Established 1996

LA, Nobles Advance to Title Game
#4 Lawrence Academy, on the strength of a Devin Tringale OT goal -- his second goal of the game -- topped #1 Salisbury, 3-2, in the first of two tight, hard-fought NEPSIHA semifinals at the IceCenter in Salem, NH tonight. In the nightcap, #2 Nobles topped #3 Exeter, 5-3.

Lawrence and Nobles will face each other in an all-Keller Division final Sunday at 3:30 pm.

First Semifinal: Tringale Leads Lawrence to the Title Game

#4 Lawrence 3, #1 Salisbury 2 (OT) -- final

A Devin Tringale goal at 3:29 of OT -- his second goal of the game -- gave Lawrence Academy a hard-fought upset win over Salisbury School in a taut, exciting semifinal here in Salem, Mass tonight. The assist on the game-winner went to Tyler Whitney.

On the winning goal, Tringale drove down the right side and deftly tucked the puck between the inside of the post and the left pad of Salisbury goalie Justin Nichols, who had played a strong game.

Tringale also got the goal that sent the game into OT. With Salisbury's Zack Pryzbek off for hooking, the Harvard recruit scored with 5:59 remaining in regulation, with assists going to Conor Helfrich and Thomas Newton.

There was no scoring in the second period.

In the first, Salisbury went up 1-0 when junior Aaron Berisha scored a power play goal-- Tringale was off for a slash -- at 3:01, with an assist going to John Stevens. LA tied it up at 1-1 just 24 seconds later, George Hunkele scoring with an assist from senior D Jacob Schecter. Salisbury answered, going up 2-1 at the 11:49 mark when defenseman Thomas Welch scored, off  assists from Jake Hand and Mark Hamilton. But that was the last goal that Salisbury would score, as Lawrence -- led by Tringale's goals -- began to take control of the play.

Both goaltenders, LA's Nathaniel Heilbron and Salisbury's Justin Nichols played very well, with Heilbron coming up with a particulary big glove save on Salisbury sharpshooter Philip Zielonka in the first period to keep it a one-goal game at the time. Lawrence outshot Salisbury, 41-27.

"The seniors on this team have been playing together for four years," said Lawrence head coach Kevin Potter. "The chemistry between them is just unbelieveable. They played very well against a very good team. They executed the game plan. All those little things we asked for they did. And as the game went along they just got better and better."

Lawrence will have to be good again on Sunday, as they will be facing a Nobles squad that beat them, 5-3, back on Jan. 13th. However, a week later, Lawrence travelled to Nobles and the two teams battled to a 3-3 deadlock.

Second Semifinal: Nobles' Maher Stymies Exeter's Comeback Bid

#2 Nobles 5, #3 Exeter 3 (final)

After Nobles exploded for three second-period goals, turning a 1-1 game into a 4-1 game and a potential rout, Exeter head coach Dana Barbin answered with a timeout. Whatever he told his charges certainly worked, for less than three-and-a-half minutes later, Exeter had narrowed the gap to 4-3. Then it was Nobles head coach Brian Day's turn to call a timeout to settle down his guys. That worked too, as Exeter would not score again, though they came out hard in the third and had two sparkling chances early. Both times, though, Nobles goaltender Connor Maher came up big, first stopping Exeter star Brian Hart on a powerplay attempt, and then, a couple minutes later, stopping a Michael St. Denis attempt. After that, Nobles started tightening things up again, though it took an insurance goal from P.J. Falvey  -- the defenseman's second tally of the game --with 2:13 left to make it 5-3 and put Nobles into Sunday's title game.  

Earlier, at 5:04 of the first period, Exeter defenseman Austin Caito helped give his team its only lead of the night when he got the puck to Brian Hart in the slot. Hart make a great play, faking the shot and making a short pass to Alex Carlacci, stationed a few feet to his right. Carlacci beat Nobles goalie Connor Maher to make it 1-0.

