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WEST WARWICK â Goals have been hard to come by for the Coventry High hockey team over the last two weekends.
After scoring at least four goals during their eight-game winning streak, the Oakers havenât lit the lamp more than three times in their last three games, and that includes Saturday nightâs game against the only team in Division II with just one win, North Smithfield.
The Northmen, whose game plan was clearly to defend at all costs and frustrate the veteran Oakers, allowed just one goal in the first two periods to enter the final period tied. But Coventryâs leading-goal scorer, senior Nick Paiva, and defenseman Connor Forsythe tallied 49 seconds apart early in the third period to lead the Oakers to a 3-1 crossover victory.
âWeâre struggling to put the puck in the net,â Coventry coach Ken Bird said after his team picked up four points on the weekend by scoring just five goals. âWeâre dominating play substantially and last night (a 2-1 overtime win over Prout) was the same thing. In 90 minutes of hockey weâve given up 20 shots and weâve had around 80.
âWeâre having good, quality chances. Thereâs nothing you can do, itâs just a team thing. Weâre grabbing wins and playing well and weâre playing hard but weâre struggling to put the puck in the net.â
Coventry (10-1-1, 21 points in Division II-Central) is back in control of the race for the top seed in the playoffs thanks to the result of a contest that happened earlier in the night at the Civic Center. Division II-South leading Middletown scored three goals in the third period to upend Pilgrim 4-0.
The Patriots, who beat the Oakers last week to reclaim the division lead, also have 21 points, but the Pats have played one more game than the Oakers.
âIt was definitely motivation when we found out they lost because we knew we could take first place back and the first seed in the playoffs,â said Connor DiPetro, who scored a goal and added an assist.