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Brooks Tops USHR Div. II Poll

The Brooks School holds down the #1 spot in this week's USHR Div. II Prep Poll. 

USHR Div. II Poll 




Brooks Still #1 in USHR Div. II Prep Poll

The Brooks School once again holds the #1 spot in the USHR Div. II Prep Poll.

USHR Div. II Prep Poll -- Jan. 30, 2006


Salisbury Still Atop USHR Div. I Prep Poll

Salisbury, which rolled over Holderness, 6-0, yesterday at Harvard, and is hosting Berkshire this afternoon, is still holding down the top spot in the USHR Div. Prep I poll. Nobles is still right at their heels.

USHR Div. I  Prep Poll -- Jan. 30


The Stretch Run Begins

There's little change in the playoff scenario this week. In the East, the top four teams are (in order): Nobles, Belmont Hill, Cushing and Exeter, with St. Sebs and Andover chasing that last spot. In the West, Salisbury retains the top spot, with Taft, Avon and Westminster rounding out the top four. Choate, South Kent, Hotchkiss and Gunnery are definitely in the battle for playoff spots.

Since this was a quiet week, it seems like a good time to see whether any of the proposed changes to the playoff criteria we suggested last spring would change the look of the playoff race as things now stand. Let’s take a look at the third criterion, our favorite target. The third criterion purports to measure strength of schedule, but we think it does a poor job of it. It is calculated by multiplying the percentage of games a team plays against clubs with a .500 record or better times its record in those games. Games versus an opponent with a .500 win percentage count; those against a team with a .499 win percentage are ignored. This seems silly to us; bright lines are drawn in order to define “quality” games, but the bright line does not make sense.

So, we considered what the impact would be if we counted all of a team’s games in assessing the strength of its schedule. Specifically, we calculated a strength of schedule measure by multiplying the average win percentage of all of a team’s opponents times its Div. I win percentage. That means that the third criterion is not altered by a team making a late run to finish just above .500 or slumping at the end to fall just short. We already saw the impact of a bad week by Thayer on South Kent’s playoff rankings, and you can be sure that if someone loses a playoff spot or seeding for that reason, they will be griping -- and with justification.

So, how do the playoff rankings change if we use our strength of schedule criterion instead of the one currently used by NEPSIHA? In both the East and West, the top three teams would be exactly the same. In the East, Exeter retains the fourth spot, but is in a tighter race with Andover. Lawrence moves into the sixth spot, just ahead of St. Seb's. Employing the alternate criterion does not change the playoff teams, at least as of now. It does, however, bring Lawrence firmly into the playoff race and tightens the race for fourth spot. In the West, it does change who occupies the final playoff spot. Using the alternate third criterion, Hotchkiss jumps into the top four, nosing ahead of Westminster. Choate and South Kent remain in the mix.

We’ll keep tracking this as the season builds to the final playoff push, and we’ll let you know what difference it makes. We are pretty sure it will matter, but we’re not sure who will get hurt and who will be helped. -- S.S.


Saturday's Recaps

-- At Deerfield, Mass., Leonard Verrilli, Matt Walters, and Peter Masser each scored a goal as Hotchkiss topped host Deerfield, 3-1. Ryan Moses kicked out 18 of 19 for the win.

At Avon, Conn., Choate topped Avon, 5-4. Dan Cohen (2g), Sam Sabky (2g), AJ Meyer (2a), and Scott Jenks (2a) led the way for the Wild Boars. Nick Bonino (1g,2a), Chris Wieland (1g,1a), and Cam Atkinson (1g,1a) paced the Winged Beavers.

-- At Pomfret, Conn., Brian Flynn (3g,2a), Sean Driscoll (2g,2a), Justin Kemmerer (1g,2a), and Shawn McCloud (2a) led the way as Pomfret topped Canterbury, 7-2. Ryan Kupperman scored both of Canterbury’s goals.

-- At Windsor, Conn., sophomore Andrew Cox scored a first period goal to lead Andover to a 1-0 win over Loomis. Matt Ward kicked out 20 for the shutout. John Harris stopped 33 of 34 in a losing cause.

-- At Exeter, NH, Exeter came back from a 3-1 deficit by scoring two third period goals to tie Cushing, 3-3. Chris Downer scored all three Exeter goals while Nick Downer  and Michael Doherty each had two assists. Cushing got two goals from Aaron Bogosian and two assists from Tom Bardis.

-- At Watertown, Conn., Taft topped Trinity-Pawling, 4-2. Nick Liotta (1g,1a) and Sean Carty (2a) led the Taft offense. Alex Kremer kicked out 24 of 26 for the win.

-- At Greenwich, Conn., Brunswick had a 4-0 lead after one period, but had to hold on to gain a 5-4 win over Worcester Academy. Justin Letizia (3g), Matt Chase (1g,1a), Kit Kierney (2a), and Christian Oberbeck (2a) led the way for Brunswick. J.T. Leary (2g,2a), Bobby Barrett (2g,1a), and Brandon Goodnow (3a) led the way for Worcester.

-- At Groton, Mass., Lawrence Academy blanked St. Paul’s, 6-0. Jason Schneider (1g,4a), Joe Whitney (1g,2a), and John Simpson (2g,1a) led the Lawrence attack. Seth McNary and Justin Gates combined for the shutout.

-- At Kent''s Hill, Maine, Hebron beat Kent's Hill, 7-2. Matt Pedemonti (1g,3a), Jordan Krusch (2g), Kyle Tobin (1g,1a), and Erik Rousseau (2a) led the way for Hebron.

-- At Newport, RI, Noble & Greenough outgunned St. George's, 8-2. Chris Huxley (2g,1a), Michael Griffin (3a), Andrew Glass (2g), Derrick Pallis (2g), Matt Rhone (2a), Ben Shellington (2a) were the leading point-getters for Nobles. For St. George's Jeff Ryan (1g,1a) and Liam Chatterton (2a) had a hand in both Dragons goals. Nobles outshot St. George's, 47-21.

-- At Lawrenceville, NJ, Lawrenceville whitewashed LaSalle HS, 8-0, with Codey McKinney picking up a 34-save shutout. Big guns for L'ville were Curtis Schickner (2g,2a), Matt Gottlieb (2g), Brandon Weiner (1g,1a), Zachary Diaco (2a), Tom Scocozza (2a), and Chris Pronchik (2a).

-- At Simsbury, Conn., Westminster, which beat the U.S. Women's Olympic team 5-2 in a Friday night scrimmage, came back today and topped the Kent School, 5-3. Westminster got goals from five different scorers. Bryce Shattie kicked out 18 of 21 for the win.

-- At Yarmouth, Maine, Hoosac blanked North Yarmouth Academy, 9-0. Kyle Hardy (4a), Trevor Hilson (3g), Brad Warner (1g,2a), Sy Nutkevitch (1g,2a), Jamy Lapointe (1g,2a), Patrick Wikstrand (3a), and Ryo Miyazaki (1g,1a) were the leading scorers for Hoosac. Shawn Riggins had 19-save shutout for Hoosac.



Young Rogers Dampens Thayer's Day

Needham, Mass. -- With four seconds remaining in regulation, St. Sebastian's freshman forward Steve Rogers got behind the Thayer defense and banged home a goal from the corner of the crease. The goal, which tied the game at 5-5, set up an overtime period in which Thayer applied some heavy pressure, but failed to regain the lead and had to settle for a tie.

This was a highly entertaining, uptempo match between two long-time Keller Division rivals. Once Thayer took a 2-1 lead on a Brian Gibbons goal at 13:19 of the first period, St. Sebastian's answered them, tying it up on an Eric Lake tally with 18 seconds left in the period.

And that's the way it went the rest of the day: Thayer would score, and St. Sebastian's would answer.

The second period featured good, old-fashioned, up-and-down firewagon hockey with plenty of scoring.

Gibbons, off a great pass from Holy Cross recruit Ryan Driscoll, scored his second goal of the day to put Thayer up 3-2 at the 3:16 mark.

The Arrows got it right back when defenseman Andrew Maxwell beat Thayer goalie Mat Frechette top corner, glove side at 4:18.

Thayer went back on top when junior John Hennessey knocked home a rebound from about 10 feet at the 7:50 mark.

St. Seb's tied it up at 4-4 when Steve Rogers scored on a rebound at the 10:21 mark.

From that point forward, though the play continued up-up-down, the scoring dried up until, with under a minute on the clock and the play in the Thayer end, the rebound of a St. Sebastian's shot came out to the left point, where Driscoll picked it up along the boards. Seeing space between the defenseman and the boards, Driscoll took off an a 120 foot dash, sliding the puck past Arrows' goalie Connor Toomey and winding up in the net himself. It was a big goal, especially so coming with just 57 seconds left in the period and giving his team a one-goal lead.

As the third period, which featured plenty of offense but solid goaltending, wound down to the end, St. Sebastian's head coach Steve Dagdigian pulled Toomey with 1:01 on the clock. With 12 seconds left and the faceoff in the Thayer end, Rogers got to the net and was there to bang it home. Doug Rogers, Steve's older brother, who had a strong game, picked up an assist, as did defenseman Colin Young.

For the game, Steve Rogers (2g,1a) led the Arrows attack. Doug Rogers (2a), Young (2a), and Todd Davis (2a) were also big contributors.

For Thayer, Driscoll (1g,3a) was the big contributor. Paul Golden added three assists and Gibbons, who is looking stronger but not quite back to full strength, had two goals.

"I liked our effort and our level of intensity, but I'm dissapointed with the tie," Thayer coach Larry Rooney said afterward. "We had the game. With 12 seconds left we had the opportunity to win the faceoff and get the puck out of the zone but didn't. Guys got behind our players and were standing alone."

"I have to give St. Sebastian's credit. They are good. They didn't give up. They played until the final seconds."

As for the Arrows, Dagdigian said, "They came back. For the last month they've played hard. They've shown good character. Today, they kept working. I've been telling them good things will happen if they keep working hard."

"But," he added, "I want the timetable to move quicker."


#3 Belmont Hill Edges South Kent

Belmont, Mass. --
Junior Matt McCollem scored a pair of first period goals to lead #3-ranked Belmont Hill to a hard-fought 2-1 win over the South Kent School here today.

McCollem’s first goal came when he drove down the left wing and took a hard slapshot that rebounded off the pads of South Kent goalie Sergiy Sorokolat and right back onto his stick. McCollem found room to the far side at the 4:37 mark, putting Belmont Hill up 1-0.

After the goal, Belmont Hill kept the pressure on. There is plenty of skating room on their Olympic sheet and they utilized it well, keeping control of the puck with short passes, and holding it in the South Kent end for lengthy stretches.

McCollem struck again with just 1:19 left in the period, as linemates Charlie Kenney and Mark Dube, moving the puck nicely in the South Kent end, got it to McCollem, whose slot broke off the left pad of Sorokolat and into the South Kent net -- a bit of a bunny, but it gave Belmont Hill a 2-0 lead.

Belmont Hill outshot South Kent in the first period, 18-5.

The second period was a total reversal of the first, with South Kent coming out hard, dictating the play and creating a lot of good scoring opportunities.

South Kent’s lone goal of the game came on the power play, after Belmont Hill sophomore forward Jason Silvia was assessed a major and game DQ for a hit from behind on South Kent defenseman Scott Wolfe.

