Div. I Final:
Deerfield, in OT, Wins it for Lindsay
Salem, NH -- A Dan Travis goal 49 seconds into overtime gave Deerfield Academy a 3-2 win over St. Sebastian's and the 2003 New England prep title here today.
The game, a tense classic played before a packed house and featuring great performances on both sides, was decided when Big Green senior center Danny Shribman wheeled behind the net with the puck and found Travis alone in front. Travis whistled a shot past St. Seb's goalie Kevin Regan and Deerfield, which has reached the postseason numerous times in recent years, finally won a title for retiring head coach Jim Lindsay, who was coaching his last game after 17 years behind the Deerfield bench. With this win, he hands the reins over to assistant Brendan Creagh.
Today Deerfield came out of the gate playing with passion, with St. Seb's matching them step-for-step. The Arrows got the first good scoring opportunity, which came when big senior center Brian Boyle rang one high off the post six minutes in. Deerfield's best chance came later in the period, when Brian Ciborowksi was robbed on a great glove save by Regan.
The first period ended 0-0, but for St. Sebastian's it came at a cost, as high-scoring senior forward Kenny Roche injured his knee and was limping noticeably when the teams left the ice.
When the teams came out for the second, Roche tried to take his regular shift but couldn't, and had to turn back to the bench. He made a second attempt halfway through the period, but was hobbling badly. His day was over, and a vital part of the Arrows offense was out of the game.
Four minutes into the second, St. Seb's senior defenseman Sean Sullivan, trailing the play, fired a shot at Deerfield goalie Dan Smith, who came up with a tremendous glove save.
Deerfield got on the board first, as Shribman came down the right side and fired one up under the crossbar, short side, for an unassisted goal that gave the Big Green a 1-0 lead at the 8:42 mark.
St. Sebastian's tied the game at 1-1 when freshman Doug Rogers, following up on a Ted Brzek shot, knocked it by Smith at the 11:59 mark.
In the final seconds of the period, Travis picked up an Arrows turnover, came down the right side, and fed Bob Burns. The Yale-bound PG's shot beat Regan, but the buzzer had already sounded and the goal was waved off.
In the third, St. Seb's took their first and only lead of the day as Brzek, trailing the play, knocked home the rebound of a Tom Maregni shot at the 5:39 mark to make it 2-1.
Deerfield tied it up less than four minutes later when, on a delayed penalty call, Travis fired the puck on the Arrows goal and defenseman Will Boardman, who'd started pinching in when the sixth skater got on the ice behind him, fired the rebound past Regan at the 9:18 mark. The whole play was originally set in motion when St. Seb's turned it over in their own end and Deerfield's Burns battled to keep the puck in the zone.
Both teams had several sparkling opportunities, but both Regan and Smith came through with some big saves as regulation wound down.
In OT, it didn't take long. Deerfield senior defenseman B.J. Mackasey got it to Shribman who fed Travis. The big UNH-bound wing fired it past Regan, setting off the Deerfield celebration.
"This team," Lindsay said afterward, "has great character. What made them so special is the way they came back from being down so many times. Skill, yes, but they just have so much character, too."
"Danny Smith," Lindsay added, "might have been the difference today. He came up with some big saves -- two or three were superb." Lindsay also cited the work of his defense corps, and Shribman and Travis.
"I've never had a kid in any sport compete as hard as (Shribman) does... and Travis -- an OT goal today and against Salisbury, too."
As for finally winning it all, Lindsay said, "Everybody talks about the journey. Well, when you finish the journey and win it all, it's just that much sweeter."
At the other end of the hall, St. Sebastian's coach Steve Dagdigian said, "It was just an unbelievable effort by everyone out there today.There was nothing left behind on the ice. It all came down to one shot. They got it; we didn't. They are deserving."
Dagdigian saluted his departing seniors, which include Boyle, Roche, Sullivan, and Regan. "They are so special," he said. "Nobody has ever done what they've done -- won two straight titles and then gone to OT of the final."
Div. II Final:
Proctor, Robertson, Roll Past St. George's
Proctor got two goals and an assist from both junior Josh Robertson and senior Phil Nazair in a 4-1 win over St. George's. The win brought head coach Mike Walsh his fourth straight Div. II title, three with Tilton, and now one with Proctor.
Robertson who had six points in yesterday's 8-1 win over Tilton, and added three more today as his stock among the Div. I recruiters here shot up another notch. Nazair had five points yesterday in addition to his three today.
Robertson put Proctor on the board first at the 6:52 mark of the first period, firing a wrister from the top of the left faceoff circle past St. George's goaltender Matt Dickson.
St. George's tied it up on a wrister by sophomore Mike Soros at 12:03. It would be the only goal St. George's would score in the game.
Robertson struck again less than a minute later, putting Proctor up 2-1 by blasting home a powerplay goal from the left point.
Early in the second period, Proctor goalie Chase Goodrich stoned St. George's Shea Guthrie and then Soros to preserve the one-goal lead.
With 2:37 remaining in the second, Robertson, from the right faceoff circle, hit Nazair with a perfect pass. Nazair, stationed at the corner of the crease, simply redirected it home for a 3-1 lead.
In the third, Proctor went up 4-1 when Nazair and Robertson crashed the net, knocking it off its moorings and flattening Dickson. Somehow, the puck went in, with Nazair getting credit for the goal.
Div. I Semi:
St. Seb's to Go for Three-Peat
Salem, NH -- St. Sebastian's topped Taft 3-1 here today to advance to Sunday's finals, where a win would make the Arrows the first team to win three consecutive Div. I prep championships.
St. Sebastian's, playing with poise today, weathered some early Taft pressure. Then, after Taft junior defenseman Will Reycraft was whistled for holding, Arrows senior Brian Boyle notched a power play goal to put his team up 1-0. The big center, barreling down the slot, took a pass from freshman Doug Rogers and whistled it past Taft goalie John Curry at the 9:15 mark. Defenseman Sean Sullivan picked up an assist on the play as well.
