The Avengers entered last weekend looking to secure first place. They started by battling with the Middletown co-op in Cranston and winning 6-2, proceeding to then take on the last place Narragansett co-op, winning 4-0. The Avengers then set their sights on going three wins for three games: their final obstacle being the North Smithfield team.
The team entered Monday’s game against North Smithfield sharing first place spot with the opponent at 24 points. North Smithfield’s record was 11-1-2, their only loss had been handed to them at their first game of the season… by the East Greenwich Avengers. That first game back in December was tough, but the Avengers pulled away with a 5-1 victory. North Smithfield entered this contest undefeated in divisional play for 13 games. This game was going to be good. North Smithfield scored 20 seconds after the faceoff. This was not the start that anyone predicted, yet 48 seconds later Max Hagenburg scored to tie the game. It was quite the answer to a faulty start by the Avengers. Only one minute passed before the other half of the standout duo scored – John Ferguson put up his thirty-seventh goal of the season, putting the Avengers up 2-1. Five minutes later and North Smithfield fired back with a goal scored by Nick Degnan. The Avengers struggled to get the puck out of their defensive zone for the majority of the first period, leaving the aggressive forecheck of North Smithfield to put another tally on the board with 5:42 remaining in the first. The Avengers began playing with a chip on their shoulder leaving the first period at a deficit of 3-2.
The dynamic duo of John Ferguson and Max Hagenburg connected to even the score just thirty seconds after the start of the second period. This added fire to an already intense game. The two scored again at the 11:51 mark of the second. John Ferguson was credited with the goal, adding another hattrick to his résumé. The Avengers continued to battle through the period and kill off two penalties. They left the period on top 4-3.
Now came judgement time for the two teams battling for first place. Momentum was in favor of the Avengers and it showed. Max Hagenburg tucked his second goal of the game after an assist from linemate, John Ferguson. East Greenwich continued to persevere through North Smithfield’s onslaught. At the 8:51 mark of the third junior, Cooper Englehart, fed Ferguson for his fourth goal of the game. This put the Avengers’ lead to 6-3, prompting North Smithfield to push back hard. The Avengers again struggled to get the puck out, allowing a goal with 3:51 left in the game. East Greenwich regrouped and held on, dealing North Smithfield their second loss of the season, with a final score of 6-4. East Greenwich now holds first place in the division, two points ahead of North Smithfield.