Nobles tied the game at 1-1 when Colin White's rebound of a Tim Boyle point shot rebounded to Chris Calnan, who beat Exeter goaltender Nolan Daley at the 12:33 mark.

That was it for the scoring in the first. Exeter had a couple of chances with a minute left in the period, but Maher came up with a pair of sparkling saves -- in quick succession -- to keep it a 1-1 game.

In the second period all hell broke loose, as the two teams combined for five goals.

Adam Gilmour got things going, giving Nobles the lead it would not relinquish when the lanky center, from a scrum,  managed to lift the puck over Daley 5:04 into the period. Colin White and Chris Calnan picked up assists on the play.

Nobles made it 3-1 less than two minutes later when PJ Falvey's shot from the right point eluded Daley at the 6:33 mark. Calnan and Phil Sciretta assisted on the play.

Nobles struck yet again, making it 4-1 when Max Franklin converted an Andrew Doane pass at the 11:15 mark. At this point, as it was looking like Nobles was going to blow the game wide open. Exeter head coach Dana Barbin used his time out to settle his team, which had been hemmed into their end for a lengthy stretch -- and they responded, with two quick goals.

Exeter's Max Summermatter scored an unassisted goal at 13:12, beating Maher 5-hole, and cutting the lead to 4-2.

Just 1:32 later, Exeter defenseman Will Goss, with his team on the powerplay, rotated down to the half wall. Brian Hart slid over to the left point and passed  it to Goss, whose low shot along the ice tucked inside the post to make it a one-goal game going into the third.

In the third. Exeter switched goalies replacing Daley with Tim Cooney. Exeter also carried the play early in the period and, as mentioned above, Nobles' needed Maher to come up big and preserve the lead -- and that's exactly what he did.

"I thought for a good portion of the game we played at a good pace," said Day. "But we lost our focus a bit after we went up 4-1. In the third, though, we battled really hard. Maher was terrifice, making those saves early. I thought the Burke-Poli-Bell line was terrific. They gave us great energy, and we needed it because Exeter is an explosive team."

Exeter outshot Nobles, 40-31.



Sat. March 3 (IceCenter; Salem, NH)
9:00 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Semifinal -- KUA vs. Dexter
11:30 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Semifinal -- Brooks vs. Holderness
2:00 pm -- Martin/Earl Semifinal -- Berkshire vs. Albany Academy
4:30 pm -- Martin/Earl Semifinal -- St. Sebastian's vs. Kent

Sun. March 4 (IceCenter; Salem, NH)
10:30 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Final
1:00 pm -- Martin/Earl Final
3:30 pm -- Stuart/Corkery Final

Lawrence Edges Nobles; Wins Prep Crown

-- Seniors Tringale, Whitney, Heilbron Lead Spartans

Lawrence Academy 3, Nobles 2 -- Salem, NH -- A Devin Tringale goal with 18 seconds left in the second period proved to be the game-winner as Lawrence Academy edged Nobles 3-2 here today to win the 2012 NEPSIHA Championship -- the school's first. The goal, which gave Lawrence its first lead of the afternoon, came off a bad turnover 15 feet in front of Nobles goalie Connor Maher. Tyler Whitney picked off the puck, and quickly moved it to Tringale who buried it at the 17:42 mark. Lawrence carried the momentum gained from Tringale's goal into the third period -- and didn't let up until the final buzzer sounded and the players, in jubilation, piled onto senior goaltender Nathaniel Heilbron, who was excellent all weekend.

Just a few minutes prior to Tringale's game winner, Whitney had tied the game at 2-2 for Lawrence, with assists on the goal going to George Hunkele and Tringale.

Earlier in the period, at 3:08, Nobles' Will Sleeper banged home the rebound of a Max Franklin shot to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.

In the first period, the two teams traded goals. Lawrence got on the board first, as Matt Baldino converted a nice pass from Will Messa at the 13:45 mark. Nobles, though, came right back to tie it up at 1-1 as Cal Burke scored at the 16:10 mark, with an assist going to Andrew Doane.

