Power Play Gold tops defending champ in Mini CC opener.

WALPOLE – After winning the ’03 division title at the 2016 Mini Chowder Cup, Hockey Essentials Black’s title defense tour stumbled out of the gates on Friday afternoon at Walpole’s Rodman Arena. They opened the 2017 Mini Chowder Cup with a loss to Power Play Gold, 2-1.

The contest moved back and forth, but both teams yielded little in terms of credits to the score sheet. Ryan Godfrey put away a set up from Sean Kendrick at 5:54 of the opening half to put Gold on the board first. Hockey Essentials’ Cole Hanan had his team back to even with his first of the tournament at 12:18, but the tie did not last long as Vincent Marchese had Power Play back out in front at 15:02. It was a 2-1 advantage that would hold.

As the game ticked over to its second half, offense went on hold as goaltending took over. Power Plays’ Luca DiPasquo and Tomas Spero, who came on to start the latter half for Hockey Essentials were on lockdown throughout, thwarting all bids coming their direction.

Hockey Essentials came on late, controlling play in the Power Play end for much of the final minutes. Even had a power play of their own with under two minutes to play, just about closing out the game clock with a man-advantage.

Despite the numbers advantage and the heavy pressure, DiPasquo and the Power Play back end held on for the 2-1 victory.

DiPasquo ended the opener with 24 saves on 25 shots.