What would turn out to be the game-winning goal came in the final minute of the period. After Taft's Jake Davis and Kurt Hertzog, off a rush, failed to cash in on a great scoring opportunity, the play quickly came back the other way. And, as so often happens in these situations, the other team scored. In this case it was St. Seb's diminutive wing Ted Brzek putting the Arrows up 2-0 with 18 seconds left in the period. Assists on the play went to Kenny Roche and Tom Maregni.
In the second period, St. Seb's took two penalties early on. They managed to kill off the first one, but got nailed on the second as a Casey Ftorek one-timer from the point cut the Arrows lead to 2-1 at the 5:12 mark.
The game really opened up at that point. For the fans, it was good entertaining hockey, with excellent scoring opportunities at both ends. At the 13:03 mark, Taft took a penalty and, while St. Seb's didn't score on the ensuing powerplay, they did manage to keep the puck in the Taft end for the whole two minutes and then, with the penalty expired and the teams back at full strength, continued to keep the play in the Taft end. Finally, Sean Sullivan, from behind the Rhinos net, hit sophomore Chris Murphy with a perfect pass in front. All Murphy had to do was snap it past Curry to give St. Seb's a 3-1 lead going into the second intermission.
In the third period, St. Sebastian's played with poise, not really allowing Taft to get much in the way of sustained pressure. When Taft did break through for an opportunity, goaltender Kevin Regan, who played a strong game, reacting to shots smoothly and confidently, was there to bar the door.
In the end, St. Seb's, with skilled seniors like Boyle, Roche, Sullivan, and Regan, was simply too much for Taft. The Rhinos played a very good game, but simply ran up against a better, more-experienced team.
St. Sebastian's will meet Deerfield in Sunday's Div. prep title game at 3:00 pm here.
Div. I Semi:
Salem, NH -- Deerfield put an exclamation mark on their reputation as a third-period team this afternoon, breaking open a 1-1 game with three goals in a span of 1:36 en route to a 6-3 win and a spot in tomorrow's title game. There, they will have a chance to give retiring head coach Jim Lindsay his first prep title.
Deerfield didn't take over the game all by themselves; the Cushing defense took a siesta in the third, and the Big Green exploited it in huge way.
After a first period in which Deerfield's Bob Burns and Cushing's Chris Fontas traded goals was followed by a scoreless second period, the third period looked like more of the same. But, with nearly half the period gone and the score still 1-1, things were about to change -- and fast. First, Big Green senior Danny Shribman made a nice pass to Burns along the wall outside the blue line. Burns cut toward the center, rolled unmolested down the slot and fired it past Cushing goaltender Keith Longo.
Quickly afterward, Darwin Hunt picked up the puck off the back boards and wrapped it around behind Longo for an unassisted goal that made it 3-1 with 8:16 remaining. It was Darwin's second goal of the game.
Cushing coach Steve Jacobs called a time out to pull his team together, but it didn't take. The Big Green quickly struck again as Chris Kelley made a nice diagonal pass through the neutral zone, hitting John Sales at the far blue line. Sales skated in all alone and beat Longo to make it 4-1.
When Chris Bourque took a slashing penalty with 2:30 to go and his team down by three, it looked over, and, as it turned out, it was, though now it was Deerfield's turn to let up.
Cushing junior RW Jimmy Russo cut Deerfield's lead to 4-2 with a shorthanded goal with 2:11 remaining.
Just 23 seconds later Shribman got it back for Deerfield on the powerplay, roofing one over Longo to restore the three-goal lead.
And then, 12 seconds after that, Bourque got out of the penalty box and scored a beauty of a goal, crossing the blue line, jumping backward around the d-man covering him and rifling a hard, low shot past Deerfield goalie Dan Smith to make it 5-3.
That was as close as Cushing would get. Longo was pulled with a little over a minute left on the clock, but Burns, who finished the day with two goals and an assist, added an empty netter with 28 seconds remaining. Dan Travis picked up an assist on the play, his third of the day.
Deerfield will face the winner of St. Sebastian's-Taft in tomorrow's prep final (3:00 pm).
Div. II Semi:
Guthrie Hat Trick Paces St. Georges
Salem, NH -- Sophomore RW Shea Guthrie had a hat trick -- the third goal was an empty netter -- and added an assist in St. George's 5-2 win over South Kent here today.
Guthrie, a native of Carleton Place, Ontario and his linemates, sophomore center Shawn Cox of Orleans, Ontario (1g,3a), and freshman LW Austin Mayer of Providence RI (1g) figured in all of St. George's five goals. Junior defenseman Chris Cruise added two assists.
South Kent broke out to a 1-0 lead 2:46 into the first on a Chuck Speight wrister. After a Guthrie goal tied it up, Speight added his second goal of the game to put South Kent up, 2-1. With 46 seconds left in the period, though, Guthrie hit Mayer with a beautiful pass to send the teams into the first intermission tied at 2-2.
Cox scored the game winner for St. George's at the 12:53 mark of the second on a nice wraparound.
Guthrie added two in the third. On the first he skated unmolested into the South Kent end, put a nice deke on goaltender Drew Barber, and simply sliding it behind him to put St. George's up 4-2.
Guthrie added an empty netter with 58 seconds remaining.
St. George's plays Proctor at 12:30 PM Sunday for the Div. II championship.
Div. II Semi:
Salem, NH -- Junior forward Josh Robertson had a six-point day (2g,4a) and senior forward Phil Nazair notched five points (3g,2a) as Proctor rolled to an easy 8-1 win over Tilton.
Junior Drew Kensinger had a goal and an assist for Proctor. Sophomore defenseman Joe Lyle and freshman forward John Peden each added goals as well.
Proctor goalie Chase Goodrich picked up the win, allowing only a single goal, a blast from the right point by Tilton defenseman Matt Hutchins.
Prep Senior All-Star Game Rosters
Here are the rosters for the Prep Senior All-Star Game, which will be held Sunday morning at 10 am at the Icenter in Salem, NH. Players from the four teams that made the tournament are ineligible, of course.
Goaltenders (3): Herb Hollins (KUA), James Kalec (NMH), David Scardella (Milton).