South Kent took command immediately, getting the puck into the Belmont Hill end and moving it very well. Tony Morrone got it to Mike Vaskivuo, who took a shot that rebounded out to junior Joe Pereira, who fired it into the open net to cut the Belmont Hill lead to 2-1 with 5:27 left in the period.

South Kent, still on the power play, kept the pressure on, but about a minute after the goal the five-minute man advantage was temporarily neutralized when South Kent was called for too many men on the ice.

It didn’t seem to slow South Kent down – they just kept attacking, getting the puck down low, and forcing Belmont Hill goalie Wes Vesperini come up with some nice saves.

Sorokolat was doing the same at the other end, making a pair of nice back-to-back saves on Kevin McNamara and Dube.

Late in the period, South Kent was whistled for a pair of penalties, to Artem Gumenyuk and Nathan Seader, giving Belmont Hill a 5-on-3 and a golden chance to add an insurance goal before heading off for the second intermission. No such luck. Instead, South Kent’s Morrone got sprung for a breakaway, and was pulled down by McNamara with 20 seconds left in the period.

South Kent outshot Belmont Hill 17-10 in the second period.

The third period was tame compared to the first two, as shots, power plays, and scoring opportunities plummeted. The period was even and, compared to the first two, pretty uneventful.

”There were two different games,” Belmont Hill head coach Ken Martin said afterward. “In the first period, we skated well, played hard, and had two nice goals. In the second period, South Kent picked it up, skated better, and played more physically. In the third period, the teams played even. We were fortunate to have won. South Kent’s a good team. I liked their power play, their goalie, and their big line.”

South Kent coach Geoff Marottolo said, “After a lackluster first period, we centered ourselves and played with passion in the second. I was proud of the way our kids responded. We didn’t lay down.”

Other Games:

-- At Windsor, Conn., junior goalie Patrick Enloe kicked out 16 shots as #4 Avon shutout Loomis, 9-0. A whole batch of Avon players scored a slew of points, specifically Jon Higginbotham (2g,1a), Chris Wieland (1g,2a), Matt Serino (3a), Nick Bonino (3a), Ryan Liebel (1g,1a), Garrett Kerr (1g,1a), and Patrick McGuirk (2a).

-- At bucolic Saxton's River, Vermont, an Ian Flanagan power play goal at 9:46 of the third gave Proctor Acadmey a 3-2 road win at Vermont Academy. Josh Rosenholtz kicked out 25 of 27 shots for the win.

-- At Watertown, Conn., Brian Curran, Jerome Wallace, and Corey Griffin each scored a goal and Andrew Margolin kicked out 18 shots as #6 Taft topped Kent, 3-1.

-- At Lakeville, Conn., #9 Hotchkiss crushed visiting Canterbury, 7-3. Cory Korchin (3g,2a), Peter Massar (1g,4a), Adam Kaiser (2g,1a), and Gavin Carson (2a) led the way offensively for the Bearcats.

-- At Wallingford, Conn., Anthony Depietto, Sam Sabky, and Pat Kenney each scored a goal and Andrew Miller kicked out 37 of 38 shots to lead Choate past Trinity-Pawling, 3-1.

-- At Plymouth, NH, host Holderness topped Bridgton, 4-2, behind a 33-save effort by sophomore Andre Guay and a goal and two assists from Ryan Zemel. Justin Manchester (1g1a) figured in both Bridgton goals.

-- At Greenwich, Conn., host Brunswick crushed Rye Country Day, 10-0. Justin Letizia (4g,3a), Christian Oberbeck (1g,4a), John Eric Oberbeck (2g,2a), and Patrick Bursee (1g,1a) led the attack. Freshman Michael Petchonka kicked out 10 shots for the shutout.

-- At horsey South Hamilton, Mass., an OT goal by Chris Lange gave host Pingree a 6-5 win over Portsmouth Abbey. Colby MacDonald (2g,2a), Thomas Kader (1g,2a), and Mike Collins (2a) were other big offensive contributors for Pingree.

-- At Simsbury, Conn., Nick Pitsikoulis (3g,1a), Ben Smith (4a), and Jayson Saraceno (1g,2a) led #7 Westminster to a 5-1 win over Deerfield.

-- At Concord, NH, St. Paul's had a 2-0 first period lead, but Thayer came back with a goal in the second and another in the third to earn a 2-2 tie.

-- At Groton, Mass., host Lawrence beat GDA, 6-2. John Simpson (1g,3a),l Joe Whitney (2g,1a), Jason Schneider (3a), and Keith Bombaugh (1g,1a) led the attack. Justin Gates kicked out 31 of 33 for the win.

-- At Gill, Mass., a Broc Little goal at 10:17 of the third period allowed #5-ranked Cushing to escape town with a 2-2 tie against NMH.

-- At Katonah, NY, where the real estate ain't cheap, Kingswood-Oxford topped Harvey, 3-1. Derek Niziankiewicz (1g,1a), Kevin Bunting (1g,1a), Tyler Batory (2a) led the way for the Wyverns.

-- At North Andover, Mass., Andrew Cox (2g,1a), Joe Smith (1g,1a), and J.P. Martignetti (1g,1a) led Andover past host Brooks, 5-2.

-- At Sheffield, Mass., visiting Pomfret came back from a 2-1 deficit with three unanswered third period goals to top Berkshire, 4-2. Justin Kemmerer (2g,1a) and Sean Driscoll (1g,1a) led the way offensively for Pomfret. In net Evan Johnson kicked out 31 of 33 for the win.

-- At Salisbury, Conn., Salisbury topped the U.S. Women's Olympic Team, 4-2. Salisbury coach Dan Donato mixed the JV and varsity players together with each group playing half the game. The Olympic team played a hard, physical game, and showed great work ethic at both ends of the ice. They played their positions well and rarely gave up a lane or an easy shooting opportunity. They showed good speed and puck moving skills. They crashed the net fearlessly. Krissy Wendell and Natalie Darwitz were very impressive up front, exhibiting speed and puck handling skills. Angela Ruggiero was a force on defense, and always an offensive threat. Helen Resor was tough defensively and showed flashes of offensive savvy. The goaltending was solid. The crowd was great, the excitement level was high, and the girls showed great class.


Brooks Still #1 in USHR Div. II Poll

They played no games last week, so there have been no chances for anyone to knock Brooks from the #1 spot in the USHR Div. II poll.

USHR Div. II Poll --1/23/06

This Week's Slate

Wed. Jan. 25, 2006:
Avon Old Farms @ Loomis-Chaffee, 2:00
Proctor @ Vermont Academy, 2:30
Kent @ Taft, 2:30
Canterbury @ Hotchkiss, 2:30
Andover @ Brooks, 2:45
Trinity-Pawling @ Choate, 3:00
Deerfield @ Westminster, 3:00
Bridgton @ Holderness, 3:15
Governor Dummer @ Lawrence, 3:15
Rivers @ Roxbury Latin, 3:45
Thayer @ St. Paul's, 4:00
Cushing @ Northfield Mt. Hermon, 4:00
Kingswood-Oxford @ Harvey, 4:00
National Sports Academy @ Albany Academy, 4:00
Pomfret @ Berkshire, 4:00
Millbrook @ Williston-Northampton, 4:00
Worcester Academy @ Groton, 4:00
St. George's vs. Kent's Hill, 4:00 (at Exeter)
New Hampton @ St. Thomas More, 4:00
Brunswick @ Rye Country Day, 4:00
Princeton Country Day @ Hill School, 4:00
Winchendon @ Tilton, 4:15
South Kent @ Belmont Hill, 4:30
Noble & Greenough @ St. Sebastian's, 4:30
Exeter @ Kimball Union, 4:30
Portsmouth Abbey @ Pingree, 4:30

Thu. Jan. 26, 2006:

Gunnery @ Salisbury, 4:30

Fri. Jan. 27, 2006:
Bridgton @ Northfield Mt. Hermon, 4:00
Rye Country Day @ Harvey, 4:00
Kimball Union @ Proctor, 4:30
Thayer @ St. Sebastian's, 4:30
Brooks @ Rivers, 5:00
Wyoming Seminary @ LaSalle, 6:00
Governor Dummer @ Tilton, 6:00
Berwick @ Hebron, 6:00
Pingree @ Brewster, 6:00

Sat. Jan. 28, 2006:
Kingswood-Oxford @ Brewster, noon
Worcester Academy @ Brunswick, 1:00
Wyoming Seminary vs. Thayer, 1:30 (at West Point)
Berwick @ Belmont Hill, 2:00
Noble & Greenough @ St. George's, 2:00
Middlesex @ Rivers, 2:00
Brooks @ BB&N, 2:00
South Kent vs. National Sports Academy, 2:15 (at St. Lawrence University)
Winchendon @ Berkshire, 2:30
Trinity-Pawling @ Taft, 2:30
Roxbury Latin @ Groton, 3:30
Kent @ Westminster, 3:45
Hotchkiss @ Deerfield, 4:00
Hebron @ Kent's Hill, 4:00
St. Paul's @ Lawrence, 4:15
Cushing @ Exeter, 4:15
Choate @ Avon Old Farms, 4:30
Canterbury @ Pomfret, 4:30
Andover @ Loomis-Chaffee, 4:30
Albany Academy @ Williston-Northampton, 5:00
Vermont Academy @ Pingree, 5:00
Bridgton @ Tilton, 6:00
Milton @ Governor Dummer, 7:00
La Salle @ Lawrenceville, 7:00
Lake Forest @ Shady Side Academy, 7:30

Sun. Jan. 29, 2006:
South Kent @ Northwood, 10:45 am
Lake Forest @ Shady Side Academy, 11:00 am
Kingswood-Oxford @ North Yarmouth, 11:00 am
Canterbury @ Winchendon, 1:00
Albany Academy @ Millbrook, 1:00
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ Taft, 1:00
Salisbury vs. Holderness, 1:30 (at Harvard University)

Mon. Jan. 30, 2006:
BB&N @ St. Paul's, 3:30
Berkshire @ Salisbury, 4:15
Westminster @ Williston-Northampton, 4:30
Trinity-Pawling @ Gunnery, 4:45

Tue. Jan. 31, 2006:
Nichols @ Upper Canada College, 5:30
St. Thomas More @ Pingree, 5:30

updated 12:10 pm

A Snowy Monday

This afternoon's Holderness at St. Paul's game has been rescheduled due to the snow storm currently crossing New England. No makeup date has been announced.

Proctor at Exeter has also been postponed. Again, no makeup date has been set.


Bunching at the Top

This week's USHR Div. I prep poll has been posted, and Salisbury is #1, though frankly the only thing that separates them from #2 Nobles is Salisbury's 4-3 OT win in the Flood-Marr title game. Since then, each team has lost one game to a Top 10 team (Westminster, St. Seb's) and escaped with a tie when an opposing goalie came up big (St. Paul's Tyler O'Brien, and Kent's Kyle Rank).

Belmont Hill is a solid #3. They were thumped by Nobles in the first game of the season, 8-2, which must have got their attention, for they haven't lost in their 16 games since. They don't score a lot of goals, but between Wes Vesprini and a solid group of D, they don't give up many. During the streak this is what they have allowed for goals in each game: 2-3-2-0-1-2-1-2-2-1-0-1-1-2-4-2. That comes out to 26 goals in 16 games, or 1.62 goals per game.

