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Freshman step up in Varsity hockey win

Posted by Howard Schneider on Dec 19 2002 at 04:00PM PST
The Littleton High School varsity ice hockey team got its season going in full swing, led by five goals scored in a single game by freshman Chris Austermann when the Tigers scored their first regular season game victory over Central Mass foe Nashoba Tech 8-5 on Dec. 18. Head coach Howie Schneider, pleased with the Jamboree showing the past weekend, said he was looking for "a good team effort" in the Nashoba Tech game, Dec. 18 at the Chelmsford forum. The team didn't disappoint as they came out with a burst of energy, caught their opponents off guard and struck early for three goals in the first period. Nashoba made some adjustments in between the periods and came out early in the second with a brief burst of their own, tying the game with three quick goals in the period. But that was short-lived as the Tigers quickly grabbed the momentum back with two goals within 18 seconds of each other and virtually snuffed out any further Nashoba attack. All three offensive lines played extremely well, the defense held their own, and goaltenders Sullivan and Harvey kept Nashoba at bay with their work between the pipes. The offensive barrage of the Schneider-Austermann-Coole line provided the game's most exciting moments as they scored all eight goals for LHS. What's most impressive with this achievement is the line boasts two freshman - Austermann and Jason Schneider. The trio showed excellent puck control and movement throughout the contest, keeping Nashoba off of their game while pressing in the offensive zone. Austermann's five goals were a career-high. Junior Matt Coole chipped in two and Schneider contributed the eighth point, along with six assists. Pleased with his teams effort, Coach Schneider said it was an "excellent team effort - freshman stepped up in a big way." The win over Nashoba Tech came after an opening night loss against Groton-Dunstable. They tied against Murdock then beat Fitchburg in the Jamboree tune-up tournament Dec. 15 in Fitchburg. Upcoming games during the Christmas break include contests on Saturday, Dec. 28, at Northbridge and Monday, Dec. 30, at Worcester. By Rich Takvorian

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