Lawrence outshot Nobles 11-6 in the first, and 15-8 in the second.

A number of Lawrence's key players are seniors who have been with the program since their freshman year -- Tringale, Whitney, Matt Baldino. Last March, the Spartans reached the playoffs -- without Whitney, who was injured -- but were knocked out by eventual champion Milton in the semis. There was a palpable determination to this year's squad which became increasingly evident as the season progressed, and especially as they beat Belmont Hill in the quarters, #1 Salisbury in the semis, and #2 Nobles today.

"It's been a long ride for the seniors who have been here all four years," said Lawrence head coach Kevin Potter afterward. "Those are great character kids."

Potter gave a big thumbs-up to the play of his goaltender, West Vancouver, BC native Nathaniel Heilbron. "When he gets determined like he did in the third," said Potter, "I knew no one was going to score on him. I just love his competitive nature."

Potter said that today his team focused on doing what they do well, like quick transitions. "We didn't want the puck in our zone for long, not with some of those guys they have over there. I thought the last nine periods -- except for the second period against Belmont Hill -- we played well. We stayed out of the box. And we played good team hockey."

(While Potter was coaching Lawrence in the boys final, the girls championship game was being played 100 miles to the west, at the Berkshire School. And, as fate would have it, the girls final also pitted Nobles against Lawrence. Potter spent the off-day Saturday at Berkshire, watching his daughter, a freshman, in semifinal action, a 2-1 overtime win over Williston. Today, however, the Nobles girls blanked Lawrence, 2-0.)

We caught up with Nobles head coach Brian Day after the game. "We are disappointed," he said, "but Lawrence is a terrific team. They are disciplined. They are well-coached. And they are very tough to play against. They clog things up well -- and they cashed in better than we did."

Day wasn't happy with the defensive breakdown that led to the turnover that resulted in Tringale's game-winner. "The same applies to the goal before that," he added. "Some of the same characteristics were present."

However, said Day, he was happy with the season as a whole. "This is a group of tremendous character," he said, "and with great senior leadership. They bought into the whole essence of collective good." 

And, just like that, the curtain came down on the 2011-12 campaign.

-- McGovern's OT Tally Gives Berkshire the Large School Championship

Berkshire 4, St. Sebastian's 3 (OT) -
- Salem, NH -- A Brendan McGovern goal at 1:05 of overtime lifted Berkshire to the Large School Championship here this afternoon. On the winning goal, the puck was flipped in and, as the St. Sebastian's defensemen and goalie Gord Donnelly tried to play it, the bouncing puck flipped up in the air. McGovern gloved it to himself, held it on his forehand and, when both d-men went down to block it, the senior forward buried it.  

The game reached overtime on the strength of David Loughborough's powerplay tally at 6:59 of the third period, thus completing the Arrows comeback from a 3-1 deficit.

In the second, the two teams traded goals. Greg Smart, cutting across the top of the crease extended Berkshire's lead to 2-0, with assists going to Charlie Corcoran and Brian Brown at the 5:24 mark. St. Seb's answered just 28 seconds later, as Tommy Kelley converted a Corey Ronan pass to cut the Berkshire lead in half -- Danny O'Regan also got an assist on the play. Berkshire came back, going up 3-1 when Corey Wisnowski scored from a scrum right after a great save by St. Sebastian's Gord Donnelly at 8:52. O'Regan scored on a wraparound at 11:47 to cut the Berkshire lead to one going into the second intermission. Berkshire outshot Seb's 16-10 in the second.

Earlier, in the first period, Berkshire went up 1-0 when Kevin Rooney spotted Gus Harms barreling down the slot, hit him with a perfect pass and Harms one-timed low glove side at the 15:28 mark. Brown also got an assist on the play. Shots on goal in the first were 12-6 Berkshire.

Final shots for the game were 42-30, Berkshire.