For the rest of the poll...

USHR Div. I Prep Poll -- 1/23/06   




Playoff Scenario Shifting

What a difference a week makes!  A week ago, South Kent was solidly in playoff position.  This week, they are on the outside looking in.  What happened?  Well, human error for one thing, as we forgot to move their Dec. 15 win over Tilton into the loss column: the ‘win’ was subsequently awarded to Tilton by forfeit because South Kent coach Geoff Marottolo had gone behind the bench after being ejected from a game vs. Exeter the day before. That changed a quality win to a quality loss. On top of that, several of South Kent's opponents that had been above .500 fell below .500. That hurt – really hurt -- South Kent in the third criterion. 

To many observers, one of the great mysteries of the playoff chase is how a team can gain or lose ground in the race almost regardless of how they perform in a given week.

What makes the difference in such scenarios is the play of one or more of their previous opponents. A team’s position can be affected dramatically by a rival’s win or loss -- if that win or loss moves them above or below the .500 mark. That is why we argued last spring for changing the strength of schedule criterion to eliminate that bright line. On that, however, we'll defer any further discussion for a week or two. But, as you follow a school’s performance, be sure to check and see how their previous opponents are faring.  There are some teams that bear watching because, even though they are unlikely to make the playoffs, how they do will affect the chances of others to make the postseason. Take Tabor. Right now, the Seawolves have crawled above .500.  That is a big help to teams such as Exeter and St. Seb’s that are battling for a playoff slot, since they hold a win/tie (Exeter) and a win (St. Seb’s) versus Tabor. Should Tabor stay above .500, these will be quality wins that will help enormously in the third criterion when everything is totted up on Feb. 26. But, if the Seawolves slump and fall below .500, those teams (and others, like Cushing and Nobles) could be hurt in the playoff race.  In the East, check out GDA and Thayer.  Their performance will matter in the same way as Tabor.  In the West, the spoilers could be Winchendon, Berkshire, Deerfield, or Millbrook.

So how do the teams stack up in the two playoff races?  In the West, it looks like this:

1.         Salisbury (1+1+1): 3
2.         Taft (3+3+2): 8
3.         AOF (2+2+5): 9
4.         Westminster (4+4+4): 12
5.         Gunnery (7+7+3): 17
6.         South Kent (5+6+7): 18
7.         Hotchkiss (6+5+11): 22
8.         Choate (8+8+7): 23

In the East, we find:

1.         Nobles (1+1+2): 4
2.         Belmont Hill (2+2+1): 5
3.         Cushing (3+3+2): 8
4.         St. Seb’s: (4+4+5): 13
5.         Exeter (5+5+4): 14
6.         Andover (6+7+6): 19
7.         Tilton (8+8+8): 24
8.         Lawrence (7+6+14): 27

Obviously, things have tightened up over the last week.  From here on in, the races for the final two spots in the East and West will likely change from week to week, as teams struggle or surge -- and as they get moved around by the performance of their rivals.  With a month to go, it now gets interesting.



#1 Salisbury All Tied Up

Kent, Conn. -- Unranked Kent School, behind a 49-save effort from senior goaltender Kyle Rank, tied #1- ranked Salisbury 2-2 today.

Salisbury outshot Kent, 51-27, keeping the puck in the Kent end for much of the game. However, Rank, a native of Islip, NY, turned back numerous breakaways to keep Salisbury from what should have been an easy victory.

Salisbury opened the scoring at 8:50 of the first period when Greg Collins fed a pass across the crease to Mark Arcobello, who tucked it by Rank. That was the only goal of the period, which finished with Salisbury outshooting Kent, 19-7.

The game slowed down for much of the second period as Salisbury seemed to lose some of the steam it showed in the first period. Kent tied the game with a power play goal at the 7:37 mark when Alex Higgins took a shot from a difficult angle inside the right face-off circle. Kent senior forward Patrick Aldridge got the puck on his stick and tucked it by Salisbury goalie Anthony Borelli. Again, Salisbury had the edge in shots, though by a more reasonable 16-11 margin.

Salisbury took a 2-1 lead only 19 seconds into the third period when Arcobello picked up his second goal of the game, skating across the crease and firing it by Rank.

The game started getting chippy and there were several penalties called. With just under three minutes left in the game, Salisbury took a penalty and then, 13 second later, took another, giving Kent a 5-on-3 advantage.

With the two-man power play in force, Kent junior defenseman Sean Tuohy took a face off, worked his way down the right side, and took a slap shot from the corner, just outside the goal line. The puck appeared to hit Borelli and deflect into the goal, giving Kent a 2-2 tie at the 14:32 mark, and sending the game into overtime.

Just over a minute into OT, Salisbury was caught with too many men on the ice, giving Kent a power play. Kent, though, was unable to mount an effective attack. With two minutes left in the extra session, Salisbury's John Cavanagh had a breakaway on Rank, who came up big.

With 30 seconds left in the game, Arcobello broke in on the Kent net, but was foiled by Mike Blundon, Kent's 6’5” defensemen. Salisbury head coach Dan Donato called for a penalty shot, but the referee only handed out a tripping penalty. The game ended with Rank making one final save in a furious finish -- and a lot of post-buzzer pushing and shoving. -- T.M.


Berkshire Upsets #4 Avon

Sheffield, Mass. – Berkshire sophomore goaltender Russ Stein kicked out 23 of 24 shots and junior forward Josh Rabbani figured in two key goals as unranked Berkshire topped #4 Avon Old Farms 4-1 here today.

The winning goal came at 5:09 of the second, just 59 seconds after Avon’s Ryan Liebel tied the game at 1-1. Berkshire junior defenseman Pat Beckwith, who also set up Berkshire’s first goal of the game, dug the puck out along the boards and got it out from to Rabbani, who knocked it past Avon junior goaltender Randy Wolcott to give Berkshire the lead they would hold onto for the rest of the way.

The Bears made it 3-1 when junior Dan Rainer deflected a Rabbani shot at 14:51 of the third.

Berkshire added an empty netter with 1:20 remaining.

Berkshire played a strong team game, worked hard along the wall, used their size well, won battles for loose pucks, and were particularly effective in keeping the Winged Beavers from generating speed through the neutral zone.

Other Games:

-- At Belmont, Mass., #3-ranked Belmont Hill edged St. Paul's, 3-2, on a late third period goal by sophomore Colin Moore and a 32-save effort by Wes Vesprini.

Moore also had an assist in the game. Defenseman Kevin McNamara had a goal and an assist, as well. Ditto for St. Paul's forward Jason DeGiovanni.

-- At Andover, NH, host Proctor topped Holderness, 5-4 in OT. Holderness had a 4-2 lead halfway through the third, but the Ian Flanagan-Matt Robertson-Neil Ruffini line erupted for three straight goals, the final one coming at 1:47 of overtime.

Nick Pruett added a goal and an assist for Proctor, and Josh Rosenholtz kicked out 36 shots for the win.

For Holderness, Ryan Zemel (1g,1a), Steven Anthony (1g,1a), and Paul Kirtland (2a) each had two points.

-- At Greenwich, Conn., Jake Kratz, with three goals and an assist, led Hill to a 5-2 win over Brunswick. Derek Guldin (1g,2a), and Sean O'Neil (2a) also had multiple points for Hill.

-- At Wallingford, Conn., host Choate topped Deerfield, 4-2. Sam Bozoian (1g,2a) and Dan Cohen (2a) led the way offensively for the Wild Boars, while Andrew Miller kicked out 27 of 29 to pick up the win.

-- At Groton, Mass., Middlesex got goals from four different scorers in a 4-2 win over host Groton. Senior goaltender Joe Hanson kicked out 17 of 19 for the win.

-- At Hebron, Maine, Oleksandr Romanenko (1g,2a), Jordan Krusch (2g), and Matt Pedemonti (1g,1a) led host Hebron Academy to a 7-3 win over New Hampton. Junior Sammy Demerling (1g,2a) figured in all three of New Hampton's goals.

-- At Ashburnham, Mass., #5-ranked Cushing Academy stopped #8-ranked South Kent, 6-3. Alex Curran (1g,2a), Tom Bardis (3a), Broc Little (2g), Aaron Blades (1g,1a), Dave Warsofsky (1g,1a), Brad Malone (2a), and Aaron Bogosian (2a) led the way for the Penguins. Tony Morrone (1g,1a) and Mike Vaskivuo (2a) were the top scorers for South Kent. Cushing outshot their guests, 49-39.

-- At Washington, Conn., sophomore Austin Smith notched a hat trick and goaltender Pat Street kicked out 24 or 25 to lead Gunnery to a 6-1 win over Williston-Northampton.

-- At West Hartford, Conn., host Kingswood-Oxford edged Worcester Academy, 4-3. Chris Freeman (2g), Kevin Bunting (1g,1a), Derek Niziankiewic (1g,1a), Kelly Cannon (2a), and Will O'Brien (2a) led the Wyverns attack. Justin Potter had 34 saves for the win. For Worcester Academy, J.T. Leary had a goal and an assist.

-- At Andover, Mass., #2 Nobles spotted host Andover an early 1-0 lead then roared back with four unanswered goals -- one in the first, and three in the second -- to take a 4-1 win. Jimmy Hayes (2g), Matt Rhone (1g,1a), and Ryan Maguire (2a) each had two points for Nobles. John Muse kicked out 27 shots for the win. At the other end, Matt Ward stopped 48 of 52 in a losing effort.

-- At Albany, NY, Pomfret edged Albany Academy, 4-3. Brian Flynn (2g), Justin Kemmerer (1g,1a), Ryan Joyce (2a), and Sean Driscoll (2a) each had two points for Pomfret. Evan Johnson kicked out 28 shots for the win.


Nobles Gets Down to Business

Dedham, Mass. -- Last week, Nobles eeked out a 1-0 win over Lawrence Academy on a last-minute Ryan Maguire goal. Today, in the rematch, #2 Nobles, playing at home, scored in every period in a decisive 4-0 win.

Junior Josh Franklin got things going for Nobles when he cut down the left side, buttonhooked toward the goal, and jammed a shot by Lawrence junior goaltender Justin Gates 4:32 into the first period.

The second period started with Lawrence on the power play for nearly a full two minutes, but they couldn't convert, which would be the first of many opportunities Lawrence was unable to capitalize on. (It didn't help that freshman wing Steve Whitney took a couple of heavy hits in the first, and was done for the day.)

Meanwhile, Nobles picked up the intensity level a notch in the second period and cashed in on a couple of power plays.   

At the 6:52 mark, Nobles senior Ryan Maguire, from behind the net, made a sharp pass out front to defenseman Mark Fayne, who put it just where he wanted, giving Nobles a 2-0 lead. 

Less than two minutes later, at the 8:48 mark, Franklin, from the top of the left faceoff circle zipped a crisp pass to sophomore linemate Andrew Glass over at the right faceoff circle. Before Gates could get across to cover the open side, Glass had rifled the puck home, giving Nobles a 3-0 lead.

In the third, Nobles struck early, with sophomore defenseman Derrick Pallis getting the puck to Jimmy Hayes who cut left to right across the crease, cooly holding it as Gates went down, and then flipping the puck into the open top half of the net for Nobles' final goal of the day and a 4-0 lead.

It would end that way, though Lawrence certainly had a chance to get back in, as they were awarded two consecutive 5-on-3 power plays, but failed to score on either one.

