SOUTH KINGSTOWN — The Narragansett/Chariho co-op hockey team couldn’t sustain its best offensive period of the season.
Four goals in the opening 15 minutes of Saturday’s game against Johnston/North Providence/Tiverton matched a season-high for any full game, let alone a period, and staked the team to a 4-2 lead. But JNPT came back to tie the game in the second, took the lead in the third and shut out Narragansett/Chariho the rest of the way for a 6-4 victory on Saturday night at Boss Arena.
The loss dropped Narragansett/Chariho to 1-7-1. The co-op squad picked up its lone win Jan. 15 against Mt. Hope and has since dropped four in a row.
In the first three losses of that skid, Narragansett/Chariho scored a total of four goals. The fast start Saturday changed that trend and made it look like the losing streak might end, too.
Chase Riley started the first-period onslaught with a goal just 1:37 into the game, burying a pass from Shaun Quirk on the left wing for the 1-0 lead. Riley then set up Jay Desrosiers for a goal at the 6:37 mark that made it 2-0.
JNPT quickly evened the score with two goals in 38 seconds, but Narragansett/Chariho kept its offense firing. Charlie Ruth scored off a Quirk assist with 3:06 left in the first period and struck again on a rebound with 47 seconds left. Jacob Correira was credited with an assist.
When the buzzer sounded on the first period, Narragansett/Chariho led 4-2 and had out-shot the Cougars 20-12.
The lead endured until the latter part of the second period. Narragansett/Chariho was on the brink of killing a penalty, but with 22 seconds left on the power play, JNPT’s Ryan DiLorenzo scored on a shot from the right circle. Less than a minute later, DiLorenzo skated loose on a wide open breakaway and tied the score at 4-4.
Having responded when JNPT tied the game a period before, Narragansett/Chariho was primed for more offense but never found out. A power play at the end of the second period went nowhere, and JNPT added to its lead on another DiLorenzo breakaway goal with 13:51 left in the third period. JNPT goalie Ethan Arruda, who finished with 30 saves, turned away several opportunities down the stretch and his team put the finishing touches on the win with a goal by Christian Campbell at the 3:03 mark.
Phil Brodeur made 28 saves for Narragansett/Chariho in the loss.
A rematch between the teams is next on the docket, set for Friday at 9 p.m. at Dennis Lynch Arena in Pawtucket. For Narragansett/Chariho, just three games remain in the regular season.