periods including a breakaway bid in the second and multiple stops on the 5-on-3 penalty kill.
The Vikings are now 2-0-1 in their last three games and are looking to get back to the .500 mark in another big game Commonwealth Conference on Wednesday against Northeast at the Talbot Rink (8 p.m.). Second place in the CAC will be on the line. Northeast won the first meeting between the two teams, 2-0 in the season opener.