After tying in each team’s season opening game, and Billerica High School’s boys varsity hockey teams met again Tuesday night, and though both teams battled hard, Burlington proved to have the slight edge winning the rematch 3-2 at Billerica High School.
Burlington came out with a barrage of offensive shots forcing Billerica goalie Robert Bouregeois to really be on his toes early in the game. After saving the first few shots, Burlington finally found the back of the net when sophomore Joe Berardi knocked a puck home.
Berardi scored on a backhand through the five-hole of Bouregoeois at 4:07 into the first period with assists from Brian Hood and captain Chris Irwin. The early goal seemed to give the Red Devils momentum which is so valuable in a game between two teams so closely matched.
However, the momentum could not last and Billerica drew even four minutes later at the 8:08 mark when Jack Jenkins knocked in a rebound following an Arthur Raposa shot to tie the game up 1-1. The goal would come with a man advantage after Burlington was forced to go on the penalty kill following a slashing call.
After going into the first intermission knotted up 1-1, both teams came out with a lot of energy to start the second. The period was played very physical with a lot of hitting by both teams.
Both Bouregeois and Burlington goalie Derek DeCastro were outstanding in this period, stopping nine shots each. Bouregoeis did make one mistake, though, and when facing an opponent of Burlington’s caliber, one mistake can wind up costing you the game.
The mistake came at 10:36 of the second period when Bouregeois seemed to think the referee had blown the whistle after he covered a Burlington shot he had just saved. He dropped the puck out of his glove, leaving it sitting right out in front of a wide-open net. Burlington junior forward Trevor Cimino took advantage of the mix-up and came in and knocked the puck into the net. The goal, probably one of the easiest Cimino has scored in his career, proved to be the difference in the game.
Burlington came out and notched an insurance goal early on in the final period when freshman Adam Crowley unleashed a shot from the point that found its way to the back of the net. Just as with the game’s first goal it came with assists from Hood and Irwin.
Billerica kept battling and was able to cut into the lead when Ross Olsson scored at 8:59. He shot it low stick side and the puck just trickled past DeCastro to make it 3-2. This is as close as Billerica could get though as Burlington did a brilliant job late in the game to preserve the lead.
DeCastro stopped 26 shots in net to take home the win for the Red Devils while Bouregeois stopped 21 in a losing effort.
Burlington now has over a week off before they skate again next Wednesday, Jan. 26, when they face Melrose at the Burlington Ice Palace. The team faced Melrose earlier this season and won 7-1.