Updates from Salem
Milton Wins Prep Crown, Edging Kent, 2-1
-- Okita's game-winner in third brings school first NEPSIHA title; Dougherty stellar
From the coaches:
"When you hold a team to one goal you have a pretty good chance to win," said Milton head coach Paul Cannata. "Sean Dougherty gave us a heck of a game today -- and we managed to get a couple."
We asked Cannata about the fact that McNally wasn't taking off on rink-length rushes today: "He knew that this wasn't going to be a game that was won or lost on one shift. Today you saw the subtle positioning and poke checks... all the little things that add up to winning. He played an excellent game. Sometime people overlook his defensive game in favor of the Superman cape."
On his large group of seniors. "They are a battle-tested group. In January we rose up the rankings and we never gave up our position even though we were playing some very tough opponents. Call it experience, hockey IQ... it's a lot of things. I'm proud of them. Things went our way this season and even when they didn't we found a way to tiptoe around them. You have to be a little lucky to be good."
Cannata was asked how he felt personally. "I really feel great for the kids and the school. You don't get a lot of kicks at the can. You feel really happy for the kids."
It was pointed out that Hudson, Merenich, and McNally logged some serious minutes and looked exhausted as time wound down. "You gotta dance with the girls who got you to the prom," Cannata said. "If we were going to do it, this was the year."
Down the hall, Kent coach Matt Herr said, "It was a great game and sometime in a game like this it comes down to two or three plays going your way -- or not. Milton was a great team and they played really well tonight."
What, Herr was asked, was the key to Kent's strong second and third periods. "We started hanging a wing because we saw all three Milton forwards were crashing down."
Herr gave a lot of credit to Dluhy for coming through with great saves during the penalty kills tonight. "He played really well. Both goalies played really well tonight."
"It was," Herr said, "a great prep hockey game."
Milton 2, Kent 1 (final) -- Milton goes up 2-1 at 4:06 with what would turn out to be the game-winning goal. On the play, TJ Schneider came down the right side and took a slapshot which popped out to the left. Okita had the whole net to shoot at, and he buried it.
There was a long way to go, though, and Milton's Dougherty was called on to protect it, never more so than at around the six minute mark when he had to come up with a big save on Noel Acciari, who was a threat for Kent all game.
At 7:49 Kent was awarded their first power play. They get good possession and chances but suddenly all goes wrong and Milton is breaking the other way on a 2-on-1 shorthanded attempt. But Acciari gets all the way back to break up a cross-crease pass that almost certainly would have made it 3-1 for the Mustangs. Kent, however, is unable to score on what is left of their power play.
With just under 30 seconds to play, and the goalie pulled and the puck in Milton's end, Acciari intercepts a Milton clearing attempt at the blue line, goes around a Milton player, and takes a snapshot from the left faceoff circle that Dougherty makes a tremendous shoulder save on, deflecting the puck out of play with 10 seconds remaining.
Kent calls a time-out with an offensive zone face off coming up. Off the face-off the puck found its way to Nieves, who whistled a shot off Dougherty's glove as time ran out on the season.
Milton 1, Kent 1 (after 2): Milton scored at 1:47, just after their powerplay expired. Dluhy made two saves before before the puck found defenseman Jake Turrin on the backside with an empty net to shoot at. He didn't miss. 1-0, Milton. A little over one minute later -- 1:13, to be exact -- Kent evened things up when Boo Nieves took the puck behind the Milton net and took a shot that was blocked and then rebounded out to the other side. There, Drew Brown was waiting to snap it home. Back to a tie game. The goal was kind of a mirror image of the Milton goal.
Kent really carried the play offensively after that. Milton's Hudson is doing his best to neutralize Kent's edge in physical play by just pummeling guys.
Kent was called for a minor with 2:02 left. When the period ended, Kent had three penalties called against them, and Milton none.