Defensemen (8): Taso Kapernekas (GDA); Eric Yeager (Exeter); Colin Greenhalgh (Nobles); Bill LeClerc (St. Paul's); Greg Goldman (Thayer); Rob Concannon (Pingree); John Doherty (Andover); Jon Landry (Nobles).
Forwards (12): John Geverd (Lawrence); Joe Fernald (Thayer); Dave Germain (NMH); Ian Hanley (BB&N); Nick Mazzolini (Andover); Jared Silver (Tabor); Brendan Byrne (Milton); Barry McLaughlin (GDA); Casey Carr (Holderness); Al Stevenson (St. Paul's); John Halverson (Exeter); Marc Santuccio (Bridgton).
Goaltenders (3): Alec Pine (Berkshire); Dan Tatar (Loomis); Pat Watson (Pomfret).
Defensemen (8): Tim Holland (Berkshire); Matt Torti (Canterbury); Brandon Zangel (Hotchkiss); William Wallace (Hotchkiss); Brett Shirreffs (Hotchkiss); Mike Polsonetti (Pomfret); Kyle Sibley (Salisbury); Ben Loss (Westminster); Peter Watson (Winchendon).
Forwards (12): Ryan McDonald (Avon Old Farms); Mike Cohen (Berkshire); James Sixsmith (Canterbury); Kevin Dwyer (Choate); Boo White (Choate); Sam Bowles (Hotchkiss); Jason Beliveau (Millbrook); Paul Cullen (Millbrook); Matt Rafuse (Pomfret); Chris Myers (Salisbury); James Trahon (Salisbury); Jordan Virtue (Winchendon).
Salisbury Loses Heartbreaker in OT
Deerfield, Mass. -- With less than four minutes remaining in regulation of today's quarterfinal playoff game at Deerfield, Salisbury, ranked #4 in the west, held a 2-0 lead over their top-ranked hosts.
For nearly three full periods, the visitors had outhustled, outworked, outshot and outplayed their hosts. It looked like they were going to expunge the memory of the Jan. 19 game. On that day, in the very same rink, Salisbury took a two-goal lead into the thrid period only to see Deerfield score four straight for a 5-3 win.
But, once again, Salisbury's two-goal lead evaporated -- and it happened fast.
With time running out on Deerfield's season, UNH-bound senior Dan Travis came barreling down the right side and, from the goal line, made a pass in front that hit the right post and defelected right in front for senior John Sales to knock past Salisbury senior goalie Chris Molinaro. Suddenly it was a one-goal game with 3:40 remaining.
A little over two minutes the Big Green struck again when senior Brian Ciborowski flattened out a bouncing puck at the Salisbury blue line and made a bee line straight for the net, finishing off the play by shoveling a backhander past Molinaro from the top of the crease to make it 2-2.
The game moved into OT. Approximately five minutes in, Salisbury senior Billy Maheras, in his own end, was called for roughing on Deerfield's Danny Shribman.
It was a terrible call. This observer was standing about 10 feet away and saw nothing other than a player finishing his check. This was not simply a terrible call in OT. This would have been a terrrible call anytime in the game.
It would have been nice if the game hadn't hinged on that call. Unfortunately for Salisbury, it did, as Deerfield's Shribman gathered up the puck just outside his own blue line and made a beatiful diagonal pass right across the neutral zone, from the right side to the left side, putting it right on the stick of Travis, who barreled down the left side and tucked it between the right skate of Molinaro and the post to send the fans -- most of them, anyway -- at Deerfield's jam-packed rink home happy.
Salisbury head coach Dan Donato barked briefly at the referee, then backed off, turned, claped his hands together twice and walked over to join the traditional handshake line.
It was a tough loss for Salisbury, particularly given their effort, which was excellent, and execution, which was flawless. Salisbury spent all afternoon pressuring Deerfield, forcing them to make plays at a high tempo that often resulted in tournovers. In the neutral zone Salisbury did a good job getting their sticks in the passing lanes. They also did an excellent job getting the puck in deep and zeroing in quickly on the forecheck, forcing Deerfield's big defensemen to hurry their first passes and gaining some turnovers in the process.
The game started out with an even first period that featured a lot of up-and-down action with both goalies making some great saves. Travis had two breakaways, but missed the net both times.
In the second, Salisbury wasted no time asserting theemselves, as senior Jimmy Trahon came down the left side -- not with a lot of speed, either. At the top of the faceoff circle he wound up for a slapshot, and he appeared to hesitate a little on his backswing -- there was a bit of a hitch -- which may have messed with Deerfield goalie Dan Smith's timing. He may not have gotten it anyway as Trahon got good wood on it, rifling the shot off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net just 38 seconds into the period.
In the third period, Salisbury went up 2-0 when sophomore LW Gerry Pollastrone of Revere, Mass., who had an excellent game, picked a puck out of a scrum at the left side of the crease and whipped a wrister over Smith to give Salisbury the two-goal lead.
After that, Deerfield began to assert themselves more. At one point, Travis split the D and broke in alone, but misfired. Then, with Darwin Hunt off for elbowing, the Big Green had a nice shorthanded attempt, with Joe Norman feeding Sales on a 2-on-1. Molinaro, however, came up with a big glove save.
Shortly after that, Deerfield exploded for their two quick goals and then, of course, the OT game-winner.
While it looked for awhile as if the game might be Deerfield head coach Jim Lindsay's last, the farewell tour moves instead to Salem, NH this weekend. Deerfield will play Cushing in the firrst semi, at 3:30 pm.
"We've had third-period comebacks all year," Lindsay said afterward. "While we were down, we never felt out of it. The guys just compete and refuse to give up. And hats off to Dan Donato and Salisbury. They played with great intensity and poise."
Taft Thrashes Hotchkiss, 11-2
Watertown, Conn. -- In a prep quarterfinal played here today Taft knocked Hotchkiss goalie Zane Kalemba out of the game after jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first, then poured in seven more against Todd Sheridan the rest of the way en route to an 11-2 win.
