The Student Newspaper of Groton School

The Circle Voice

The Student Newspaper of Groton School

The Circle Voice

The Student Newspaper of Groton School

The Circle Voice

Ramonetti Leads Zebras to Improbable Tie vs. Rivers

Groton School
BVH after winning St Pauls Jamboree

“Welcome to the Jungle” blares out of the loudspeakers as students file into the O’Brien Rink on the brisk night of December 8th. The puck is dropped, the music stops, and KJ Ni ’26 follows play into the offensive zone.

Coming off a strong 5-1 victory over Roxbury Latin two days prior, the Boys’ Varsity Hockey team looked to extend their win streak Friday night against Rivers––a large, talented, and physical squad with an impressive 4-2 early season win against perennial hockey powerhouse Kimball Union Academy.

When asked how the Zebras would handle Rivers’ physicality, defenseman Elliot Wood ’26 said that Groton is “short and gritty,” and that they would “play hard, get under [Rivers’] skin… [and] just bury them.” Senior co-captain CJ Armaly also commented on the matchup. “Every year, Groton versus Rivers is a barn-burner. It’s an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. But today, we are the grittier team.”

Groton is one of the smallest schools in the ISL. CJ Armaly didn’t care. “Just take a look at our roster. Eram. Dog. Zach Baker. Dog. Dogs through and through. It’s over for them.”

An early first-period goal for Rivers proved that it wasn’t exactly “over for them” just yet. The game only heated up from there, with many Groton jerseys hitting the ice, but hard checks from Ryder Cavanaugh ’24 and Jason Mah ’25 showed that the Zebras had also eaten their Wheaties. With two minutes to go in the period, goalie Ethan Ramonetti ’24 stretched across the crease and made an impressive blocker save. This action rallied the crowd, and Groton entered the locker room feeling hopeful.

However, a Rivers goal at the beginning of the second period seemed to shut that hope down. Rivers continued to control play for most of the next fifteen minutes, but penalty kills and tough defensive play from Nate Johnson ‘24 and JP Charpentier ‘25 kept the deficit manageable.

The third period began, and two quick tripping calls on Rivers led to a five-on-three for Groton. On the power play, Devin Fitzgerald ‘24 slid a pass right across the slot to CJ Armaly ’24, who buried a backhand off the post to cut Rivers’ lead in half with 13:40 remaining. On the very next shift, a vicious hit from Fitzgerald prompted the crowd to rush from the bleachers and press themselves against the glass.

At this point in the game, it became clear: anyone under the impression that Ethan Ramonetti did not come to play was sorely mistaken. In the closing minutes of the third period, the senior goalie proved exactly why defenseman Forrest Nelson ’24 believes #33 is “easily the best goalie in the league.”

Making unbelievable save after unbelievable save, Ramonetti put the team in a position to tie it up. And tie it up they did, when Alejandro Hassan ’26 stuffed home a rebound off of a Zach Baker ’25 shot in the closing minutes of regulation. Afterward, a huge defensive play by Cam Cirone ’25 and a Cavanaugh check into the pounding palms of the Groton faithful would send the game into overtime.

Those extra five minutes were defined by five monumental seconds. A Rivers forward crossed the blue line with the puck on his stick, leading a clear breakaway. The student section held its breath as Ramonetti held his position, stared the skater in the eye, and shut down the most dangerous opportunity of the game with a beauty of a glove save.

While a tie was not the ideal outcome, the Zebras added a well-earned point to their ISL record. Groton looks to keep their impressive season going in January.

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