"This team," said Berkshire head coach Dan Driscoll, "had 10 OT games and 18 one-goal games over the course of the season. We have good soul... good team character and a never-say-die leadership that really benefitted us today. There are 11 seniors on the team, and they were invested in playing for each other and in playing for the school."

Asked about his 6'7" goaltender, Driscoll said, "(Feeley) has tremendous upside. It's been so much fun watching him improve from this point last year. The sky's the limit for him."

-- Roberto's OT Goal Lifts KUA To Small School Title

Kimball Union 3, Holderness 2 (OT)
-- Salem, NH -- Nick Roberto scored with 1:56 left in the first OT to lift Kimball Union to a 3-2 win over Holderness in the NEPSIHA Small School Tournament championship game. Casey Miller set up the winning goal when he stripped the puck from the Holderness defender along the wall and got the puck out front to Roberto, who buried it. Rufo also had an assist on the play.

Both teams had some excellent chances in overtime, and both goalies -- Holderness' Andy Monroe and KUA's Ryan Lund -- came up with some great saves. Kimball Union had the edge in play in the OT session, though Holderness had some great chances to end it. Shots on goal in the extra session were 11-5 Kimball Union.

The game had been tied at 2-2 for roughly 27 minutes of play, since Holderness tied it up at 9:47 of the third when, on the PP,  defenseman Gavin Bayreuther, from just inside the blue line, ripped off a great across-the-grain shot that cleanly beat KUA goaltener Ryan Lund. Immediately afterward, Lund robbed Holderness' Connor Loree to keep it at 2-2.

Earlier, at 1:44 of the third, Niko Rufo put KUA ahead 2-1 when he broke down the right side alone, cut in, got Monroe moving, and snapped the puck past him. Assists went to d-man John MacLeod and Jonathan Charbonneau. 

After a scoreless first period, Holderness went up 1-0 at 9:01 of the second on a rebound goal by Nick Renzi who, alone in front, lifted a backhander over KUA goalie Ryan Lund. Assists went to Bailey Walsh and Gordie Borek. KUA came right back, and, at 12:28 tied it at 1-1 when defenseman Connor Evangelista, with a great stretch pass, sent Jonathan Charbonneau in alone. Charbonneau beat Holderness senior goalie Andy Munroe, who kept Holderness in the game with a few sparkling saves in the first.

Final shots on goal were KUA 43, Holderness 30.

Afterward, Mike Levine, Kimball Union's head coach, said, "Anytime you win a championship at any level, it's special. Roberto, Rufo, Miller and our entire d-corps really stepped up today. We had four D -- including a freshman (MacLeod) -- who logged a ton of minutes today. As a team, we really pulled together. We battled down the stretch and worked hard. We worked hard today, too. We had to because Holderness is extremely well-coached, their goalie played great, and their team worked really hard."   

Sun. March 4 (IceCenter; Salem, NH)
10:30 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Final -- #1 KUA vs. #3 Holderness
1:00 pm -- Martin/Earl Final -- #1 Berkshire vs. #2 St. Sebastian's
3:30 pm -- Stuart/Corkery Final: #4 Lawrence vs. #2 Nobles


Saturday's Semifinals

St. Sebastian's 6, Kent 3 (final) -- St. Sebastian's, on the strength of a dominant five-goal first period -- and  a Tommy Kelley hat trick -- defeated Kent 6-3 here today.

The Arrows advance to face Berkshire in the final of the Large School Tournament tomorrow at 11:30 am.

The first period was the busy one, with Tommy Kelley staring things out when he put the Arrows on the board with a power play goal at the 2:48 mark. Kent tied it up at 5:30, when Mitchell Allen knocked home the rebound of Danny Casey's close-in shot. After that the doors totally fell off for Kent, as St. Sebastian's rattled off four straight goals, with Cam Askew, Stephen Brown, Kelley (his second), and Danny O'Regan all finding the back of the net. Kent, which had started the game with goaltender Stephen Morrissey replaced him with Kevin Dluhy right after St. Seb's third goal.