Milton 0, Kent 0 (after 1): Kevin Dluhy is in net for Kent; Sean Dougherty for Milton. Kent came out really hard and took the game to Milton, but Milton figured it out after a couple of minutes. Kent is playing a 1-2-2 in the neutral zone and hasn't forechecked much -- a counter-McNally effect.
A couple big hits involving the heavyweights: Connor MacPhee leveled Dan Merenich. Woody Hudson leveled Mike McKee.
Milton's forecheck worked well in the second half of the period.
Milton has had a couple of powerplays. There was a lot of pre-game speculation on how closely the game would be called, and the first hints came there: it may be called tightly, Once on the PP, Milton did a good job setting up and controlling the puck, and will start second period on the powerplay. Overall, Milton had an edge in the period.
A fan in the Milton student cheering section was ejected after throwing something on the ice and hitting the ref with what, on closer inspection, turned out to be a pair of --- get this -- handcuffs. Since he hit the ref when the penalty was being called on Kent, one can assume the ejected miscreant clearly possesses a metaphorical bent.
-- Westminster Wins Large School Tournament.
Westminster 5, Governor's 2 (final) -- Westminster made it 4-0 at 6:00 of the third on an Andy Michalidis slapshot from the point, a one-timer that went in halfway up the post. Governor's got on the board when Lucas Bombardier cashed in a rebound at the 9:41 mark. The goal gave Gov's a lift and, at 13:48, they were able to cut Westminster's lead to 4-2 while skating four aside. Again, it was a rebound goal. It's tough to beat Spano straight up -- no one did it here in Salem.
Westminster sewed it up as a Corey Taber empty-netter with 1:30 left in the period made it 5-2 Westminster.
Westminster 3, Governor's 0 (after 2) -- Westminster makes it 2-0 when Tim Acker takes a pass from Emilio Audi on a 2-on-1 and fires a one-timer. No chance for Burke.
It was all Westminster after that. Governor's did have three power plays, but was unable to generate any legit chances. Great penalty killing by Westminster.
Westminster scored a controversial goal to make it 3-0. A shot from the point as the final seconds ticked down disappeared into a crowd of players in front of the Governor's net, and then somehow squirted out of the scrum onto the stick of Westy's Jake Crow. The puck came from literally nowhere, a total gift for Crow, who shot a wrister into the open net a mere two feet away. The puck crossed the line literally at the 18:00 mark, right as the horn was sounding. It couldn't have been closer, and there was no consensus among observers. Governor's, however, left the ice for the second intermission a very unhappy bunch. It will be interesting to see if they can regroup at all for the third.
Westminster 1, Governor's 0 (after 1) -- Patrick Spano is in goal for Westminster; Rory Burke for Governor's.
At 9:25 Westminster's Luke Laszkiewicz scored the only goal of the period, a nice one, pulling the puck from a scrum along the half boards in the offensive zone and carrying it to the middle, where he fired a wrister back against the grain.
With about four minutes left, Burke, Governor's goaltender, made a couple really nice saves, on Nick Finn, and Corey Taber, in the span of about one minute. The saves, on a breakaway and a partial breakaway, kept the game from getting out of Governor's reach. Governor's had over a minute of a 5-on-3 advantage late in the period, but couldn't do much with it.
-- Dexter, a runner-up to KUA last year, wins small-school tourney this year.
Dexter 8, New Hampton 1 (final) -- Dexter made it 6-1 at 3:37 of the third when Nick Bligh, behind the net, found Stephen McKenna in the slot. New Hampton switched goalies, replacing Schwan with Joseph McConnell.
At 8:11, Dexter scored again, as Jake McDonough scored off a 2-on-1 with Kevin Murle assisting. That made it 7-1.
Dexter made it 8-1 at 12:55, with Nicholas Palandjian, off a pass from McKenna, scoring on a shot from the slot.
Dexter 5, New Hampton 1 (after 2) -- Charlie Donners circled around the net with the puck, came out in front and took a wrister that put Dexter up 3-0.
