The Bears from Berkshire faced off against the Winged Beavers from Avon Old Farms this afternoon at the JACK in Sheffield, MA. Snow fell throughout the area for much of the morning and a number of athletic contests on campus where cancelled or postponed. This only served to add to the Berkshire home ice advantage as the student section at the JACK was well populated. The home crowd was also boosted by a number Berkshire's hockey alums that returned to campus to take part in the annual alumni game following the varsity contest.
The large contingent on hand was treated to a strong start from the Bears as they settled into the first period action. Berkshire controlled much of the early play and created a number of quality scoring opportunities. Greg Smart '12 put the Bears on the board first after he and his linemates (Henry Corcoran '12 and Brendan McGovern '12) battled for a rebound in front of the Avon goaltender. The puck bounced around and found its way to Smart's stick and he banged it in the net. The Bears outshot the Winged Beavers 21-3 in the period, but headed to the locker room with just the single goal lead to show for their efforts.
In the second period Avon seemed to gain some momentum. A turnover while playing with an extra attacker cost the Bears their lead. An Avon forward scooped the puck up off the turnover and buried a breakaway chance to tie the game at one. The Bears struggled to get on the same page in the period and looked disjointed in their attack. Avon carried the play for much of the stanza and it took a number of impressive stops by Berkshire goalie Pat Feeley '12 to keep the game tied.
The Bears regrouped after the second period and came out in the third with improved focus and work ethic. These efforts paid off eight minutes into the third when Charlie Corcoran '14 banged in the rebound off a shot from Craig Puffer '14 to regain the lead. Berkshire added an insurance goal with just over four minutes left when Connor Pelkey '12 did a good job throwing the puck at the net and Brendan McGovern '12 was able to tip the puck in the net to give the Bears the 3-1 lead. Berkshire held on and that score would stand for the final.
It was a busy week for the Bears and one in which they earned three hard fought victories. They will look to get rested and recharged as they prepare to face Hotchkiss on Wednesday in Lakeville.