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Inside the Numbers: The Big 'Ifs'

The final four days of the regular season are here, and the numbers become everyone’s focus. “If we win out, will we ….”  becomes the beginning of a question that has been heard in hockey locker rooms throughout New England. The numbers can be confusing to some and, at the very least, they can appear a bit convoluted. In this article we will attempt to outline a number of concepts and highlight games that will affect the final seedings, and thereby tournament positions. In the end the (somewhat) simple answer is: win your games and you will be better off than if you don’t, but sometimes even your wins are not enough if the ‘wrong teams’ win or lose their games. So here goes…

The first thing to understand about the numbers at this point in the season is that RPI numbers are less volatile than they have been at any other time in the season. Statistically speaking, the larger the number of overall games played going into today's action -- we're at 725 -- the more interconnected the data becomes, lessening the impact of any one game on the overall standings. An individual game of team A against team B, even if they both have great winning percentages, will not affect the RPI much because there are close to 15,000 games that go into each team’s RPI number. If you are hoping that your team’s RPI numbers will change in the tenth's place, they won’t! You are probably most likely to see changes in the hundredth’s place.

The second thing to understand is that RPI and JSPR are very different things. Teams that are competing to get into the small or large school tournaments are looking primarily at RPI numbers and, as stated above, it's unlikely there will be much change in those numbers. Unless teams that are in the tournament right now lose two games, they will most likely remain in their current positions. The only other thing that affects who makes the Small and Large School tournaments is what teams end up in the Elite 8 tournament (more on that later).

Large School Tournament: As of this morning, Thayer is the last team in the Large School Tournament, and Hotchkiss and Taft are the first two teams out. If Hotchkiss were to lose to Salisbury, and then to Taft, it is likely that Taft will supersede them in RPI, but without some help -- i.e., Thayer losing one of its remaining games -- it will be difficult for them to catch and pass Thayer. If Hotchkiss wins its last two games they still may need some help from Thayer’s opponents to end up in the Large School tournament. So Hotchkiss and Taft, rarely united in their rooting alliances, are both rooting for Thayer's opponents -- Milton and St. Sebastian’s -- this week.

Small School Tournament: Presently, Holderness is the last team in the Small School Tournament, and Pomfret and St. George’s are the first two small schools out. Holderness plays two and possibly three more games (Berwick plus one or two games in the Lakes Region Tournament) while Pomfret plays Kents Hill and Williston. If Holderness were to lose one of those three games and Pomfret wins both of its games, Pomfret may jump into the tournament. We will have a better idea of this after today's games decide the seeding for the Lakes Region Tournament.

Elite 8 Tournament: This is the ‘big tournament,’ featuring the top eight teams in prep hockey, and who plays in this tournament is not determined by RPI, but by the JSPR rankings. It is important to understand JSPR, which is a theoretical comparison of teams that may or may not have actually played on the ice. What JSPR endeavors to do is level the playing field and allow us to numerically compare two teams that may not have played each other. In order to ‘win a JSPR comparison’ there are four points of comparison:

If the teams have played head to head, who won the game on the ice? Which team has a greater RPI? Which team has a better winning percentage against common opponents? Which team has a better winning percentage against teams under consideration (TUCs)? The TUCs are the top 16 teams based on RPI.

For one team to win a JSPR point over another, they must win a majority of the comparisons above.

Salisbury, KUA, Dexter, St. Sebastian’s, and Lawrence Academy all seem set to make the Elite 8 Tournament. We suspect that today's St. Sebastian’s at LA rematch will go a long way toward determining which team ends up above the other in the JSPR rankings, but we do not think that either team is in jeopardy of dropping out of the Elite 8 altogether. In fact, if Lawrence beats St. Seb’s today, we suspect that the teams would have the rubber match of their season series in the Elite 8 Tournament.

Gunnery, Deerfield, NMH and Tilton are all tied in JSPR points with eight. In all the years that this playoff system has been used there has never been a four-way JSPR tie at the end of the season. It's an extreme long shot that those four teams remain tied come late Saturday night. If that deadlock holds up, then head to head and RPI (in that order) would be brought back into the picture to function as a tie-breaker. Of course, if any one of those teams were to pick up a JSPR point, or lose one, it would change the ranking completely.

So what games are the most important?