At 8:03, on the PP, New Hampton got on the board when TJ Bond tipped in a shot by defenseman Casey Goll. After the goal, New Hampton turned up the pressure, but also began taking penalties.
Dexter scored a 5-on-3 goal at 11:06 when Brendan Fitzgerald scored on a one-timer from the high slot, tucking it inside the far post. John Magliozzi had made the pass.
With 1:16 left in the period, Magliozzi scored on a 2-on-1 off a nice pass from Pat Curtis.
A dominant period for Dexter.
Dexter 2, New Hampton 1 (after 1) -- Kevin Green is in net for Dexter; Max Schwan for New Hampton.
Just as in yesterday's semifinaly, Dexter came out strong, scoring within the first minute of play. Today, it took just 24 seconds for Pat Curtis to drive home the rebound of a Nick Bligh shot. 1-0, Dexter.
Dexter went up 2-0 at 7:28 when the all-freshman line cashed in. Mark Webber, alone in the low slot, took a pass from Jake McDonough behind the net. The New Hampton goalie, Schwan, got a piece of Webber's shot, but it trickled in nonetheless.
Dexter applied more heavy pressure late in the period, but Schwan did a good job keeping it a 2-0 game.
Sat. 3/5/11- Tomorrow's schedule is at the bottom of this piece.
Updates from Salem
Large and Small Schools in Action
-- Hallisey (2g,1a) Leads Westminster to Large School Final.
Westminster 3, Belmont Hill 1 (final) -- Spano made a couple of nice saves, on Vesey and Gustin, early in the third to keep it at 1-1.
The winning goal for Westminster came at 6:05. Defenseman Jake Bolton took a slapper that rebounded off the end boards to Hallisey who had plenty of net to shoot at -- and he didn't miss.
Belmont Hill was given a power play late in the game -- with 4:49 left -- but wasn't able to do much with it..
In the last two minutes, Westminster did a really good job holding the puck down low in the Belmont Hill end.
Hallisey notched an empty-netter for Westminster with 6.6 seconds left. Hallisey, who was consistently noticeabe, had a really strong game, figuring in all three of his teams goals (2g, 1a). Wetminster faces Governor's in the large-school final tomorrow at 1:00 pm.
Belmont Hill 1, Westminster 1 (after 2) -- After an up-and-down first half of the period, Westminster began to take control more in the second half of the frame -- and it started with a power play brought about by a roughing call on Belmont Hill's Sean Connors at 10:08. Westminster responded with an excellent power play and, while they didn't score, they did gain energy and momentum that carried them through the remainder of the period. It was that momentum that led to their finally getting on the board at 12:53 when defenseman Jeff Smolens took a shot from the bottom of the faceoff circle that hit the stick of a Belmont Hill defenseman and bounced into the net.
Less than a minute later Westminster thought they had scored the go-ahead goal off a mad scramble in front of the Belmont Hill net, but it was waved off.
Belmont Hill 1, Westminster 0 (after 1) -- Belmont Hill got an early goal, just 1:24 into the game, when Devin Albert stepped out of the corner, crossed the goal line and, with no shooting angle at all, managed to get one on net that tucked itself inside the left post to give the Hillies the early 1-0 lead.
Overall, the period was kind of a feeling-out period. Bel Hill controlled the first 5-8 minutes, but it was more even afterward.
Spano is in net for Westminster; Cunningham for Belmont Hill.
Belmont Hill will start the second period on the power play.
-- Minter's Goal with Nine Seconds Left Lifts Governor's Academy into Large School Final.
Governor's 4, Albany Academy 2 (final) -- The overall pace picked up right from the start in the third period. Albany cut Governor's lead to 2-1 at the 6:24 mark, with defenseman Drayzen Zack converting a pad rebound off Burke. That goal seemed to energize Albany, particularly their top line of Limoges-Hynes-Daley. But they weren't able to do anything until there was 2:46 left in the game when Hynes converted a nice pass from Daley in the corner. Hynes, in the high slot, ripped a one timer past Burke. The game was suddenly 2-2.
