Bermuda come unstuck against Italians
Bermuda suffered their first defeat at the Masters World Ball Hockey Championships after going down 6-3 to Italy at the Pembroke Community Centre last night.
The game remained wide open until the Italians produced a four-goal blitz during the second period to effectively dash Bermuda's hopes of a second straight victory, having beaten the Czech Republic in their opening round-robin match the previous day.
Bermuda applied some early pressure but were pegged back and forced to chase the game after forward Sandro Mignosa put the Italians in front with a power-play goal.
The Italians picked up where they left off at the start of the second period with forward David Peragine doubling their lead with a short-handed goal.
Bermuda finally got on the board when forward Chris Merritt pulled a goal back against the run of play.
However, any thoughts of the home side staging a comeback were ruthlessly crushed as the Italians scored three unanswered goals to regain full control on the rink.
Forward Massimo Pricipe scored twice inside of a minute before Leonardo Taus added another to give the Italians a commanding 5-1 advantage at the end of the second period.
Bermuda pulled another goal back when forward Cory Caouette scored midway through the third period.
But the Italians came storming right back with Pricipe scoring an empty-netter to complete his hat-trick as Bermuda's gamble to sacrifice goalkeeper Yves Paul for another outfield player to gain a two-man numerical advantage on a power play backfired.
The home side scored again with a goal from defender Shannon Gosse but it proved nothing more than a formality with the game having long been lost by then.
“Obviously disappointing to lose the game,” Chris Coleman, the Bermuda defender and captain, said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game and these guys are a great team.
“We gave them a couple of breaks early on after an early power-play goal and gave them a little bit of momentum and just struggled to close the gap. As we started press for that goal they opened us up and they have some tremendously skilled players that picked us and scored a couple of goals and really just made it too tough to get back.”
“But we never gave up, Team Bermuda never gives up. We fought hard to the end and got a little close in the end within three goal but couldn't quite close the gap.”
Bermuda face the United States at the Pembroke Community Centre today, starting at 2.15pm
“Team USA are another tremendous team and so we are going to have our work cut out for us,” Coleman said.
“But we think if we stick to our game plan and get the ball deep and play hard we have a chance.
“We want to finish in the top four in the group so we can get through to the quarter final round and we know now with a loss we have to get a couple of Ws in the next three games and know every game is going to be tough.”
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