By Ed Niser
BOXBOROUGH — Sometimes the bounces just don’t go your way.
Such was the case for North Middlesex Monday night against Division 1 Acton-Boxborough at Nashoba Valley Olympia Rink in Boxborough.
North Middlesex allowed two late goals in the first and second periods as Acton-Boxborough streaked past the Patriots, 2-0.
“It would have been nice to get a little finish but other than that we played pretty solid,” North Middlesex head coach Mike McCarthy said.
“They had a few opportunities at goal off a funny kick by the end boards that the Zamboni left,” he said.
“Both goals were given last minutes left on a failed clearing attempt. A couple mistakes cost us tonight. We are generating scoring chances but just are not finishing.”
With the loss, North Middlesex dips to 8-2 heading into Wednesday’s Roy Conference battle with a Westboro team it defeated 2-1 last Monday in the final minute of the game.
Following the game with Westboro is a rematch against Groton-Dunstable in the annual Military Appreciation Night game at the Wallace Civic Center.
The Patriots dropped a contest two weeks ago 4-1 at the hands of the Crusaders.
North Middlesex junior goalie Joe Sheridan stopped 21 shots in the loss.
Acton-Boxborough outshot North Middlesex 23-19.
“Joey played great,” McCarthy said. “He has been very solid for us all year long. He has been our most consistent player from start to finish so far. You can’t ask him to score goals — he can’t do it all.”
The Patriots let a goal slip in with 35 seconds remaining in the opening period as senior forward Jake Benn coasted into the congested slot and poked the puck home to make it 1-0 in favor of the Colonials.North Middlesex’s best scoring opportunities came in the second period on a breakaway chance from Joe O’Neill, which was turned aside by the sprawling pad save of Acton-Boxborough goalie Jake Getsick (19 saves).
The Patriots had another opportunity late in the second on a breakout play from Mike Corrado, but yet again, Getsick was at the ready to make the save. Sheridan shimmied the first Colonial shot attempt off his shoulders with 50 seconds remaining in the second, but the Patriots failed to clear the puck out of the defensive zone.
Enter Ethan Abramowicz who wristed the rebound chance under the blocker of Sheridan to make it 2-0 Colonials after two.
“We have a tough week ahead against Roy Conference opponents,” McCarthy said. “We gotta find ways to get a couple pucks in the net — otherwise, we are asking way too much of our goaltender.”
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