Gov's got the winning goal with only 9.3 seconds left when Minter, left all alone right in front of Albany goalie Ben Halford, received a nice pass-out from Greg Rooney behind the net. Minter, at a complete standstill, and with the seconds ticking down when the puck landed on his stick, faked a shot, then took a couple steps to his right, deking Halford and sliding the puck right past him into the empty net -- poise plus.
Bryan Sullivan got the empty-netter for Governor's with 2.6 seconds left.
Governor's 2, Albany Academy 0 (after 2) -- The period started out quicker-paced than last. Albany carried play for the first 2-3 minutes, but then Gov's Burke made a nice pad save on a partial breakaway by Tyler Hynes. That appeared to wake up Governor's.
At 4:53 Nathan Ferriero put Gov's up 1-0. Ryan Scarfo set the play up, coming around from behind the net and, with Albany's goalie down-and-out, found Ferriero at the top of the crease for a tap-in.
At the 8:00 minute mark, Bryan Sullivan scored a rebound goal to put Governor's up 2-0. Governor's carried play for the rest of the period, and had a couple more good chances -- Ferriero in particular.
Governor's 0, Albany Academy 0 (after 1) -- Rory Burke is in net for Gov's; Ben Halford for Albany. Alex Minter had a decent scoring opportunity for Gov's, and Greg Warnken had a better one for Albany. Overall, though, this was a less-than-scintillating first period that featured a lot of neutral zone play.
-- Bligh and Curtis Each Score Two Goals in First as Dexter Advances.
Dexter 5, Tilton 1 (final) -- Tilton finally gets on the board at 3:39 of the third period as Harry Brockman buried a rebound to make it a 4-1 game.
Dexter took two penalties in the middle of the period, and killed both of them off. They also killed off whatever hopes Tilton had of a comeback.
Dexter made it 5-1, when, with 1:22 left and his team on a power play, Stephen McKenna scored a wraparound goal.
Dexter 4, Tilton 0 (after 2) -- The dullest period of the tournament thus far.
Dexter 4, Tilton 0 (after 1) -- Dexter scores just 46 seconds in when Nick Bligh bangs home a rebound out of mid-air.
Dexter goes up 2-0 at 7:17. Bligh again, this time a backhander in tight, up high.
Dexter makes it 3-0 when a Pat Curtis wrister from the left side hits the crossbar -- top right corner -- and goes in at 10:38.
At 16:04, Curtis strikes again, taking a nice cross-ice pass from John Magliozzi, and then, coming down left side, firing a snapshot inside the far post.
Kevin Green is in net for Dexter. #33; William Flachsbinder for Tilton.
There were no penalties called, and Dexter was as dominant as score indicates.
#8 Seed New Hampton Advances to Title Game
New Hampton 5, Gunnery 4 (final) -- New Hampton took a bad penalty behind the play and, at 9:50, Gunnery cashed in when Anthony Luzzi banged home a rebound goal to make it a 4-3 game.
Gunnery tied it up at 4-4 with 4:55 left when Erik Nilsson scored from a scrum in front, after an initial shot by Terrence Wallin.
New Hampton didn't quit, though, and took back the lead one minute later when a wrister by T.J. Bond deflected off a Gunnery defenseman and past Frondelius. Now, with a 5-4 lead, there was still nearly four minutes to go and Gunnery really cranked it up down the stretch, peppering New Hampton's goalie, Schwan, who responded with some excellent saves, none more so than a save on Jarrid Privitera with 36 seconds left.
New Hampton 4, Gunnery 2 (after 2) -- A Marc Cibelli rebound goal at 4:09 pulled Gunnery within one.
At 11:14, on a slapshot from the point, Michael Vollmin put New Hampton up 3-1 with a power play goal.
At 14:20, Drew Smolcynski scored a nice rebound goal to bring Gunnery within one goal of New Hampton -- again.