Deerfield @  Kent (Wed. 2/20) and Deerfield @ Westminster (Sat. 2/23).
If Deerfield beats both of these teams, both on the road, they will most likely punch their ticket to the Elite 8. Deerfield's wins would be against teams under consideration and would thus improve both its RPI and TUC record, vaulting Deerfield to the top of this group of four competing teams.

Westminster @ Gunnery (Wed. 2/20)
This game will go a long way toward determining where each of these Elite 8 hopefuls stand. Currently, Gunnery is beating Westminster in the JSPR comparison, so a win against a TUC would help them solidify its Elite 8 spot. A loss and their hold becomes precarious. Westminster has two big games: today at Gunnery and the already mentioned game vs. Deerfield on Saturday. With wins in both, Westminster would have an outside shot to make the Elite 8.

Andover @ NMH (Wed. 2/20) and Andover @ Exeter (Sat. 2/23)
Andover, though not currently in the Elite 8, seems to have its destiny in its hands. If the Big Blue beats both NMH and Exeter, they would most likely win the JSPR points against those teams, thus picking up two JSPR points (which they are currently losing) and putting themselves in a good position to make the Elite 8. If NMH beats Andover, the Hoggers become a much stronger candidate to finish in the Elite 8. With its recent rough patch, Exeter (3-5 over its last eight games) has blown its shot at the Elite 8 but will cement themselves in the Large School Tournament with a win over Andover and, in doing so, would probably keep Andover out of the Elite 8. And let’s be honest, Exeter doesn’t need any extra incentive to want to beat Andover, and vice versa!

The Lakes Region Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
The top half of the bracket for this weekend tournament looks like it will feature three teams currently in the top 16; KUA, Tilton, and Proctor. This could possibly have the greatest impact on the Elite 8 Tournament because of one team: Proctor. All of the predictions in this article are based on assuming what will happen going forward, and the assumption that the top 16 teams in RPI remain the same. If that does not happen, things could change drastically. Proctor is now the 16th-ranked team in terms of RPI. If Proctor loses one or two games, they will most likely be out of the top 16. If they are out of the top 16 and St. Paul’s or Cushing ends up being part of the JSPR comparison, there will be a seismic shift in the TUC rankings. Against current TUCs, Proctor has played nine games, St. Paul’s has played 10, and Cushing has played 13. If Proctor is out and replaced by either St. Paul's or Cushing, there will be a shift in records against TUCs and therefore a possible massive shift in JSPR points. This kind of change can upset the entire order that has been discussed above.

One last thing that could upset the apple cart…

The last two teams in the Elite 8 at this point are Deerfield and NMH, which are both large schools. The first teams out of the Elite 8 are Tilton and Westminster, which are both small schools. If this were to somehow flip-flop and Tilton and Westminster ended up in the Elite 8, and Deerfield and NMH were out, the latter two schools would drop down to the Large School Tournament and edge out two teams currently 'in' that tournament. By these calculations, Thayer and Avon, the last two in the Large School Tournament, would be bumped out, even if they were to win their remaining games. On the flip side, given that there would be two fewer small schools in the Elite 8, that would lift Pomfret and St. George’s into the Small School Tournament since the top two small schools teams currently seeded for the Elite 8 would suddenly be the top two small-school seeds. Needless to say, many of the large schools are cheering for Deerfield to beat Westminster and Tilton to lose in the Lakes Region Tournament!

In the end, there are still a lot of big games to be played, but the ramifications of each individual ‘big’ game is not as big as it might seem, and a game that might not appear as important can in the end have a huge impact on the overall standings.

How will Proctor fare in the Lakes Region Tournament? The answer to this question may have the largest impact on the final standings in the Elite 8!
                                                                                                                                               -- Garrison Smith


Highlights: Wed. Feb. 27th Quarterfinals


Elite 8 - Quarterfinals:


#8 Westminster @ #1 Salisbury, 3:00 pm  -- Salisbury 4, Westminster 2
Early in the first, Westy thought they had gone up, 1-0, but the goal was waived off on a dubious offside call. Soon after, the Martlets got on the board for real on a Jordie McKenna goal. By the second period, however, Salisbury's depth up front began wearing down its visitors, as the Crimson Knights' three top guns -- juniors Nick Capone (2g), Justin Hryckowian (1g,2a), and Lucas Mercuri (1g,1a) -- scored four unanswered goals. Westy's Will Gilson scored a late goal. Salisbury senior goaltender Jared Levine (21/23) got the win, and Westminster junior Ian Shane (23/27) took the loss. Shane allowed more than 3 goals in a game only twice this season, both times to Salisbury.