At the start of the second period, Kent moved on to their third -- and final -- goalie of the day, installing Charlie Fennell between the pipes. He would not allow a goal the rest of the way.

Perhaps Kent got a lift from Fennell's play, or perhaps the change was a wake-up call. But whatever it was, Kent responded with an infinitely better second period, getting back into the game with a pair of goals, the first a rebound goal by Ryan Rosenthal and the second an Andrew Silard goal off a pass from Boo Nieves, who had skated the puck out of the corner before spotting an open Silard in front. With the score 5-3 and Kent trying to make it a one-goal game, St. Sebastian's goaltender Gordon Donnelly had to come up with a big save on Silard late in the period to maintain the Arrows' two-goal lead as the teams headed to the second intermission.

In the third, Kent was unable to score. And Kelley completed his hat trick with an empty-netter with 17 seconds left to play.

Berkshire 3, Albany Academy 2 (final) -
- A Kevin Rooney goal at 5:46 of the third period turned out to be the game winner as Berkshire edged Albany Academy, 3-2, here today.

On the winning goal, Brian Brown dug the puck out out of the corner and got it out front to Rooney who lifted a backhander past Albany Academy goalie Alec Mansfield.

A penalty to Berkshire d-man Quin Pompi with 2:45 left in regulation gave Albany Academy a late power play, but the Cadets were unable to generate much with the man advantage.

Earlier, in the second period, Berkshire went ahead 2-0 at the 1:37 mark when Brian Brown knocked home the rebound of a Greg Smart shot. Pompi also had an assist on the play.

Albany Academy cut it to 2-1 when Tyler Hines rifled a shot past big Berkshire goalie Patrick Feeley at 8:12. Anthony Langevin and Derek Barach assisted on the play.

With 1:15 left in the second, a point shot by Albany Academy defenseman Ryan Secor deflected in off the uper body of Barach, who was stationed at the edge of the crease to Feeley's right to tie the game at 2-2. 

In the first period, Berkshire had taken a 1-0 lead when Charlie Corcoran tipped home Bryan Gerstenfeld's point shot at 7:08.

Holderness 5, Brooks 3 (final) --
Holderness, trailing 3-2 entering after two, broke through with three third-period goals -- the last an empty-netter -- to top Brooks 5-3 in a wide-open, highly-entertaining game here.

The tying goal came off the stick of Holderness senior Connor Loree, who busted down the right side and snapped off a wrister that beat Brooks goalie Colin Langham top shelf 2:07 into the third.

The game winner, with 2:51 left in regulation, was scored by Drew Walsh who snapped off a shot as he came barreling unimpeded down the slot.

Bayreuther added an empty-netter -- his second goal of the game -- in the final seconds to make it a 5-3 final.

For Brooks, Greg Conrad had a pair of goals. Bayreuther finished with three points (2g,1a) for Holderness, who will face Kimball Union in the small-school final tomorrow at 10:30 am.

Kimball Union 2, Dexter 0
-- Elie Vered and Nick Roberto scored the goals and Ryan Lund earned the shutout. Vered also assisted on Roberto's goal. Kimball Union advances to Sunday's title game.

Sat. March 3 (IceCenter; Salem, NH)
9:00 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Semifinal -- #1 KUA vs. #5 Dexter
11:30 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Semifinal -- #7 Brooks vs. #3 Holderness
2:00 pm -- Martin/Earl Semifinal -- #1 Berkshire vs. #5 Albany Academy
4:30 pm -- Martin/Earl Semifinal -- #2 St. Sebastian's vs. #3 Kent

Sun. March 4 (IceCenter; Salem, NH)
10:30 am -- Piatelli/Simmons Final -- #1 Kimball Union vs. Holderness
1:00 pm -- Martin/Earl Final -- #1 Berkshire vs. #2 St. Sebastian's
3:30 pm -- Stuart/Corkery Final: #4 Lawrence vs. #2 Nobles