A backbreaker for Gunnery came with 17.4 seconds left in the period when, off a turnover, they allowed New Hampton to regain that two-goal lead. Griffin Votolato scored it off a nice pass from Steven Berry.
Over the course of the period, Gunnery had the edge in play again. They are faster and more physical than New Hampton, but, going into the third, they have a hole to dig out of.
New Hampton 2, Gunnery 0 (after 1) -- On the PP, Connor Gorman put New Hampton up 1-0 with a really nice breakaway goal at 5:23.
Just 19 seconds later, John-Patrick Humphrey scored a shot-side goal to up the lead to 2-0.
Gunnery is playing physically and has the edge in play -- but not the goals.
Goaltenders are sophomore Anton Frondelius (Gunnery) and senior Max Schwan (New Hampton). Bobby Segin was unable to start for Gunnery due to a separated shoulder.
9:00 am -- New Hampton vs. Gunnery (small school semifinal #1)
11:30 am -- Dexter vs. Tilton (small school semifinal #2)
2:00 pm -- Albany vs. Governor's (large school semifinal #1)
4:30 pm -- Westminster vs. Belmont Hill (large school semifinal #2)
10:30 am -- Piatelli/Simmons (Small School) Final -- New Hampton vs. Dexter
1:00 pm -- -Martin-Earl (Large School) Governor's' vs. Westminster
3:30 pm -- Stuart/Corkery (Open) Final -- Kent vs. Milton
Updates From Salem
Milton & Kent Advance to Title Game
-- Kent nets four in third period for 5-4 come-from-behind win over Founders' League rival.
From the coaches:
"It was a great hockey game," said Kent head coach Matt Herr. "The 5-on-3's were the key to the game. We were able to kill off two of them -- and then score on their's."
"We'd love to be playing on Sunday," said Salisbury's Andrew Will. "It was a good effort but we just didn't get it done. I'm proud of our team and tonight doesn't change what we accomplished this season."
Kent 5, Salisbury 4 (final) -- A wild third period, with the two teams combining for six goals, most in a mad rush late in the frame.
Kent came out and tied the game at 2-2 just 1:06 in when Boo Nieves tapped in a Drew Brown pass from behind the net.
Salisbury took the lead back, going up 3-2 at the 9:29 mark. Zielonka got the play going by pressuring the puck in the offensive zone, leading to a Kent turnover. Jack Barre fired a shot off the crossbar and in the ensuing scramble in front junior D Marc Biega was able to nudge it over the goal line.
Kent would tie it up at 3-3 at 13:22, Nieves lifting a backhander high over a scrum in front.
Fast forward to the last couple of minutes for a key play, and a strange one too. Kent D Perry Holcombe, with the puck on his own blue line and his team on the power play, blew an edge and turned it over. Salisbury picked up the loose puck and came back on him with a 2-on-1. Somehow, Holcombe was able to get back into the play and dove to break up a cross-crease pass.
Seconds later, off a neutral zone faceoff, Salisbury took a high-sticking penalty, giving Kent a chance at a 5-on-3 advantage. They didn’t waste it either, as Nieves made a pass across the tops of the circles to Noel Acciari who one-timed it 5-hole to give Kent a 4-3 lead with 1:14 to go.
Salisbury pulled Antoni for the extra skater, though it was really a 5-on-5, as Salisbury was still down a man from the original 5-on-3.
Ryan Rosenthal scored an empty netter with 37 seconds left to make it 5-3 Kent.
But it didn’t end there. Salisbury’s Ondrej Krajnak cut it back to a one goal game by scoring off a scrum with 8.1 seconds on the clock. But that was it, Kent won the ensuing faceoff, the game, and a chance to face off against Milton Academy for the New England prep title on Sunday (3:30 pm).
Salisbury 2, Kent 1 (after 2) -- A lot of whistles, penalties, lack of flow, nets being knocked off moorings, etc. Kent, though, with their physical play, is getting under Salisbury's skin.