Taft, seeded #2 in the west, and Hotchkiss, seeded #3 in the west, met two times in the regular season, both times in recent weeks. Taft won both games, 2-1, and fans were looking for another tight, low-scoring game today -- but didn't get it.
There's not a lot to say about this kind of a game, other than the fact that just about everybody on the Taft roster got on the scoreboard, so we'll just give you the point totals and say goodnight.
Jr. F Matty Smith 3-2-5
Sr. F Casey Ftorek 1-4-5
Jr. F Keith Shattenkirk 2-1-3
Jr. F Alex Meintel 2-1-3
Jr. F Todd Johnson 1-2-3
Jr. F T.J. Kelley 0-3-3
Soph. F Jake Davis 1-1-2
Jr. F Kurt Hertzog 1-1-2
Sr. F Tanner Fogarty 0-2-2
Jr. D Brendan Milnamow 0-1-1
Jr. D Will Reycraft 0-1-1
Jr. D Thomas Maldonado 0-1-1
Div. II: #8 Tilton Upsets #1 Pingree, 6-2
S. Hamilton, Mass. -- Three-time defending champion Tilton proved that playoff experience and stellar goaltending can be more valuable than the number one seed. On the strength of Tim Garden-Cole's 44 saves, the Rams used six straight goals by six different scorers to topple Pingree, 6-2.
The Highlanders, who had lost only two Division II games all year to earn their first-ever number one seed, got off on the right foot when Ryan Hendrickson sprung Chris Higgins for a partial break. Higgins roofed a shot into the top corner from 15 feet just 6:43 into the contest. Three minutes later, however, Tyler Fillion evened the score on a rebound of a John McCrillis shot. After another three-minute interval, Tilton grabbed a lead it would never relinquish on Matt Hutchins' shot from along the left boards. The Rams added a crucial third goal in the closing minute of the first period when Mike McCarthy scored off a rebound.
After a scoreless second period in which Pingree held a territorial advantage only to be stymied by Garden-Cole's 15 saves, Tilton broke open the game with two quick strikes early in the third. Nick Hanson's shot from the right point at the 38-second mark deflected off Justin Liatsis and then half a minute later Hanson put one in himself through a screen to give the Rams an insurmountable 5-1 lead. McCrillis added a sixth goal late in the period before Pingree's Higgins and Hendrickson collaborated again for the 6-2 final score. Pingree goaltender Gerard Wilson finished with 26 saves.
Div. II: #2 South Kent Blanks #7 Groton, 8-0
Windsor, Conn. -- With the stands at Loomis' rink packed with about 300 loud fans, #2 South Kent, on the strength of a five-point afternoon from Chuck Speight (3g,2a) blanked #7 Groton, 8-0.
After the two teams spent most of the first period feeling each other out, a Pat Melillo goal at 2:33 on a nice backdoor pass from Tony Morrone gave South Kent a 1-0 lead they would take into the first intermission. The second period began with South Kent establishing low play early on which paid off at 8:03 when Jon Bellonio tipped in a shot from the point by Michael Pompa. Less than a minute later, South Kent scored again when Morrone stole the puck at the Groton blue line and broke in alone, sliding the puck past the Groton keeper. In the third period, South Kent unloaded with five goals starting with Speight walking in alone after receiving a pass at the blue line from Todd Healey 1:21 into the period. South kent dominated play in the third and received two more goals from Speight, and one from Morrone before Chris Higgins finished it off at 14:24 of the third. Drew Barber posted a hutout, stopping all 11 shots he faced.
#5 Proctor Tops #4 St. Mark's, 4-1
Southboro, Mass. -- Senior Nick Sacca, a PG from Arlington, Mass., scored two goals -- the second an empty-netter -- and added an assist to lead #5 Proctor to a 4-1 win over host St.Mark's this afternoon. Junior Josh Roberston had a goal and an assist for Proctor, which outshot St. Mark's 36-18.
In another Div. II game, St. George's topped Hoosac, 5-3.
Final Prep Poll Released
The final USHR prep poll of the 2002-03 season was released tonight.
Click on "Weekly Poll" above for the complete rankings.
Prep Matchups Announced
Here are the seeds for the New England Prep Tournament, which gets underway with quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Div. I East
1. St. Sebastian's
3. Gov. Dummer
Div. I West
2. South Kent
4. St. Mark's
6. St. George's
Schedule for Wed. Feb. 26 Quarterfinals:
#4E Exeter at #1E St. Sebastian's, 4:00 pm
#3E Gov. Dummer at #2E Cushing, 3:00 pm
#4W Salisbury at #1W Deerfield, 3:30 pm
#3W Hotchkiss at #2W Taft, time to be announced
#8 Tilton at #1Pingree, 3:30 pm
#7 Groton at #2 South Kent (at Loomis, 4:00 pm)
#6 St. George's at #3 Hoosac (neutral site, TBA)
#5 Proctor at #4 St. Mark's, 3:00 pm
Notes: In Div. I, Exeter just barely edged out Lawrence Academy for the last playoff spot. Ten days ago, Lawrence looked like a lock for a playoff position but finished the season with four consecutive losses (to GDA, St. Seb's, GDA again, and St. Paul's). Yesterday's Exeter win over Andover combined with Lawrence's home loss to St. Paul's lifed Exeter into the #4 spot in the east. Despite being KO'd, Lawrence has more "good wins" than Exeter, as Charlie Corey's team has wins over playoff-bound teams St. Seb's and Cushing. Exeter, on the other hand, did not beat a single playoff-bound team, having a loss and tie vs. Cushing, a loss to GDA, and loss to Deerfield. Following Lawrence in the seeding would have been Nobles, Andover, and St. Paul's, all bunched pretty closely together. Nobles was sunk by losses to both GDA and St. Seb's last week.
In the West, things were clear cut.
In Div. II, Tilton squeezed into the #8 spot when Rye Country Day lost to Kingswood-Oxford yesterday.
Ftorek Goal Lifts Taft Over Hotchkiss
Watertown, Conn. -- Senior Casey Ftorek skated in on a third period breakaway, scoring the winning goal as #3-ranked Taft edged #5-ranked Hotchkiss 2-1 this afternoon.