With 2:39 remaining, a piece of plexiglass near the blue line on the spectator's side of the rink was jarred, and broke in an unconventional manner, leaving a big clean hole in the center the size of a basketball, with the missing piece falling out in one piece and coming to rest at the bottom of the stands. This sheet of plexiglass, it should be noted, was broken exactly where the Zamboni broke down during the Flood-Marr Tournament, forcing the games to move over to Milton Academy. Call it Nobles' Bermuda Triangle. 

Anyway, getting back on topic here, we should mention that John Muse picked up the shutout for Nobles.   



Last-Minute Change

Due to structural damage at Trinity-Pawling's rink, today's Salisbury at Trinity-Pawling game has been moved to Salisbury and will start later, too -- at 6:30 pm.

So, if you know anyone driving through this wild wind and rain, and they have a cell phone, give them a call and let them know of the new time and place.

When the two teams meet again, on Feb. 1st, it will be at T-P, so you might want to make a note of that, too.


Penguins Rise From the Dead

Wellesley, Mass. –  #5-ranked Cushing Academy, trailing 3-2 to Thayer after two lackluster periods and staring down the barrel at a potential third straight loss, came out and played a dominant third period, scoring four straight goals to give themselves a 6-3 win in the annual Babson College hosted Thayer-Cushing game.

The tying goal came just 37 seconds into the third, when junior LW Broc Little took a pass from senior Tom Bardis and broke down the outside and beat Thayer goalie Matt Frechette to the short side one to make it 3-3.

The winning goal came 4:06 into the period as senior center Damen Nisula converted a nice pass from senior Ryan Duff to put Cushing up, 4-3.  

With 9:29 remaining, Nisula broke in on a nice 2-on-1 with senior John Frey, who set up Nisula on the side of the crease for a bang-bang to put the Penguins up up, 5-3.

With 2:59 remaining, junior center Brad Malone went to the net hard and converted a pass out from the corner to make it 6-3 Cushing. 

Thayer, down by three, pulled Frechette, to no avail. Cushing actually hit a post, nearly making it 7-3.

How did Cushing get in a hole to begin with? Well, a 5-on-3 given to Thayer in the first period resulted in a pair of goals, both by Thayer senior forward Greg Malley, one from a scrum in front and one from a deflection. Ryan Driscoll picked up assists on both goals.

Cushing cut it to 2-1 with 3:11 left in the first when defenseman Charlie Zieserl took a shot from the left point that broke off Frechette’s left pad, and Frey tapped it over the line.

In the second period, Thayer came back with a goal to make it 3-1 when junior defenseman Austin Collins took a shot from the point that rebounded a good 5-10 feet off the pads of Cushing goaltender Richard Bachman. Thayer sophomore forward Peter Oswald jumped on the rebound to put the Tigers up, 3-1 at the 5:45 mark.

But that was it for Thayer -- Bachman would shut them down for the next 30 plus minutes.

Cushing’s comeback started – technically, anyway -- with 5:48 left in the second when freshman defenseman Dave Warsofsky took a pass from Duff and fired a low, accurate shot that beat Frechette stick side to cut the Thayer lead to one.

In the third, as we mentioned, Cushing came to life in a big way, scoring four more goals to put away Thayer.

Note: Thayer forward Brian Gibbons did not play in today’s game, but is expected back for Friday’s game at Andover. 

Big point getters in the game for Cushing were Duff (3a), Frey (1g,2a), and Nisula (2g). For Thayer, it was Malley (2g), Driscoll (2a), and Collins (2a).

Frechette kicked out 37 of 43 for Thayer; Bachman stopped 29 of 32 for Cushing.  

Other Games:   

At Andover, Mass., J.J. McGregor scored from a scrum with 20 seconds remaining to lift Andover to a 2-1 win over #6-ranked St. Sebastian's. Earlier Doug Rogers had put St. Seb's up, 1-0, on a second period goal. Paul Scola evened it up at 1-1, scoring on a penalty shot at 5:21 of the third. Arrows' goaltender Connor Toomey kicked out 34 of 36 in a losing cause; Matt Ward (20/21) picked up the win for Andover.

-- At Winchendon, Mass., Joseph Hurley (2g,2a), Nick Quagliani (2g,1a), Ryan Bergerson (2a), and Mike Genovese (2a) led Winchendon to a 5-3 win over Pomfret.

-- At Groton, Mass., Joe Whitney (1g,1a) and Jason Schneider (1g,1a) led #10-ranked Lawrence Academy to a 4-0 win over BB&N. Justin Gates had a 16 save shutout for LA; Marc Pulde kicked out 33 of 36 for BB&N.

-- At Andover, NH, Matt Robertson (1g,1a), Chris Leach (1g,1a), and Ian Flanagan (1g,1a) led Proctor to a 5-1 win over Kent's Hill. Josh Rosenholtz kicked out 18 of 19 shots for the win.  

-- Williston's game against #8-ranked South Kent School was postponed due to poor ice conditions at South Kent.

-- At Meriden, NH, Deerfield knocked off host Kimball Union 7-2 behind a 16-save shutout from Matt Delaney and multiple point efforts from Chris Wood (2g,2a), Merrick Friedman (2g), and Adam Boardman (2g).

-- At Windsor, Conn., #7-ranked Taft School took a 7-2 decision from host Loomis-Chaffee. Jack Downing (3a), Jeremy Dwyer (3a), Jerome Wallace (2g), Bobby Torney (1g,1a), Doug Jones (1g,1a), and Eric Baier (1g,1a) led the way offensively.  Alex Kremer kicked out 20 of 22 for the win.

--At Saxton's River, Vt., Steffan Kollevoll (1g,3a), Brian Gibbons (2g,1a), Austin DeLonge (1g,1a), and Mike Allport (2a) led Vermont Academy to a 6-4 win over Stanstead College.

-- At Concord, NH, St. Paul's had a 3-1 lead over #2-ranked Noble & Greenough midway through the third, but goals from Chris Huxley, on the power play, and Mike Murray allowed Nobles to escape with a 3-3 tie.

-- At Gill, Mass., #4-ranked Avon Old Farms spanked Northfield-Mt. Hermon, 9-2. Pacing the Winged Beavers' attack were Trevor Bradley (2g,1a), Rick Longobardi (1g,2a), Craig Serino (3a), Cam Atkinson (2g), Patrick McGuirk (2a), James Chamness (2a), and Jon Higginbotham (1g,1a). For NMH, Tom DiDonato had a goal and an assist. NMH outshot Avon 30-26, but Avon made the most of their shots, scoring on nine of 26. Randy Wolcott stopped 28 of 30 for Avon.

-- At Concord, Mass., Middlesex topped New Hampton, 8-1. Sophomore forward Scooter Dudley had a big afternoon, notching five points (3g,2a). Tom Blake (1g,2a), Brandon Barry (1g,2a), Zach O'Donnell (2g,1a), Christian Ebert (3a), and Wiley Wilson (2a) were also big contributors.

-- At New Milford, Conn., #9 ranked Westminster got another five point effort from center Ben Smith (3g,2a) in a 7-5 win over Canterbury. Nick Pitsikoulis (1g,1a), Jayson Saraceno (2a), and Myles Miller (2a) were other big contributors for Westy. Canterbury's offensive cogs were Ryan Kupperman (1g,3a), Sebastian Kimmel (1g,1a), and Pat Noonan (2a).

-- At Lakeville, Conn., Zach Harding kicked out 30 of 32 shots to lead Hotchkiss to a 5-2 win over Kent. Leonard Verrilli (1g,2a), Joe Buicko (2g), Peter Massar (1g,1a), and Joe Colaianni (2a) led the way offensively for the Bearcats. 

-- At Wallingford, Conn., Choate and Berkshire battled to a 3-3 tie. Josh Rabbani (1g, 1a) and Dan Rainer (1g,1a) led the way for Berkshire. Choate got a goal and an assist from Rence Coassin. Choate's Rob Wilechansky (27/30) and Berkshire's Russ Stein (30/33) battled it out in net.

-- At Exeter, NH, PG defenseman Kevin McCarthy had a pair of goals in Exeter's 4-0 win over Holderness. Teddy Hume earned a 24-save shutout.

-- At Marion, Mass., Zach Feiden (2g,2a), Chris Bower (1g,2a), Will O'Neill (2a), and Ben Smith (2a) led Tabor to a 5-2 win over Milton Academy. Ryan Carroll kicked out 27 of 29 for the win.

--  At Portsmouth, RI, Rivers edged host Portsmouth Abbey, 5-4. Tim Bigelow (2g,2a), Jeff Sullivan (1g,2a), and Evan O'Brien (2g) led the way for Rivers. Bryan Kriner (2g,2a) and Rob Turner (1g,1a) were PA's big contributors.

-- At Salisbury, Conn., #1-ranked Salisbury rolled over Trinity-Pawling, 8-2. John Cavanagh (2g,2a), Mark Arcobello (1g,3a), Greg Collins (1g,1a), Alex Biega (1g,1a), and Kevin Quick (1g,1a) led the way offensively. Salisbury outshot T-P, 52-15.



Upcoming Prep Games

Wed. Jan. 18, 2006:

Berkshire @ Choate, 2:30
Taft @ Loomis-Chaffee, 2:30
Kingswood-Oxford @ Groton, 3:00
Albany Academy @ Middlebury College B team, 3:00 
Williston-Northampton @ South Kent, 3:00 -- rescheduled due to poor ice conditions
Pomfret @ Winchendon, 03:00
St. Thomas More @ Worcester Academy, 3:00
Holderness @ Exeter, 3:30
Avon Old Farms @ Northfield Mt. Hermon, 3:30
Berwick @ Brewster, 3:30
BB&N @ Lawrence, 3:30
Cushing @ Thayer, 3:30 (at Babson)
Wyoming Seminary @ Hill School, 4:00
Hoosac @ Harvey, 4:00
Westminster @ Canterbury, 4:00
Kent's Hill @ Proctor, 4:00
Stanstead College @ Vermont Academy, 4:00
Millbrook @ Gunnery, 4:00 -- rescheduled due to poor ice conditions
Salisbury @ Trinity-Pawling, 4:00 -- moved to Salisbury, with a 6:30 pm faceoff 
Deerfield @ Kimball Union, 4:00
Hebron @ Pingree, 4:30
Noble & Greenough @ St. Paul's, 4:30
Kent @ Hotchkiss, 4:30
Rivers @ Portsmouth Abbey, 4:30
New Hampton @ Middlesex, 4:30
Milton @ Tabor, 4:45
St. Sebastian's @ Andover, 5:15

Fri. Jan. 20, 2006:

Roxbury Latin @ Pingree, 3:45
King & Low-Heywood Thomas @ Harvey, 4:00
North Yarmouth @ Berwick, 4:30
Princeton Country Day @ Wyoming Seminary, 4:45
Andover @ Thayer, 5:00
Milton @ BB&N, 5:15
Lawrence @ Noble & Greenough, 5:30
Kent's Hill @ Brunswick, 7:00
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ Winchendon, 7:15
Loyola Academy @ Shady Side Academy, 7:30
St. Thomas More @ Kingswood-Oxford, 8:15

Sat. Jan. 21, 2006:

Loyola Academy @ Shady Side Academy, 11:00 am
Milton @ Thayer, 1:15
 Middlesex @ Groton, 2:00
Worcester Academy @ Kingswood-Oxford, 2:00
Avon Old Farms @ Berkshire, 2:30
Noble & Greenough @ Andover, 2:30
Exeter @ Hotchkiss, 2:30
Kimball Union @ Tilton, 2:30
Pingree @ North Yarmouth, 2:30
Holderness @ Proctor, 3:00
St. Paul's @ Belmont Hill, 3:00
Williston-Northampton @ Gunnery, 3:00
Canterbury @ Taft, 4:00
Kent's Hill @ Rivers, 3:15
Pomfret @ Albany Academy, 4:00
New Hampton @ Hebron, 4:00
Salisbury @ Kent, 4:30
Hill School @ Brunswick, 4:30
South Kent @ Cushing, 5:00
Winchendon @ Millbrook, 5:00
Portsmouth Abbey @ Vermont Academy, 5:00
Lawrenceville @ Lawrence, 5:30
Deerfield @ Choate, 6:00
Loomis-Chaffee @ Westminster, 7:00
Wyoming Seminary @ Bridgton, 7:00

Sun. Jan. 22, 2006:

Ottawa Club Team @ New Hampton, 12:00
Lawrenceville @ Taft, 12:00
Winchendon @ Bridgton, 2:00
Wyoming Seminary @ Tilton, 1:30 
Gunnery @ Albany Academy, 2:00

Mon. Jan. 23, 2006:
Holderness @ St. Paul's, 3:45 -- postponed due to snow storm 
Iona Prep @ Harvey, 4:00
Kent @ Gunnery, 4:30
Millbrook @ Canterbury, 4:30
Salisbury @ Choate, 4:30
Proctor @ Exeter, 4:45
Avon Old Farms @ Westminster, 5:00
Worcester Academy @ Pingree, 5:30


Brooks, Brunswick a Notch Above

Brooks and Brunswick have a firm grip on the #1-2 spots in this week's USHR Div. II poll.

After that, though, it's a free for all, with a whole slew of teams in the hunt. The #3-7 teams are bunched so closely together that it's pretty hard to make distinctions.

This year, we're seeing more parity in Div. II than in Div. I. In addition, there are also more Div. II teams that can knock off Div. I teams than at any other time in a long while.

USHR Div. II Poll -- 1/17/06

Races Taking Shape
As we reach the season's halfway mark, some clear patterns are already emerging in this year's playoff races. Who makes the playoffs is based on a formula. Teams either make the grade or not based on how well they perform under these criteria compared to every other team. The playoff seedings are based on three equally-weighted criteria. The three criteria are:

1. Winning percentage in all NEPSIHA (D1 and D2) games;
2. Winning percentage in all NEPSIHA D1 games; and,
3. % of D1 games against teams with at least a .500 record TIMES the winning percentage in those games.

At the end of the season, each team is ranked under each of these criteria (e.g., the team with the highest NEPSIHA winning percentage is ranked #1, the next highest percentage is ranked #2, etc.) and each teams rankings are added together to yield a score. (If a team is ranked first in each of these criteria, its score is 3.) The four teams with the
lowest score make the playoffs, with seedings based on the relative scores of those four teams. Sounds simple, right?
Well, it is...and it isn't. The third criterion is one that can change quickly and boost or hurt a team, almost regardless of how they are playing at the moment. Since each team's performance in this criterion (the "strength of schedule" factor) depends on how other teams it has played are doing, a team can benefit if a team it beat earlier in the year gets on a roll and climbs above .500. Conversely, if you beat a team that is hovering above .500 and then have it slump and fall below, you get hurt in the third criterion.

So where do teams stand now? Remember that there are two distinct playoff races: East and West. League records matter only for pride. What is striking about both races, at this point in the season (and things can -- and will -- change) is that the battle in the West is closer than in the East...for now. In the West, Salisbury has a big edge over South Kent in the battle for the top seed. South Kent and Taft are neck and neck for the second seed, while Avon is in the surprising position of battling Hotchkiss and Westminster for the fourth and final playoff spot. Of course, by next week, this could all change.

Here are the top six in the West.
1. Salisbury (1 + 1 + 1): 3
2. South Kent (2 + 3 + 3): 8
3. Taft (4+ 4 + 2): 10
4. Avon (3 + 2 + 9): 14
5. Westminster (6 + 6 + 4): 16
6. Hotchkiss (5 + 5 + 7): 17
(The numbers in parentheses are the rankings in each of the three criteria.)

Things in the East were shaken up a bit this weekend, with two losses by Cushing and St. Sebs' loss to St. Paul's. Andover strengthened its position with its victory over Exeter. Here are the rankings in the East:
1. Nobles (1 + 1 + 2): 4
2. Belmont Hill (2 + 2 + 1): 5
3. St. Sebs (3 + 4 + 3): 10
4. Cushing (3 + 3 + 5): 11
5. Andover (5 + 6 + 3): 14
6. Lawrence (6 + 5 + 9): 20

St. Paul's (21) and Exeter (22) are sitting just outside the top six, but they need to get hot to make a run.Over the next few weeks, we'll be looking at a few things. First, which teams get on a roll and which tread water. Second, of the teams hovering around .500, which will move above and which will fall short? That, of course, affects strength of schedule (criterion #3) for all of these teams. Finally, we'll be looking to see how the rankings would be
different if the playoff criteria were switched along the lines of last year's proposal...just to see if it would matter.

Note: The above figures include games through Sunday Jan. 15. Yesterday, Monday afternoon, Westminster and Hotchkiss -- #5-6 in the West calculations -- both played and both won, so nothing really is changing there.


Salisbury Still #1 in USHR Prep Poll

The Salisbury School may have been knocked from the ranks of the undefeated with Saturday's 6-4 loss to Westminster, but they still hold onto the top spot in this week's USHR Div. I Prep Poll.

USHR Div. I Prep Poll -- Jan. 16, 2006 



Westminster Stuns Salisbury

Salisbury, Conn. – Senior Ben Smith (1g,4a) and junior Nick Pitsikoulis (4g) paced #9 Westminster to a  6-4 upset of #1 ranked and previously undefeated Salisbury School here today.

Early on, the game had the makings of a Salisbury blowout, as Alex Biega, Mark Arcobello, and Sean Sylvester scored to give Salisbury a 3-0 lead before the game was nine minutes old.

Perhaps they wore themselves out, á la George Foreman in Zaire, circa 1974. At any rate, Westminster, which didn’t even have a shot on goal until the 10:52 mark, got a pair of goals four minutes apart from Smith and Pitsikoulis, and skated to the dressing room for the first intermission trailing 3-2 -- and suddenly very much in the game.

In the second period, Salisbury came out just as they had in the first, with guns blazing, and dominated for the first ten minutes, pinning Westminster in their end for lengthy stretches. Westminster, though, didn’t quit working, employing an aggressive, uptempo game, sending two guys after the puck constantly, and hitting Salisbury whenever and wherever they got the chance, making them work for their scoring opportunties.

With 1:51 remaining in the second, and Salisbury clinging to a one-goal lead, Alex Biega was called for a penalty and Westminster went on the power play. With the seconds ticking down, Ben Smith won a faceoff in the Salisbury end and got it back to defenseman David Earl at the point. Earl took a shot, there was a rebound, and from the ensuing scrum Pitsikoulis knocked it past Salisbury senior goaltender Ross MacKinnon to tie the game at 3-3 with ten seconds left in the period.

Early in the third period, just 1:19 in, Westminster got the goal that would turn out to be the game winner. The play started on a dump in. With the warm, humid weather conditions, the ice was wet, and Salisbury had difficulty gaining control of the puck. Westminster’s Smith had no trouble, though, picking up the loose puck, fighting off two Salisbury defenders, and throwing a pass to Andrew Webb on the left side. Webb one-timed a pass to Pitsikoulis, who banged it past MacKinnon for the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Westminster pushed the lead to 5-3 when a Sean Patterson shot from the point found its way through a crowd, hit MacKinnon, and dribbled slowly over the goal line at the 6:33 mark. Right afterward, Salisbury coach Dan Donato yanked MacKinnon and replaced him with sophomore Anthony Borelli, who’s made most of the Westminster starts this season.

But just a few minutes later, Westy made it 6-3 when Smith, who played like a man on a mission today, got it to Piskikoulis (sounding like a broken record, we know) at the 9:39 mark. That goal was the sixth unanswered goal for Westminster and drove a stake into the Steaks heart.

With three minutes remaining a Will Ortiz goal cut the visitors’ lead to 6-4.

With a little over one minute remaining, Donato pulled Borelli for the extra skater. With 34 seconds left Salisbury had a good chance to make it a one-goal game but 6’4” Westminster senior goalie Bryce Shattie made a nice glove save on a Kevin Quick shot ticketed for the upper right hand corner.

Time ran out, and Salisbury is no longer undefeated.

This might have been a game waiting to happen.

Westminster, which was outshot, 41-26, is a tough team to play against, but today's offensive outburst was unusual. They had a 0-0 tie early in the season against NMH, they had a 1-0 loss to Salisbury in the Flood-Marr (with Shattie kicking out 33 shots), they’ve had three straight 2-1 wins, and, in Wednesday's 3-1 loss to Taft, the final goal was an empty-netter. Until today, they hadn’t scored six goals against anyone.

Salisbury, which early in the season was blowing out teams by ridiculous margins, has been flirting with a loss, as they have played three straight one-goal games, giving up a 3-0 lead over Nobles only to come back and win it in OT and then, after the break, edging Deerfield, 1-0, then, earlier this week, digging themselves out of a 3-1 hole to squeak past Taft, 4-3.  

Today's Other Games:

-- At Concord, NH, St. Paul's topped #6 St. Sebastian's, 5-3. Cameron Lanoue (2g,1a), Francois Brisebois (1g,1a,1eng), and Yuri Bouharevich (3a) each had three points. For St. Seb's, freshman Steve Rogers (3a) and older brother Doug Rogers (2g,1a) each had three points while linemate Eric Lake added a pair of assists.

-- Senior Chris Wood scored a natural hat trick in the first period as Deerfield Academy, playing at home, topped Trinity-Pawling, 5-1. Junior Michael Del Mauro assisted on all three of the goals, and sophomore Merrick Friedman had helpers on two of them. 

-- At Canton, Mass., #10 Lawrence Academy edged Thayer, 2-1. Juniors Joe Whitney and Sean Buckley scored both of LA's goals, both coming in the first period. Junior Justin Gates kicked out 20 of 21 for the win.

-- Junior center Tom Blake's OT goal lifted Middlesex to a 3-2 road win over Milton Academy. Senior goalie Joe Hanson kicked out 46 of 48 for the win.

-- J.P. Martignetti's second goal of the game lifted Andover to a 3-2 win at Exeter Academy today. Defenseman Hunter Thunell picked up assists on both goals. Matt Ward picked up the win, kicking out 32 of 34.

-- Vermont Academy made a big statement today, knocking off the Brunswick School, 5-4, in Greenwich, Conn. Brian Gibbons (3g,1a), Jamie Armstrong (1g,2a), and Steffan Kollevoll (1g,1a) led the way for VA. Justin Letizia (2g) and Christian Oberbeck (1g,1a) were big contributors for Brunswick.