Thirty seconds into the period, MacPhee absolutely leveled Antoni behind the net and was whistled for goaltenders interference. Kent quickly took another penalty, a cross-check, so Kent had to kill their second 5-on-3 of the game.
Kent's Mike McKee hit Salisbury's Kevin Morris and is called for roughing. Morris hits back and gets called for roughing, too -- plus a misconduct for whatever it was he had to say to the ref.
The penalties to this point are fairly even: seven for Salisbury (one being a misconduct), and six for Kent. Salisbury has the lead, but isn't exactly dictating the style of play. They have to find a way to play their game, and stop letting the officiating -- and Kent's play -- get the better of them. Kent is trailing; they have nothing to lose.
Salisbury 2, Kent 1 (after 1) -- Gabe Antoni is in net for Salisbury; Kevin Dluhy for Kent.
Salisbury goes up 1-0 at 3:27 when, on a 2-on-2 rush, a shot by defenseman Matt Caito deflects off a Kent defenseman and into the net. A fairly harmless-looking shot -- until it changed angles.
Kent tied it up just before a power play opportunity was set to expire when Connor MacPhee put a rebound past Antoni to make it 1-1 at the 9:34 mark.
Shortly afterward, at 11:03, Salisbury scored a powerplay goal when forward Philip Zielonka found the back of the net, far side, with a slap shot from the point.
With about six minutes left in the period, Salisbury had a 5-on-3 power play and almost cashed in but big defenseman Logan Roe single-handedly saved one for Kent when Dluhy was unable to get back across in time.
Right after the power play expired, Kent, playing their hard, physical game, had a couple of nice chances but came up empty.
Milton Tops LA, 5-2
-- McNally Wows Crowd: Hat Trick Includes Two Spectacular End-to-End Goals.
From the coaches:
Milton's Paul Cannata felt his team came out a little slowly, some of which he attributed to a hangover effect from the 3-OT Nobles game and some to the fact that "Lawrence is a very good team."
"It was a slow start against a good team," Cannata said. "McNally's goal to make it 1-1 was important, but the goal with a minute left at the end of the period was even more important -- the biggest goal of the game."
Lawrence head coach Kevin Potter felt his team outplayed Milton in the first, and to come out of the period trailing 2-1 hurt.
"They gave a good effort in the first period," Potter said, "but against Milton they needed a great effort, and they fell a little short there. It was tough to come out of that period down a goal."
Milton 5, Lawrence 2 (final) -- Just 39 seconds into the third period Heilbron made a nice save on Milton's Edwards. Less than a minute later, at 1:13, his teammates responded, as George Hunkele cashed in the rebound of a Jeremy Griffin point shot to cut Milton's lead to one goal. Devin Tringale also had an assist on the goal.
McNally made it 4-2 Milton with his second spectacular goal of the game, at the 7:21 mark. It was another rink-length rush, this one featuring McNally on a 1-on-3 causing two Lawrence defenders to crash into each other and fall down. McNally then hopped over the stick of the third, and only remaining, defender and used him as a screen to go top right corner.
With 1:01 left, Milton got an empty-net goal from Jake Turrin.
Milton 3, Lawrence 1 (after 2) -- Lawrence made a goaltending change at the start, replacing Nathan with Nathaniel Heilbron. The period was a little scrappier, and there was no scoring until, with 1:35 left, and Milton on a 4-on-3 power play, McNally collected the puck at the right point, cut toward the slot and then took a cross-the-grain wrist shot that tucked in halfway up the right post.
Milton 2, Lawrence 1 (after 1) -- Matt Baldino scored on a shot through a screen, beating Milton goalie Sean Dougherty to give Lawrence an early 1-0 lead.
Milton then began to pick the pace up, and tied it when Pat McNally picked up a puck in his own end and took off on a great coast-to-coast rush, snapping one 5-hole on Lawrence goalie Jordan Nathan.
The go-ahead goal came on a 2-on-1, George Pantazopolous feeding Teo Camadella with 1:07 left in the period.