After a fast paced, back and forth game against Westhill on Saturday, the Staples-Weston boys co-op hockey team lost 7-5 to Westhill and dropped to 2-7. TheWesthill Vikings raised their record to 7-2. Despite their records, the Wreckers and Vikings were quite evenly matched.

"There wasn't anything more I could have asked of my players, they left everything on the ice," said Staples Coach Ralph Unker.

"They [Westhill] were definitely not as good as their record reflected," said senior captain Mike Zaken. "They didn't look sharp and I thought we had a good chance from the start."

Westhill started the first period with two quick goals. However, the Wreckers did not let this get them down and sophomore Aaron Liu scored their first goal from sophomore alternate captain Kyle Wehmhoff. Later in the period, senior captain defenseman Danny Carbone tied the game with a power play goal from the blue line.

However, Staples didn't hold onto to the momentum and the Vikings answered with one minute left in the period and took a 3-2 lead after one period.

Starting the second period with just as much motivation and intensity as the first, Liu scored from Carbone to tie the game at 3-3.

"We really capitalized on our chances and that is what kept us in the game," said Liu.

Looking to put themselves ahead on the scoreboard, Unker lifted senior captain goalie Clay Englehart and put in a fourth forward.

However, Staples didn't score with a sixth skater on the ice and Englehart returned only a few seconds later during a stoppage of play. This was his first game back after an injury that prevented him from playing for three weeks.

Westhill broke the tie and led 4-3 for about two minutes, but Wehmhoff tied it 4-4 from Liu and Zaken.

"Every goal we scored was an incredible work of art," said Unker.

The Vikings started the third period with a bang, scoring two goals only 10 seconds apart in the first five minutes, giving Staples a tough challenge. Yet the Wreckers did not concede defeat until the buzzer sounded. Wehmhoff made it 6-5 from Liu before the Vikings put their final goal in the net with a minute left in the game.

"I could not be prouder," said Unker, "We never quit. Especially Kyle, Aaron, and Danny who stayed on the ice without a break when I really needed them to."

Staples is improving, something Unker hoped would happen as the season progressed.

"We've come so far. We're really starting to act like a team now, and piece-by-piece we're putting it together. Our work will pay off," said Carbone.

Practice time is paying off for the Wreckers as three of their five goals came off of plays they worked on during practice drills during the week. "The drill translated directly to the game," said Unker.