-- At Meriden, NH, Tabor notched a pair of goals ten seconds apart in the first period and went on to roll over host Kimball Union. Chris Bower (1g,3a), Trevor Pawliczka (2g,1a), Zach Feiden (1g,1a), and Mike Jangro (2a) paced the Seawolves attack. Mike Borrelli had a goal and an assist for KUA.

-- At Cambridge, Mass., senior Leland Fidler's third period goal lifted host BB&N to a 3-3 tie with St. Marks. Fidler also had an assist in the game. Jeff Fanning also had two points (1g,1a) for BB&N, while Andrew Smith had the same for St. Mark's.

-- At Gill, Mass., host Northfield-Mt. Hermon crushed Holderness, 7-1. Nick Dupuis (2g,2a), Kevin Czepiel (1g,3a), Ryan Crapser (2g,1a), Tom DiDonato (1g,1a), Brian O'Malley (2a) were the big guns for the Hoggers.

-- At Pomfret, Conn., a third period goal by senior defenseman Mike Arnold turned out to be the game winner as Millbrook topped Pomfret, 4-3. Ryan Fanning and Jonathan Silver each had a pair of assists for Millbrook. Senior Aaron Zippin kicked out 22 of 25 for the win.

-- At Sheffield, Mass., host Berkshire topped Williston-Northampton, 6-1. Josh Rabbani (2g,1), Dan Rainer (1g1a), Mike Ashley (2a), and Pat Cullity (2a) were the big offensive contributors.

-- At Yarmouth, Maine, Bobby Barrett (2g,1a), Brandon Goodnow (1g,1a), and J.T. Leary (1g,1a) led Worcester Academy to a 4-2 road win over North Yarmouth Academy. Junior Matt Whitney kicked out 20 of 22 for the win.

-- At Wallingford, Conn., Taft topped host Choate, 4-2. Jack Downing notched two goals, Jerome Wallace had one, and Nick Liotta added an empty-netter. Max Pacioretty had two assists. Junior goaltender Andrew Margolin kicked out 31 of 32 shots for the win.

-- At South Hamilton, Mass., Proctor Academy crushed Pingree. Ranson Gaby (2g,3a), Ryan Ruddock (5a), William Newman (3g,1a), Jon Peden (2g,1a), and Devin Pyne (2a) led the attack.

-- 6'4" PG goaltender Tim Archibald kicked out 49 of 51 to lead host Tilton Academy to a 4-2 upset of #3 Cushing Academy. Seniors Matt Johnson and Brett Leonard each had two goals for Tilton. Alex Curran (1g,1a) led Cushing scorers. With a 4-2 loss to Deerfield Friday night, Cushing was defeated on consecutive days -- and we really can't remember the last time that happened. 


For the Record

We get a ton of emails pointing out that we have made a “mistake” and must add a goal or an assist to a certain player, or tack a few saves onto a goalie’s totals.

We write back and explain that we have no control over anything that appears in the box score, that we simply provide the forum, and keep it in running order. The system is simple. All games are inputted into templates by the coaches – or someone they’ve designated for the job. That information is then, with the touch of a key, uploaded by them directly onto the web site. We don’t see it until you do.

And, unless a coach is having a technical problem and asks for our assistance, we do not touch the box scores. The coaches don’t edit stories that appear on USHR, and we don’t edit their box scores. Everyone has their job on this planet, which, by the way, seems eerily warm for this time of year, doesn’t it?

We mention all this because we don’t want you using up your time writing us, asking us to make changes that we won't make. Now, if you see something that’s really wonky, a typo or a glitch, that’s OK, feel free to let us know. But if it has to do with scoring or goalie stats, please direct all requests for help to the coach. They are the only ones that can help.

And, yes, we know that the refs don’t always get the scoring right and that shots are counted quite differently depending upon where you are and who’s doing the counting. We know there’s a high degree of fallability in all this, but we also know it evens out in the end (more or less). So please, don’t sweat the small stuff, and enjoy the games.

Thank you.



The Weekend Schedule

The Belmont Hill at Gov. Dummer game scheduled for Saturday at GDA has been moved up and will instead be played there tomorrow (Fri.) at 4:30. The decision was made because GDA wanted to avoid hosting the game on Saturday because -- with the forecast calling for warm temperatures and a day-long soaking rainfall -- ice conditions could be compromised. 

Fri. Jan. 13, 2006:

Hoosac @ Berwick, 3:30
Belmont Hill @ GDA, 4:30  Note: Moved up from Saturday
Pingree @ St. Mark's, 4:30
Nichols @ Appleby College, 5:00 
Williston-Northampton @ Winchendon, 5:00
Tabor @ Holderness, 5:00
Roxbury Latin @ Middlesex, 5:00
BB&N @ Noble & Greenough, 5:45
Tilton @ Proctor vs., 6:00
Wyoming Seminary @ Berkshire, 6:00
Worcester Academy @ Portsmouth Abbey, 6:00
Rivers @ New Hampton, 6:30
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ Choate, 7:00
Deerfield @ Cushing, 7:15
National Sports Academy @ Lawrenceville, 7:15
Stanstead College @ Hebron, 8:00

Sat. Jan. 14, 2006:

Nichols @ Ridley College, Noon
Brewster @ Hebron, 1:00
Tabor @ Kimball Union, 1:00
St. Mark's @ BB&N, 1:30
Princeton Country Day @ Kingswood-Oxford, 1:30
St. George's @ Groton, 1:30
Stanstead College @ Kent's Hill, 2:00
Middlesex @ Milton, 2:00 
Cushing @ Tilton, 2:00
National Sports Academy at Hill School, 2:00
Lawrence @ Thayer, 2:15
Westminster @ Salisbury, 2:30
St. Sebastian's @ St. Paul's, 2:30
Trinity-Pawling @ Deerfield, 2:30
Kent @ Avon Old Farms, 2:45
Vermont Academy @ Brunswick, 3:00
Williston-Northampton @ Berkshire, 3:30
Holderness @ Northfield Mt. Hermon, 3:30
Worcester Academy @ North Yarmouth, 3:45
Proctor @ Pingree, 4:00
Harvey @ St. Thomas More, 4:00
Winchendon @ Gunnery, 4:00
New Hampton @ Portsmouth Abbey, 4:00
Millbrook @ Pomfret, 4:15
Andover @ Exeter, 4:30
Hotchkiss @ Loomis-Chaffee, 5:00
Brooks @ Roxbury Latin, 5:00
Albany Academy @ Canterbury, 6:00
Bridgton @ South Kent, 7:00
Taft @ Choate, 7:00

Sun. Jan. 15, 2006:

Academie St. Louis @ Kent's Hill, 12:00
Albany Academy @ Canterbury, 1:00
Bridgton @ South Kent, 2:00

Mon. Jan. 16, 2006:
Berkshire @ Hotchkiss, 4:30
St. Mary's (Long Island) @ Wyoming Seminary, 4:30
Millbrook @ Westminster, 4:30
Gunnery @ Trinity-Pawling, 4:45


Balysky, Penalty Killers Lead Taft

Simsbury, Conn. -- Sophomore Sean Balysky notched a pair of goals and the Taft penalty killers held Westminster to one goal in 12 opportunities en route to a 3-1 road victory here today. 

For the game, Taft was whistled for 12 penalties, and Westminster four.

Balysky's first goal came in the first period, as he whacked at a bouncing puck that appeared to knuckle on Westminster goalie Bryce Shattie, beating him from about five feet out on the near (glove) side at the 12:16 mark.

Balysky struck again at 14:33 of the second as he carried the puck down the slot, faked a shot and looked to pass, saw nothing, and then decided to shoot after all. His shot was blocked by a Westminster d-man and came right back to him. Balysky wasted no time burying the rebound, beating Shattie at the 14:33 mark.

Westminster junior forward Ryan Shamshoum, on the power play, cut Taft's lead to 2-1 in the third period. Shamshoum took a nice pass from junior linemate Nick Pitsikoulis and rang one off the inside edge of the post and into the net with 8:05 left to play.

That was as close as Westminster would get, though.

Jerome Wallace added an empty netter with 12 seconds on the clock to give Taft its final margin of victory. 

Alex Kremer stopped 27 of 28 for Taft; Shattie kicked out 30 of 32 for Westminster.

"We played hard and competed," said Taft head coach Dan Murphy. "We played well defensively, which was important because we had limited (offensive) opportunities. I liked the way we killed penalties. We stayed with it. Westminster played a solid game, and we kept our composure."  

Other Games:

-- Choate, trailing at home to Canterbury, came back with two in the second period and then two more in the third to take a 4-2 win at Wallingford, Conn. today.

Junior A.J. Ferraro had a pair of goals for the Wild Boars.

-- At Groton, Mass., #2 Nobles got by #10 Lawrence, 1-0, on a late goal by Ryan Maguire, with assists going to Andrew Glass and Chris Huxley. Junior John Muse picked up the shutout on 25 saves. Junior Justin Gates kicked out 30 of 31 for LA.

-- A Tommy Dignard third period power play goal lifted Andover to a 1-1 tie on the road at Tilton. Matt Ward kicked out 40 of 41.

-- At Plymouth, NH, Holderness rolled over Winchendon, 7-3. Freshman Steven Anthony (1g,2a) and Aki Uola (2g,1a) led the way for Holderness. Right behind them on the point parade were Brendan Collins (2g), Niko Uola (1g,1a), Paul Kirtland (1g,1a), Ryan Zemel (2a), Atte Uola (2a), and Kyle Krulac (2a).

Holderness sophomore goalie Andre Guay kicked out 32 of 35 for the win.

Nick Quagliani had a goal and an assist for Winchendon. 

-- St. Mark's overpowered host Roxbury Latin, 7-1, today. Harrison Biggs (2g), Colin Smith (1g,1a), Andrew Smith (2a), and Kevin Erving (2a) led the way offensively for St. Mark's, while junior goalie Aaron Natale kicked out 21 of 22 shots.

-- At Avon, Conn., a Steve Capraro goal with seven seconds left lifted host #4Avon to a 2-2 tie with Hotchkiss.

-- At Ashburnham, Mass., #3 Cushing topped Tabor, 6-3. Alex Curran led the way with a hat trick. Other offensive leaders included defeneman Dave Warsofsky (3a) and forwards Broc Little (2g), Aaron Bogosian (2a), and Brad Malone (2a).

Zach Feiden (1g,1a) and Will O'Neill (2a) led the Tabor attack.

--  Deerfield, playing on the road, knocked off host Loomis, 7-5.

Leading the Big Green attack were: Matt Lovejoy (4a), Merrick Friedman (2g,1a), Michael Del Mauro (1g,2a), Chris Wood (1g,2a), Milton Lyles (2g), and Andrew Boardman (2a). Leading the way offensively for Loomis were Bobby Lane (2g), Joe Albano (1g,1a), Brian Collins (1g,1a), and David Gal (2a).

-- In a road win, Gunnery knocked off #8 South Kent, 5-3. Jason Adams (2g) and Mike Corbelle (1g,1a) led the Gunnery attack. Senior Pat Street kicked out 38 of 41 for the win. Dan Jackson had a pair of goals for South Kent.

-- Kent, playing at home, knocked off Trinity-Pawling, 4-3. Seniors Ben Cook (1g,1a), Matt Czerkowicz (1g,1a), and Patrick Aldridge (2a) all had two-point afternoons for Kent. T-P senior Tony Maresca notched a goal and an assist.