The two teams had met two weeks ago in Lakeville. Taft won that one by an identical 2-1 score.
Today's game was not an exciting one, with little at stake other than position for the prep school championships that start next week. The seedings will be released Sunday, but the expectations were that Taft and Hotchkiss will play in the quarter final round. If that in fact occurs, then Taft will host Hotchkiss again next Wednesday.
In Saturday's game, Taft had an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Alex Meintel who took a pass at the right post from Keith Shattenkirk and rammed the puck home.
The score remained at 1-0 in Taft's favor until 5:25 into the second period when Hotchkiss 5'11', 210 lb. defenseman William Wallace unleashed one of his patented bombs from the blue line to tie the score at 1-1.
In the third period Taft came out ready to win the game. Shots on goal in the period were 17-7 in favor of Taft, and the pressure paid off at 3:24 when Ftork took a pass from Meintel and broke in alone on Hotchkiss goalie Zane Kalemba. Ftorek, whose father, the Boston Bruins coach, was in the stands, whipped a nifty shot into the upper left corner for what would turn out to be the game-winning goal. The younger Ftorek, who has been ill, didn't skate with his usual verve, but on this breakway he put the winning goal away cleanly.
Hotchkiss pulled goalie Kalemba for the extra skater with 1:45 to go in the third period, but to no avail.
Total shots on goal were in favor of Taft, 29-26.
Cushing Holds off Holderness
Ashburnham, Mass. -- In the regular-season finale for both teams, #4-ranked Cushing edged unranked Holderness, 5-4, here today.
While Cushing, deeper and more talented, took the play to Holderness, outshooting them by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, the visitors top line of Phil Farrow, Alan Thompson, and Casey Carr played an excellent game, figuring in all four goals and pressuring Cushing every time they stepped on the ice.
Carr (2g,1a) and Farrow (2g,1a) each had three-point games while Thompson (2a) had a two-point game.
The offensive stars for Cushing were linemates Jimmy Russo (2g,1a) and Billy Ryan (1g,2a).
Holderness jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, scoring just 2:29 into the game when Farrow, a junior from Amherst, Nova Scotia,shoveled a rebound past Cushing junior goaltender Keith Longo.
The lead was short-lived, though, as Russo, a junior from Weymouth, Mass., walked out from behind the net and tucked the puck behind Holderness sophomore goalie Andy Murison.
Late in the period, the host Penguins struck for two quick goals, the first coming when Chris Bourque snapped one off from the hash marks for a power play tally, and the second coming 22 seconds later when, off a broken play, the puck wound up on Sam D'Agostino's stick and the sophomore roofed it at the 14:57 mark, allowing Cushing to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
At the 3:14 mark off the second period, Carr, a senior from Burlington, Mass., took a pass from Farrow and sent a backhander behind Longo to cut Cushing's lead to one.
Seconds later, Cushing defenseman Chris Murray sprang sophomore RW Boomer Ewing on a breakaway, but Murison came up with a big glove save.
On the heels of that, though, Cushing came back with a nice power play goal as Ryan, a sophomore center Milton, Mass., stickhandled through the slot, drawing Murison with him, and then put a nice across-the-grain backhand pass onto the stick of Russo at the 5:13 mark.
Again, Cushing took a two-goal lead into the intermission.
But again, Holderness got the next goal, cutting Cushing's lead back to one when, after a great rush by Thompson, a junior from Gilford, NH, the trailer, Farrow cashed in the rebound at the 7:16 mark of the third.
Cushing again went up by two with a nice Murray to Russo to Ryan passing combination. Ryan deked Murson and put it behind him to give the Penguins a 5-3 lead with 4:08 left.
Fifteen seconds later things got very interesting, as Cushing freshman defenseman Keith Yandle turned it over in his own end right onto the stick of Carr who fired it behind Longo for an unassisted goal that cut Cushing's lead to 5-4 with 3:54 remaining in regulation.
As time wound down, Holdereness called a time-out and pulled Murison for the extra skater, but failed to come up with the equalizer.
Murison, by the way, was a surprise starter, as Holderness coach Patrick Dennehy felt that the sophomore from Woodstock, Vt. had been playing better lately than senior Matt Burzon, who has had most of the starts this season. Murison did a really good job, kicking out 39 of 44 shots, a number of which were labeled.
Bowles Notches Four; Hotchkiss Tops Salisbury
Lakeville, Conn. -- Captain Sam Bowles scored four goals this afternoon to lead #5-ranked Hotchkiss to a 6-3 victory over #7 Salisbury in a wild, bruising game in which one Salisbury player was given a game misconduct for punching a Hotchkiss player from the Salisbury bench.
Both teams came out skating and hitting hard with Hotchkiss taking the early edge in play, outshooting Salisbury 12-8 in the first period. However, Salisbury's last shot was the one that mattered, as senior Vinny Rinaldi knocked in a rebound from a scramble in front of Hotchkiss goalie Zane Kalemba with one second left in the period to take a 1-0 lead into the locker room.
The hitting continued in a wild second period when six of the nine goals in the game were scored. Hotchkiss junior center Torrey Mitchell tied the game at 7:46, with a nifty backhander into the upper right hand corner. Salisbury regained the lead on a power play two minutes later when sophomore Mike Atkinson finished a breakaway by tucking the puck between Kalemba's pads. Twenty seconds later Hotchkiss tied the game again when senior Kolin Ozonian's bad-angle shot bounced into the net off of Salisbury goalie Chris Molinaro's shoulder.
Bowles scored his first goal at 14:11, deflecting home a slap shot from the point by Brandon Zangel and giving Hotchkiss a lead they would never relinquish. Thirty seconds later Hotchkiss extended its lead to 4-2 when Bowles picked up his second goal off a rebound in front of the net. Salisbury closed out the scoring in the period when Rinaldi notched his second goal by deflecting a slap shot by Mike Gershon past Hotchkiss' Kalemba. Shots on goal in the period were even at 9-9.
