'Cats streak ends at eight; Panthers just overpowering.


Byline: Jim Wilson

MARLBORO - In the end, it was just one too many dragons for the Wildcats to slay.

The impressive eight-game undefeated run by top-ranked Worcester that included wins over perennial powerhouse programs Leominster, Gardner and Hudson to open the season, came to an abrupt end last night against another powerhouse, as No. 4 Marlboro got two goals from junior James Delaney en route to a 6-2 win at the Navin Rink.

"We knew Worcester was very good with some great skaters, and we wanted to be competitive and come out and play," Marlboro coach John Butler said. "We put three good periods together, but there still are some things to work on, but the kids worked hard tonight, and they got their just reward."

Last week the Panthers rallied for three unanswered third-period goals to hand Gardner a 5-4 loss, and last night Marlboro showed that same ability to score in spurts, netting three goals on its first six shots of the second period to take a 5-1 lead.

Off the opening faceoff in the second period, Marlboro's Jon Casey intercepted a clearing attempt near the Worcester blue line.

The junior weaved near the right faceoff circle and wristed a shot past Wildcats goaltender Nick Gerardi to make it 3-1.

The Panthers (6-2) struck again with just over 10 minutes left in the period as sophomore Jared Johnson one-timed a pass from Patrick Sullivan to make it 4-1 and force Worcester to call a timeout. Marlboro kept the pressure on as sophomore Greg Silverman scored 58 seconds later after a scrum in front of the net.

"We got some good shots on net right away, and we took the wind out of their sails," Butler said. "We kept the momentum going, and we got up, 5-1, but then they started doing individual stuff, and we stopped playing as a team, so we stopped scoring."

Delaney extended the lead to 6-1 on the power play with a wrist shot, but Worcester answered with a...

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