-- At Andover, NH, Berwick edged host Proctor, 3-2, on an overtime goal by PG defenseman Patrick Keenan.
Junior Steve Scott (1g,2a) figured in all three Berwick goals, and junior Joseph Perry (1g,1a) figured in one.

Junior Neil Ruffini (2g), and senior Ian Flanagan (2a) led Proctor's attack.

Proctor junior goalie Josh Rosenholtz kicked out 37 of 40, while his counterpart in the Berwick net, junior Jared Hay, kicked out 34 of 36.    


Wednesday's Schedule

Wed. Jan. 11, 2006:

Hotchkiss at Avon Old Farms, 2:30
Taft at Westminster, 2:30
Trinity-Pawling at Kent, 2:30
Deerfield at Loomis-Chaffee, 2:45
Berkshire at Albany Academy, 3:00
Kent's Hill at Brewster, 3:00 (Hamm Arena; Conway, NH)
Vermont Academy at Groton, 3:00
Gunnery at South Kent, 3:30
Tabor at Cushing, 3:30
St. Mark's at Roxbury Latin, 3:45
Milton at St. Paul's, 4:00
Brunswick at Kingswood-Oxford, 4:00
Harvey at Rye Country Day, 4:00
Hebron at Middlesex, 4:00
Kimball Union at Exeter, 4:00
St. George's at Brooks, 4:00
New Hampton at North Yarmouth, 4:00
Lawrenceville at Princeton Country Day, 4:00
Pomfret at Williston-Northampton, 4:15
Berwick at Proctor, 4:30
Noble & Greenough at Lawrence, 5:00
Winchendon at Holderness, 5:15
Governor Dummer at BB&N, 5:15
Portledge at Hill, 5:30
Canterbury at Choate, 6:00


Salisbury Continues Atop USHR Div. I Poll

Once again, Salisbury, still undefeated, sits in the #1 spot in this week's USHR prep poll. Tomorrow (Mon.) afternoon, though, they'll be on the road at Taft, which will be looking to make a statement.

USHR Prep Poll 



Northwood Tops Lawrenceville in OT

Lawrenceville, N.J. –  Northwood, trailing 2-1 as the final seconds of regulation ticked down, pulled their goalie for the extra attacker to tie it up with 28 seconds remaining. Then, 1:58 into OT the visitors from the North Country won it, 3-2, on a Zach Fulton goal.

On the game-winner, Northwood forward Nick Sheehan set things in motion through persistent forechecking, gaining control of the puck deep in the Lawrenceville end and getting it out to Fulton at the left point. Fulton slapped home the game winner.

Northwood almost didn’t get to that point, though, as they needed a Peter Boyd final-minute goal to dig them out of a 2-1 deficit. Boyd one-timed a pass from Steve Mallard through the legs of partially-screened Lawrenceville goaltender Eldridge Nichols. Patch Alber picked up an assist on the goal – and the game went to OT.

Nortwood actually had the early lead, going up 1-0 on a first period power play goal by Brett Hextall, only to give up the next two goals to their hosts. Hextall’s goal, the only Northwood marker until the final minute of play, came after Lawrenceville’s Nichols spent the first ten minutes of the game standing on this head, keeping his teammates, who didn’t even got a shot on the Northwood net until after the first five minutes of play, in the game until they found their legs.

Lawrenceville struck six minutes into the second, when the line combination of Rob Costello, Chris Zaires, and Martin Drolet, who had played well together all afternoon, worked the puck deep into Northwood’s zone. Crashing the net, Costello banged the puck past Northwood goalie Alex Petizian, who was unable to control a loose rebound in front of him.

The remainder of the second period saw some big hits dished out by both sides, with both teams having a few players slow to get up.

Two minutes into the third Lawrenceville forward Martin Drolet, off a nice breakout pass from defenseman Brandon Weiner, calmly skated through the neutral zone, beat one Northwood defender with an effortless move to his right, took a few strides over the blue line and let a wrister go from about 12 feet that beat Petizian to the stick side, putting Lawrencville up 2-1, a lead they would hold until 28 seconds remained, when Northwood’s Boyd struck for the game tying goal – and set the stage for Sheehan and Fulton’s OY heroics.



Andover Shakes Pesky Choate

Andover, Mass. – Andover Academy, which held a slim 3-2 lead over Choate midway through the third, scored three straight goals, the last an empty-netter to take a 6-3 win here today.

Choate, which finished with a 45-36 shot advantage, gave Andover goaltender Matt Ward, and the whole Andover squad, a battle. While Andover is deeper, bigger, and more talented, Choate gave nothing away, working away shift after shift, and right up to the final buzzer.

The first period was a bit of a track race, just a lot of zooming up and down the ice with the rare scoring chances coming off individual efforts. Rarely were two or three passes strung together. And the period ended scorelessly.

The freneticism was a little less pronounced in the second. Andover went up 1-0 when Joe Smith poked a rebound past Choate goalie Andrew Miller at the 4:35 mark.

About three minutes later, Andover’s J.J. McGregor scored on a wrister from the bottom of the left faceoff circle to put Andover up 2-0. Choate coach Pat Dennehy called a time out to settle his troops, and it paid off as the Wild Boars shut Andover down for the rest of the period. Toward the end of the period, Choate put some heavy pressure on Andover but senior goalie Matt Ward kept them off the board and Andover took a 2-0 lead into the second intermission.

Choate finally scored 2:19 into the third, as junior defenseman Ryan Corcoran, from the right point, put a low shot on net that Rence Coassin converted to make it a one goal game.

Andover answered at the 6:50 mark as Tommy Dignard, from the left wing half wall, fired the puck on net where Chris Cahill got a piece of it on the way through and put the home team up 3-1.

Choate came back at the 9:10 mark, as Harvard recruit Sam Bozoian carried the puck behind the net on a 5-on-3 advantage and got it out front where Coassin knocked it home for his second straight goal to cut Andover’s lead to 3-2.

But that was as close as it would get. At the 11:38 mark, Andover’s Brendan Cox got it out front to Stephen Bury, who buried it to put Andover up by two.

With 2:14 left in regulation, JP Martignetti knocked home the rebound of a Joe Smith shot to stretch the lead to three.

Smith added an empty-netter with 20 seconds left for the final 6-3 margin of victory.

”It was a good win for us,” said Andover head coach Dean Boylan. “Choate played a game last night night (a 4-3 OT loss at Exeter) but Pat (Dennehy) had them going hard again today. We have things to work on but it was a good win. I thought we rebounded well in the third period when it got tough. We held together well there and kept our composure.”


Prep Roundup

-- #1 Salisbury, playing at home, squeaked past Deerfield, 1-0, with Jeremiah Cunningham scoring the game's only goal. Anthony Borelli picked up the shutout, making 32 saves. Deerfield sophomore goaltender Matthew Delaney kicked out 40 of 41 in a losing cause.

-- #5 Avon, also playing at home, topped #4 Taft by a 7-4 margin. Nick Bonino (2g,2a), Cam Atkinson (2g,1a), and Chris Wieland (2a) led the way offensively for the Winged Beavers. Andrew Balysky (4a), Max Pacioretty (4a) and Sean Carty (3g) were the big guns for the Rhinos. Taft goaltender Andrew Margolin played the first two periods and let in five goals on 17 shots. He was replaced in the third by Alex Kremer, who had better luck, kicking out 13 of 14. Randy Wolcott kicked out 45 of 49 for Avon.

-- In the fair city of Cambridge, Mass., Jeff Fanning scored four goals in BB&N's 5-1 victory over Roxbury Latin. Marc Pulde kicked out 15 of 16 for the win.

-- #10 Westminster, playing on the road, edged Trinity-Pawling, 2-1, with Bryce Shattie kicking out 29 of 30.

-- Loomis goalie John Harris stopped 37 of 39 to lead his team to a 3-2 win over Kent. Anthony Ferri had two goals for Loomis.

-- Lawrence Academy topped host Milton, 4-1. Joe Whitney (2g,1a), Steve Whitney (1g,1a), and Jason Schneider (1g,1a) lead LA's attack. Justin Gates stopped 21 of 22 in net.

-- Forward Matt Robertson (1g,4a) figured in all five of his team's goals as Proctor came back from a 4-2 third-period deficit to top Hebron, 5-4. Ian Flanagan (2g,1a) and Chris Leach (1g,1a) also had multiple point games for Proctor.

-- #9 Exeter tied NMH, 3-3. Miles Winter (2g,1a) and Colin Downey (1g,2a) figured in all of the Hoggers' goals. Jonathan Lee stopped 36 of 39 for Exeter, while Collin Lever turned back 33 of 26 for NMH.

-- At Southborough, Mass., St. George's beat St. Mark's, 3-1. Anthony Longo (2g) and Liam Chatterton led the Dragons' attack. Sophomore goaltender Sean O'Brien turned away 34 of 35 shots for the win.

-- At Meriden, NH, #3 Cushing edged KUA, 3-2. The Penguins took a 3-0 lead on goals by Broc Little, Torin Snydeman, and defenseman Sean Coughlin, and then held off KUA's third period comeback. 

-- At Easthampton, Mass., Berkshire topped Williston, 6-0, as Adam Szczepanski posted a 16-save shutout. Mike Ashley had four assists.

-- At Katonah, NY, Portsmouth Abbey scored five goals in the second period en route to a 6-1 win over Harvey. Bryan Kriner (3g,1a), Rob Turner (1g,2a), Chris Thompson (2g), and Bryand Abraham (2a) led PA's attack.

-- At Plymouth, NH, Holderness sophomore goalie Andrew Guay kicked out 40 shots in a 1-1 tie with Tilton.

-- #2 Nobles topped Thayer, 7-2, though no score sheet was uploaded. Also #6 Belmont Hill edged #7 St. Sebastian's, 2-1. No score sheet was uploaded for that game either.          



Saturday's Schedule

Sat. Jan. 7, 2006:
Taft at Avon, 2:45
St. Sebastian's at Belmont Hill, 2:30 pm
Berkshire at Williston, 2:15
Bridgton at Tabor, 2:00
Roxbury Latin at BB&N, 1:30
Choate at Andover, 5:00
KUA at Cushing, 5:00
Deerfield at Salisbury, 2:00
Governor Dummer at Pomfret, 4:00
Gunnery at Winchendon, 4:00
Tilton at Holderness, 1:30
Northwood at Lawrenceville, 2:00
Millbrook at Hotchkiss, 4:00
Phila. Jr. Flyers at Hill, 7:00
Loomis-Chaffee at Kent, 3:00
Lawrence at Milton, 1:00
Thayer at Nobles, 1:30
NMH at Exeter, 4:00
Brewster at Vermont Academy, 4:30
Groton at Brooks, 1:30
Hebron at Proctor, 4:30
Kingswood-Oxford at Pingree, 4:00
New Hampton at Worcester Academy, 6:00
Portsmouth Abbey at Harvey, 1:00
|St. George's at St. Mark's, 2:30
Kents Hill at Stanstead Tourney
Berwick at Stanstead Tourney
Rivers at Stanstead Tourney
Rye Country Day at Stanstead Tourney


St. Seb's Upsets #2 Nobles

St. Sebastian's, two days removed from winning the Tabor Tournament, kept the momentum going today, travelling a couple of miles down the road and toppling #2 Noble & Greenough.