The third period was all Hotchkiss -- and Bowles. The senior from Davidsonville, Maryland picked up his second goal at 6:16 when he hammered home a second rebound from a wild scramble in front of the net, with the cage actually falling on the Salisbury goalie just after the goal was scored. Bowles picked up his fourth goal when he took a sweet pass from Mitchell at the top of the left circle and rifled the puck home. It was Mitchell's fourth assist -- and fifth point -- of the game Salisbury actually out shot Hotchkiss 9-7 in the period but Kalemba made some terrific saves to hold Salisbury at bay.
The game misconduct was handed out to Salisbury senior defenseman Brad MacDonald when there was a crush along the Salisbury bench, and MacDonald took the occasion to cuff one of the Hotchkiss players.
#1-Ranked Deerfield Pulls One Out of the Fire
Kent, Conn. -- #1-ranked Deerfield edged Kent 3-2 here today, but needed late goals by John Sales and Bob Burns to come back from a 2-1 deficit with just over seven minutes remaining.
Kent goalie Nick Caruso played a spectacular game as he turned back the Deerfield forwards time and again with a hot glove and some excellent split saves. Caruso made 37 saves on 40 shots.
Indeed, for the first 34 minutes of the game, Caruso was perfect. But at 15:50 of the second period, Deerfield finally scored when senior center Dan Shribman picked up a rebound in front of the Kent net and shot it over a sprawling Caruso. Paul Baier and Brian Ciborowski picked up assists on the goal.
In the third period, Kent came out skating and hitting hard, and the hustle paid off 5:35 into the period when 5'5" junior forward Adrian Sosenko scored on the third rebound in front of the net. Brian Liamero and Taylor McKenna picked up assists on the goal.
At 10:20 of the period, Kent took the lead when captain Mike MacDonald fed a perfect pass to Gregg McConnell who rifled in a shot from about 35 in front of the net.
Any thoughts of an upset by Kent were quickly dispelled however, when only 20 seconds later Deerfield's John Sales poked in a rebound in front of Caruso. Scott Bartlett and Ciborowoski got assists on the tying goal.
Then, 12 seconds after that, Deerfield's Bob Burns took the puck around the net and shot the winning goal off Caruso's left pad.
In the final minutes, Kent worked to regain the tie, but even with Caruso
pulled in the final minute Kent was unable to pick up the goal they needed.
Shots on goal in the game were 40-21 in favor of Deerfield.
NMH Strikes Late, Tops Andover
Andover, Mass. -- Northfield-Mt. Hermon scored three third period goals this afternoon to top Andover,3-1.
The winning goal came off the stick of Michael Shaw, a senior from Belmont, Mass. Shaw, driving to the net, drove home a rebound past Andover junior goalie Cory Schneider at the 7:42 mark.
Earlier, just 1:44 into the final period, Jimmy Nolan, a senior from nearby Lynnfeild, Mass., took a pass in front of the crease and put it past Schneider to give NMH its first goal.
With 2:32 remaining, postgrad Dave Germain scored on a bad-angle shot to give NMH its final margin of victory.
Andover senior Joe Adams of Wayzata, Minn. scored his team's lone goal, picking up a rebound in front of NMH goalie James Kalec, holding it nicely, and roofing it at 13:57 of the second.
Anodver outshot NMH, 31-26. Kalec, a senior from East Amherst, NY, had a strong game for NMH, stopping 30 Andover shots.
A Lot of Snow; No Games
The snow that's already shut down Washington, Philadelphia, and NYC reached New England this morning. That means there will be no games this afternoon.
The Nobles at St. Sebastian's game has been postponed until Friday at 3:15 pm.
The Lawrence at Governor Dummer game will be played on Thursday, with the exact time to be determined. It could start as early as 4:00 pm or as late as 5:30 -- somewhere along in there. We'll let you know the exact time when we get it. (Update: it will be at 4:30)
BB&N at St. Paul's has been rescheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3:30 pm.
Brewster at Exeter has been moved to Friday at 5:00 pm. (Update: the Brewster-Exeter game has been rescheduled again, to Thursday 2/20 at 4:45 pm).
South Kent at Canterbury has been snowed-out, as well. No makeup date has been set. However, since it won't affect New Englands, Sunday is a possibility.
Deerfield Clings to Top Spot in Prep Poll
Deerfield, no longer undefeated, is once again #1 in the USHR Prep Poll, released tonight. However, the Big Green's edge over #2 St. Sebastian's is very slim.
For the third straight week, the same ten teams are in the top ten.
Note: Another snowstorm, expected to hit Monday in the late morning, is predicted for eastern Massachusetts and could play havoc with the schedule, as there are games with playoff implications slated for tomorrow. Two, to be precise: #9 Nobles visits #2 St. Sebastian's (4:15 pm), and #6 Lawrence visits #8 Gov Dummer (5:00 pm). There are other prep games, though none of them have a bearing on playoff position.
When and if we hear anything regarding postponements, cancellations, etc., we'll post it here.
GDA Gets Boyled
Needham, Mass. -- 6'6", 225 lb. St. Sebastian's center Brian Boyle scored four goals in #2-ranked St. Sebastian's 5-0 win over #9-ranked Gov. Dummer here today.
Sophomore LW Nick Coskren assisted on all of Boyle's goals, while senior defenseman Sean Sullivan picked up helpers on two of them. Senior goaltender Kevin Regan kicked out 18 shots for the shutout.
After an up-and-down, well-paced first period, St. Sebastian's struck early in the second when Kenny Roche took a shot from the high slot which was redirected off a GDA defender and past senior goaltender Andy Shealy at the 1:30 mark. It was Roche's first game back after missing two games with a separated shoulder.
Boyle took over 40 seconds later when he fired a long shot through a screen that beat Shealy, sailing high over the goaltender's right shoulder and into the top corner at 2:10 of the period.
At 9:18, Boyle struck again, taking a pass behind the GDA net, flattening out the puck, and then using that big wingspan of his to reach around from behind the goal line and flick one up under the crossbar behind Shealy.
