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WEST WARWICK â Offense mightâve carried the Coventry hockey team to a 16-1-0-1 record and the Division II-Central title.
But itâs been senior goalie Spencer Patti and the Oakersâ stingy defense that has Coventry on the precipice of its first Division II title since 2003.
After scoring nearly five goals a game during the regular season, Coventry has managed to score just three goals in every playoff game. Itâs on the other end of the ice where teams have found the Oakers tough to beat.
Patti, after allowing two goals in Coventryâs first playoff game with Rogers 10 days ago, has allowed just three goals in the last three games. The senior came into the playoffs having never won a playoff game, but he has been brilliant in the 180 regulation minutes and in Fridayâs overtime.
âI knew what we had to do and I know whatâs at stake and this is the time to give it my all,â Patti said before Mondayâs practice at Benny Magiera Rink. âThis is when it counts. Knowing that we are playing for the championship now, it helps me get focused. Itâs really inspiring and has helped me play better.â
The Oakers havenât always made it easy on Patti during the playoffs. Even though Coventry has yet to lose a playoff game in four tries, the Oakers have spent far too much time in the penalty box. Coventry gave No. 8 Rogers five five-on-threes last week and Prout had a number of power plays in the third period of Fridayâs clinching game.
Patti has outdueled two of Division IIâs best goalies to reach the Division II final against the Patriots. First, Patti overcame Rogersâ net minder Redmond Brow and then the Oaker won a great battle with Proutâs Zane Morgan.