St. Seb's came from behind to do it, too, pulling even in the second period to make it 2-2 and then adding a pair in the third to salt it away.

The Eric Lake (1g.2a), Doug Rogers (1g,1a), Steve Rogers (1g) line picked up where they left off on Monday, as they combined on three of the four Arrows goals.

Connor Toomey kicked out 32 of 34 for the win. Cushing Tournament MVP John Muse stopped 26 of 30 for Nobles, whose goal scorers were Chris Huxley and Ryan Maguire. Jimmy Hayes assisted on both Nobles goals.

-- At Ashburnham, Mass. Tom Bardis (1g,2a) led Cushing Academy to a 5-2 home win over Governor Dummer. Defenseman Dave Warsofsky (1g,1a), Aaron Bogosian (1g,1a), and Sean Coughlin (2a) each had two point games for the Penguins.

Richard Bachman kicked out 30 of 32.

-- South Kent School PG forward Mike Vaskivuo, who has just committed to Merrimack College for next season, had three goals and one assist in his team's 6-3 road win over Kent. Tony Morrone (1g, 2a), and Joe Pereira (1g,1a) also had multiple-point days.

Defensman Mike Blundon assisted on all three Kent goals.

Sergei Sorokolat kicked out 25 of 28 in the South Kent net.

-- Senior Ian Flanagan scored all three Proctor goals in a 3-0 win at Worcester Academy today. Junior goaltender Josh Rosenholtz picked up the 21-save shutout.

-- At Avon, Conn., Avon Old Farms topped Pomfret, 5-1, with Brad Peltz (2g), Nick Bonino (2a), and defenseman Brian Malchoff (2a) leading the offense. Steve Capraro, James Chamness, and Ryan Liebel added single goals. Randy Wolcott kicked out 24 of 25 for the win.

-- There was another 0-0 tie, at least the second of the season, today in Soutborough, Mass., as St. Mark's and Middlesex played three periods and overtime and finished just where they started.

Junior Aaron Natale of Amherst, NH kicked out all 28 shots in the St. Mark's net; senior Joe Hanson stopped all 41 shots he faced in the Middlesex net. 

-- At New Milford, Conn., Canterbury topped Williston, 4-2 with Ryan Miniaci (1g,1a), Joe Pavone (1g,1a) and Sebastian Kimmel (2a) leading the offense.

-- At Groton, Mass., Lawrence Academy topped St. George's, 7-1 with Joe Whitney (2g,3a) picking up five points. Other big scorers for LA were John Simpson (2g,1a), Jason Schneider (1g,2a), Joe Ehiorobo (3a), Steven Whitney (2a), and defenseman Keith Bombaugh (1g,1a).  

Senior Seth McNary kicked out 16 of 17 to pick up the win for Lawrence.

-- At Plymouth, NH, Andover crushed Holderness, 10-4. Defensman Tommy Dignard (2g,1a) and forward Chris Cahill (3a) paced the Andover attack. Colin Touhey (2g), Andrew Cox (1g,1a), Peter Dignard (2a), and Brendan Cox (2a) also helped the cause.

Andover senior goaltender Matt Ward kicked out 24 of 28 for the win.

For Holderness, Ryan Zemel (2g) and Paul Kirtland (2a) led the way.

-- At Milton, Mass., visiting Belmont Hill skated past Milton Academy, which only had 13 skaters dressed.

Wednesday's Schedule

Wed. Jan. 4, 2006:
Pomfret at Avon, 4:00
Belmont Hill at Milton, 3:30
Williston at Canterbury, 3:30
BB&N at Thayer, 4:00
GDA at Cushing, 3:30
Andover at Holderness, 3:30
Hotchkiss at Trinity-Pawling, 2:30
South Kent at Kent, 2:30
St. George's at Lawrence, 4:15
St. Sebastian's at Nobles, 5:00
Tilton at NMH, 3:30
Exeter at Tabor, 2:30
Brooks at Winchendon, 3:00
Hebron at Boston Jr. Bulldogs, 4:00
Middlesex at St. Mark's, 2:30
Stanstead at New Hampton, 4:00
Rivers at NYA, 4:30
Proctor at Worcester Academy, 2:45


Monday's Tournament Results

Tabor Tournament:
St. Sebastian's Wins Title

Playoff Games:

7th Place Game: Holderness 5, Hill 2 -- Holderness: Aki Uola (2g), Niko Uola (1g,1a), Atte Uola (2a), B. Kirtland (g), Zemel (g), Krulac (a). Hill: Swist (1g,1a), Kratz (g), Kennedy (a).

5th Place Game: Milton Academy 5, Upper Canada College 2 -- Nunn (2g,1a), Nelson (1g,2a), Matczak (g), Bellotti (g). UCC: Toyne (g), Stoddard (g), Webster (a), Boucher (a), Therrien (a), Belliveau (a).

3rd Place Game: New England Jr. Falcons 5, Tabor 2 -- NE: Almeida (1g,1a), Wissman (1g,1a), Syner (2a), Scanlon (2a), Cannone (2a), Morrison (g), Nelson (g), Vrolyk (g). T: Bower (2g), Jelinek (2a), Wadsworth (a), Svoboda (a). Goaltenders: Lisi (NE); Kunka (TA).

1st Place Game: St. Sebastian's 5, Governor Dummer Academy 3 -- SS: Lake (3g,1a), Young (1g,1a), D. Rogers (2a), Reddish (g), Corcoran (a), S. Rogers (a), Davis (a). GDA: Hambelton (g), Day (g), Clayman (g), Samson (a), Shakespeare (a), Cody (a), Carpino (a), Rinaldi (a). Goaltenders: Toomey (SS); Perich (GDA).


St. Seb’s Wins Tabor Tournament

Marion, Mass. -- An Eric Lake hat trick helped pace St. Sebastian’s to a 5-3 win over Governor Dummer Academy in the title game of the 2005-06 Joshua Weeks New Year’s Invitational Tournament here today.

Lake, a 5’6” junior from Arlington, Mass., also had an assist, giving him a four-point day. For the tournament, Lake figured in 12 of his team’s 14 goals. His center, senior Doug Rogers, who had a pair of assists today, figured in 9 of his team’s goals here.

Today, GDA jumped out to the early lead, as Mike Hambelton took a pass from Steven Cody at the St. Seb’s blue line, bore in on goal, and deked Arrows goaltender Connor Toomey, slipping the puck behind him at the 12:13 mark.

GDA took the 1-0 lead into the dressing room – and came out flat in the second, allowing the Arrows to score three unanswered goals.

Just 22 seconds after the teams returned to the ice, St. Sebastian’s senior defenseman Colin Young fired one from the right point that beat Governor Dummer goalie Ryan Perich high to the stick side to tie the game at 1-1.

At the 6:20 mark, Lake, from the side of the crease, deflected home a shot from the point by Young. The goal, which made it 2-1, gave the Arrows a lead they would never relinquish.

Junior Matt Reddish extended the lead to 3-1 when the Arrows took advantage of a GDA defensive zone turnover. Reddish’s shot, which beat Perich top shelf, came at the 11:58 mark.

That was it for the second, the end of which couldn’t have come a moment too soon for the Governors.

In the third, St. Seb’s went up 4-1 when, skating with a 5-on-3 advantage, they moved the puck around nicely before finding Lake, who found the back of the net at the 3:08 mark.

After that, Governor Dummer woke up, and got back into the game – almost all the way back.

At the 8:53 mark, GDA scored its second goal of the game when Owen Carpino, from the right faceoff circle, moved it out to defenseman Zachary Samson at the right point. Samson hit Brian Day down low with a nice pass, and Day buried it to cut the Arrows lead to 4-2.

Less than a minute later, GDA struck again, as Mark Rinaldi found Jack Clayman alone by the left face off dot and Clayman fired it past Toomey at the 9:38 mark, ,cutting the Arrows lead to 4-3.

GDA kept plugging for that tying goal and almost had it with 1:56 left when Day, from a sharp angle near the goal line, tried to stuff it between the post and Toomey’s right pad. The referee initially ruled it a goal, but, after lengthy conferences with officials – and players, too – reversed himself, ruling the puck hadn’t crossed the line. He got it right, too, according to impartial observers with a close view from behind the net.

With the goal waved off, GDA went back to work on getting the tying goal, pulling goaltender Perich in the final minute.

Lake, though, put a damper on that, flying down the right wing boards and scoring an empty net goal with 58 seconds left in regulation to give the Arrows the final 5-3 margin of victory.

”Over four games in three days, they kept their energy level up,” said St. Sebastian’s head coach Steve Dagdigian. “They figured out how to do it in tight situations. I’m proud of them. They worked hard.”

“Lake’s play,” Dagdigian added, “has been critical. He’s the perfect complement to Dougie (Rogers). He’s been scoring a ton. He’s been moving the puck well. And he has vision.”

Governor Dummer head coach Peter Kravchuk said, “We played two-thirds of the game pretty well. We just took the middle period off. I give them credit for fighting back, but you can’t put yourself in a hole like that.”


New Year's Day Tournament Results

For previous day's tournament reports click on "December News" above. 

Tabor Tournament: GDA and St. Seb's to face off in title game.

St. Sebastian's 3, Milton 2 -- D. Rogers and Lake figure in all three Arrows goals. SS: D. Rogers (2g,1a), Lake (1g,2a), Young (2a), S. Rogers (a).  M: Brown (g), Bellotti (g), Fitoussi (a), Hunnewell (a).   

Tabor 11, Hill 1 -- TA: Pawliczka (2g,1a), Bower (1g,2a), Feiden (1g,2a), Wadsworth (1g,1a), Coffin (1g,1a), Jangro (1g,1a), Livingston (1g,1a), Hartzell (1g,1a), T. Economides (2a), Ellbogen (g), E. Economides (g), O'Neill (a), Svoboda (a), Smith (a).  H: Kennedy (g), McConney (a).

GDA 4, New England Jr. Falcons 1 -- GDA: Lombardi (1g,1a), Spinale (1g,1a), Cerretti (g), Rinaldi (g), Day (g), Weiner (a), Bielinski (a), Carpino (a), Clayman (a), Kent (a). NE: Valdes (g), Vatrano (a), Syner (a).  

Upper Canada College 4, Holderness 3 -- UCC: Chubb (2g), Gordon (2a), Therrien (g), Boucher (g), Reburn (a), Stoddard (a), Little (a).  H:  B. Kirtland (1g,1a), Zemel (2a), Davis (g), Atte Uola (g), Branton (a), Skelley (a), P. Kirtland (a).  

Milton 3, Hill 2 -- MA:  Nelson (3g), Fitoussi (2a), K. Mountain (a), Matczak (a). Hill: Kennedy (g), Neumann (g), Guldin (a).   

St. Sebastian's 3, Tabor 1 -- All goals in this game were scored in the third period. SS: Lake (1g, 1a), Rogers (1g,1a), Davis (g), Lalor (a), Fine (a), Rogers (a), Harrity.

Monday's Playoff Matchups:
9:00 am -- 7th Place Game: The Hill vs. Holderness
11:00 am -- 5th Place Game: Milton Academy vs. Upper Canada College
1:00 pm -- 3rd Place Game: Tabor Academy vs. New England Jr. Falcons
3:00 pm -- 1st Place Game: Governor Dummer Academy vs. St. Sebastian's Country Day School