Boyle scored his third goal of the period when, after serving a penalty, he stepped out of the box, and was immediately made the recipient of a long, perfect pass by Coskren. Boyle broke in alone and fired it by Shealy, who'd probably seen enough of Boyle by that point.
There was more, though. Late in the third period, Coskren took the puck down the left side, and slid it over to Boyle, who was barreling down the middle. Boyle took it in full stride, rifling it past Shealy with 3:48 remaining to give St. Sebastian's its fifth and final goal of the day.
For GDA's Shealy, it was a rare start in net, as both regular goaltenders, junior Don Wieczorek and sophomore Dan Galajda,. have been battling the flu.
While GDA, in a battle for the fourth playoff spot in the east, didn't help themselves much today, they do have two more Div. I games remaining, hosting Lawrence on Monday (a makeup of the 2/7 snowout) and Nobles on Wednesday.
St. Seb's, on the other hand, can clinch home ice for the quarterfinals with a strong week. The Arrows host Nobles on Monday, journey to Lawrence Academy on Wed., and finish the regular season with Thayer (@ BC) next Saturday.
Taft Boots #1 Deerfield from Ranks of the Undefeated
Deerfield, Mass. -- Playing on the road, #4-ranked Taft, on the strength of a power-play goal by junior center Alex Meintel late in the second period, knocked off host Deerfield, 4-2 here today.
In so doing, the Rhinos made a strong statement leading into the playoffs.
Early on, Deerfield, playing without senior defenseman Chris Kelley, who was out with back spasms, had the edge in play, outshooting their guests in the first period, and holding the edge in territorial play. Despite showing some skillful puck movement, consistently stringing together passes -- up to six or seven in man-up situations -- the Big Green failed to work it down low and crash the net. While pretty to look at, it produced no results.
Roughly ten minutes into the second period, Deerfield took a penalty. In the man-up situation, forward Casey Ftorek, continuing to show signs of his layoff, was playing the right point. When the puck was fed to him there, Ftorek, seeing the clear lane in front of him, skated ten feet in, cut hard left toward the slot and zipped a skimmer past Deerfield goalie Dan Smith.
Deerfield responsed immediately, pressing the play in the Taft end, but they got too deep and 6'3" Taft junior d-man Brendan Milnamow sprang junior forward Rory Shepard, who broke in alone and beat Smith with a wrister at the 8:23 mark. Suddenly, 1:10 after Ftorek's goal, Taft was up, 2-0.
Next, special teams took over, as three power play goals were scored in a stretch of just under four minutes.
Deerfield went on the power play with 8:49 left in the period, and, after coughing up the puck in their own end, gathered their wits and got the puck down to the Taft end where senior Dan Travis passed it across to senior defesneman B.J. Mackasey, who whistled a high shot past Taft senior goalie John Curry at the 10:30 mark, making it a one-goal game.
Taft quickly took another penalty, as senior Chris Pettit was whistled for slashing.
On the ensuing power play, Deerfield RW Travis worked it down low to senior center Danny Shribman, stationed at the edge of the crease. Senior teammate Bob Burns was there, too. Burns took a whack at it and it went in: 2-2.
Now, it was Deerfield's turn to take a trip to the penalty box, and again, Taft took advantage.
Meintel, who played a strong game, drove to the net where he took a pass from defenseman Thomas Maldonado and buried it with 3:40 left in the period, giving Taft the lead they would never relinquish.
Taft took a 3-2 lead into the dressing room. When they came out for the third, they played a textbook period featuring an extremely aggressive penalty kill that gave Deerfield fits getting out of their own end. And when Deerfield did get down into the Taft end, there was always a third man coming back to eliminate odd man rushes and take a way the middle. Deerfield strugged to get into good shooting range, but Curry, who played well in net, didn't have to make spectacular saves. It was all about team defense, and it was executed to a T.
Senior forward Alex Minicucci gave Taft an insurance goal with 3:02 remaining, firing one home from the blue line.
After losing Ftorek to illness, Taft lost to Salisbury and Canterbury in the same week in mid-January, and followed that with consecutive ties to Lawrenceville and Kent. Since then, they've won six in a row, the last three with Ftorek back in the lineup.
#5 Hotchkiss Tied up by Kent
Lakeville, Conn. -- Kent went toe to toe with Hotchkiss this afternoon and came away with a 3-3 tie with the #5-ranked team in New England.
Kent's Tom Sullivan scored two goals in the game, while Kent goalie Nick Caruso stopped 34 of the 37 Hotchkiss shots on goal.
The game was a hard fought match from the opening face off. Kent scored first at 4:03 when Captain Mike MacDonald took the puck the length of the rink, then cut in on Hotchkiss goalie Zane Kalemba who made the stop but left a rebound that Sullivan picked up and put into the net. The Kent lead held up for nearly ten minutes until Kent junior forward Jeff Nordass was whistled off on a penalty deep in the Kent end. On the face off, Center Kolin Ozonian whipped a pass back to defenseman Joe Gardner at the left point. Gasrdner whipped off a whistling slap shot into the net, only four seconds into the power play.
Hotchkiss took a 2-1 lead with 23 seconds left in the first period when Ozonian whipped a rink-wide pass to Jay Verrill who skated in on Caruso and slipped it between the Kent goalie's pads.
Kent came back hard in the second period, and tied the game at 5:27 of the period. Kent forwards Mike Morris and Brian Liamero executed a couple of nifty passes through the Hotchkiss defense, feeding Taylor McKenna who placed a clean shot past Kalemba. Fifteen seconds later, Hotchkiss got another power play, and reclaimed the lead at 6:06 when Torrey Mitchell took a pass just in front of the crease and poked it by Caruso. Undaunted by losing the lead again, Kent bounced right back at 14:28 of the second period when Sullivan picked up his second goal on a clean shot from the top of the left face-off circle.
Both teams skated hard in the third period, but were unable to score. Hotchkiss out shot Kent 11-8 in the period.
In the five minute overtime period Hotchkiss dominated initially, but in the final minute Kent came roaring back. In the final seconds, Sullivan broke in on the Hotchkiss goal, but Kalemba was up to the challenge and stopped him and a subsequent rebound. Shots in the overtime period were 4-3 in Hotchkiss' favor.
Lawrence at GDA Makeup Date
The Lawrence at GDA game, snowed out last Friday, will be made up on Monday Feb. 17 at 5 pm at Gov. Dummer.
New Makeup Date
The BB&N at St. Paul's game, snowed out last Friday and then rescheduled for this Friday, has been changed again. The new makeup date is Mon. Feb. 17 at 3:30, at St. Paul's.
No Surprise Here: Deerfield Still #1 in Prep Poll
The USHR Prep Poll was released tonight and undefeated Deerfield Academy is still in the #1 spot. Taft, which plays at Deerfield on Wednesday, was the biggest gainer in the poll, moving up to the #4 spot.
Click on "Weekly Poll" above for the complete rankings.
Notes: Friday's snowstorm caused the postponement of several games:
-- Belmont Hill at Thayer was made up the next day, Thayer coming out on top, 3-0.
-- On Mon. Feb. 10, Milton will be at St. Sebastian's at 4:45 pm.
-- On Fri. Feb. 14, BB&N will play at St. Paul's at 6:00 pm.
-- No makekup date has been set for Lawrence at Governor Dummer; ditto for Andover at Winchendon. We'll let you know when we get the new times.
Taft Escapes -- by a Whisker
Lakeville, Conn. -- #7-ranked Taft squeezed past #4-ranked Hotchkiss, 2-1, this afternoon in one of the better prep games we've seen this season. The game literally came down to the final buzzer, at which time Hotchkiss defenseman Brad Zangel, stationed at the left post, was attempting to bang home a rebound from amidst a mad scramble around the crease.
Some observers claim the puck was saved cleanly by Taft goaltender John Curry. Some thought it crossed the line -- but after the buzzer sounded. Whatever, Hotchkiss couldn't have come much closer.
The Bearcats will get another whack at Taft when the two schools meet on the final day of the regular season at Taft. The two teams could also meet in the playoffs, for, as of now, both, along with Deerfield and Salisbury, look to make up the top four in the west.
This was one of those games that picked up momentum as it moved along. Hotchkiss had the edge in play in the first, but in the early going there was also a lot of just banging the puck back and forth -- and one stretch of as much as six minutes without a whistle. There was also little in the way of sustatined pressure or quality scoring opportunities. Late in the period, however, a Taft player was whistled off for interference and on the ensuing power play Hotchkiss PG defenseman William Wallace, who has as hard a shot as anyone we've seen in prep hockey this season, unleashed a pair of bombs, one hitting the post to Curry's right.
The first period ended, 0-0.
Between periods, after the ice was flooded but before the teams returned to the ice, Hotchkiss student Alison Eddy, an Oregon native, put on a figure skating exhibition. She was excellent, and the Hotchkiss crowd, which could hardly pass for rowdy, was enthusiastic. This typist has seen thousands of hockey games, yet never once has seen a figure skater between periods. It actually makes for a nice interlude.
When play resumed, Hotchkiss needed just 42 seconds to get on the board, as Wallace took a pass from junior LW Jay Verrill and snapped one off from the top of the right faceoff circle, beating Curry waist-high.
After that, the pace picked up a notch, though there were also a lot of turnovers and broken plays --- on both sides.
Despite a number of chances, the score held at 1-0 Hotchkiss for over fourteen minutes of play.
Then Taft went on the power play and senior Casey Ftorek, playing his second game since returning to action from his illness on Wednesday -- he's nowhere close to his former self -- took a shot from the point. Center Alex Meintel jumped on the rebound in front and wristed it over Kalemba, who had no chance on it, to tie the game at 1-1 at the 14:46 mark.
Taft seemed energized by this goal, like they smelled blood. With play back to 5x5, they kept the pressure on, and once again Hotchkiss was whistled for a penalty.
And, again, Taft cashed in. It was a soft goal, too, as junior defenseman Brendan Milnamow lofted an on-target wrister from the point. There was little on it; it was really a changeup, but it crossed up normally sure-handed Hotchkiss goalie Zane Kalemba, breaking off his pads and into the net with 35 seconds left in the period.
Giving up the go-ahead goal in the final minute of a period is usually the kiss of death, and it would actually turn out to be the case here, too. However, hen the teams came out for the third, Hotchkiss was skating as hard as Taft,and both teams had some nice scoring opportunites.
Hotchkiss wing Pat McLaughlin took advantage of a Milnamow turnover and fired one that Curry had to make a nice glove save on.
Hotchkiss junior wing Joey Gardner, skating back hard, caught up with a Taft player on a breakaway, took the puck away, and turned the play back up the ice the other way.
Hotchkiss senior RW Sam Bowles had a nice opportunity but drilled one over the top of the net with 7:18 left.
However, Hotchkiss' premier chance to tie it up came when senior forward Kolin Ozonian took a shot that popped up off Curry and straight into the air. The Taft goalie had no idea where it was. When it came back down it landed squarely on top of his helmet. If it hd landed an inch farther back it likely would have rolled down his back and into the net.
It was a nice break.
As time wound down, Hotchkiss pulled Kalemba for the extra skater and poured it in an exciting finish, forcing Curry to make two big saves to preserve Taft's win. Emotions were running high when the buzzer sounded and there was a lot of frantic pushing and shoving for about 30 seconds afterward, though it was more a by-product of the frantic jam-up around the crease than anything else. No harm was done, and things cooled down quickly.
For Taft, it was the culmination of a big week, as they got Ftorek back, and then knocked off Salisbury on Wednesday before picking up their second win of the week today. Taft has a tough one coming up next -- at undefeated and #1-ranked Deerfield on Wednesday.
Game Time Change
The Nobles at Governor Dummer game on Wed. Feb. 19th has had its starting time moved back two hours. Faceoff will now be at 5:30 pm.
Donovan's Pair Paces Berkshire
Berkshire beat the Kent School 5-1 today in a game more evenly matched than the final score indicate