#7 Gunnery @ #2 KUA, 4:30 pm (at Keene State College) -- KUA 1, Gunnery 0 
A Seth Stadheim goal with 1:52 left in the third, with assists from Zach Whitehead and Sullivan Mack, lifted KUA to a 1-0 win over the Gunnery. KUA junior Veeti Kohvakka (20 saves) posted the shutout. Gunnery senior JP Mella kicked out 24 shots in a tough loss. Because of NEPSAC's absurd rule limiting travel time -- it's the playoffs, man! -- the game was played at Keene State College, robbing the Wildcats of their hard-earned home ice advantage, to say nothing of the... gate receipts?

#6 NMH @ #3 Lawrence Academy, 5:00 pm -- LA 2, NMH 1 (OT)
Lawrence sophomore Riley Duran's goal at 5:44 of overtime gave his team a 2-1 win and a Saturday semifinal matchup at KUA. LA soph David Sacco put the Spartans on the board first, scoring at 5:02 of the first with an assist from Tyler Young. That's where the game stayed until 4 minutes were left in the third when NMH senior D Mike Kennedy evened things up, with assists from Devan Tongue and Jack Quinn, sending the game into OT. Duran's GWG was assisted by Young and Connor Sweeney. NMH outplayed LA for much of the game. Both goalies, Lawrence junior Brandon Milberg (36/37) and NMH junior Connor Hasley (28/30) were excellent.

#5 Dexter @ #4 St. Sebastian's, 4:00 pm -- Dexter 3, St. Sebastian's 2
Dexter junior D John Fusco scored the first two goals of the game, both assisted by John Farinacci, to give his team a 2-0 lead. St. Seb's scored two of the game's next three goals but couldn't come up with the equalizer, as Dexter's Jack Dempsey's scored the GWG late in the second. Dexter senior G Derek Mullahy (26/28) was his usual self. Arrows junior Luke Garrity (17/20) took the loss.


Large School Playoffs - Quarterfinals:

#8 Avon @ #1 Deerfield, 3:30 pm -- Deerfield 4, Avon 1
Avon led 1-0 after the first on a goal -- his first of the season -- from junior D Nick Young, but Deerfield scored the  next three -- from Noah de la Durantaye, Michael Holland, and Eamon Doheny -- before Doheny added an empty-netter for good measure. Deerfield senior Thomas Gale (24/25) earned the win; Avon senior Alex Aslanidis (32/35) took the loss.

#7 Cushing @ #2 Exeter, 4:00 pm -- Cushing 2, Exeter 0
The Penguins' Max Dorrington's power play tally at 16:42 of the first was the game's only goal until defenseman Brad Zona added an ENG with 48 seconds left to play. This was a goalies' game, with Penguins' senior Joey Sharib (18 saves) earning the shutout win, while Exeter junior Ryan Welch (30/31) took the hard-luck loss. 

#6 St. Paul's @ #3 Nobles, 3:15 pm --Nobles, 3, St. Paul's 2 (OT)
A Casey Severo goal at 11:35 of overtime gave host Nobles a 3-2 win over St. Paul's. Nobles went up, 2-0, in the first on goals by Robert Lapsley and Jack Cronin, but SPS answered with a pair from Owen Stadheim and J.T. Halliday. And that was it, until Severo's OT game-winner. Both goaltenders stood out. Nobles' junior Marc Smith (28/30) got the win, while SPS senior Andy Beran (37/40) finished his season with a  2.04 GAA and .944 save percentage, second only to Middlesex's Joe Stanizzi (.949)

#5 Andover @ #4 Kent, 3:30 pm (at Loomis Chaffee) -- Kent 4, Andover 2
In a game played at Loomis Chaffee (travel rule again), Kent fell behind twice. But each time came back to tie things up, sending the game to the third tied at 2-2. Junior Tommy Raith made his second goal of the season a timely one, as it turned out to be the game-winner. Aidan Cobb added an ENG in the final minute. Both goalies, Kent senior Alex Contey (33/35) and Andover junior Charlie Archer  (35/38), were kept busy.


Small School Playoffs - Quarterfinals:

#8 Pomfret @ #1 Tilton, 3:30 pm -- Tilton 4, Pomfret 1
Jack Seymour (2g), Brendan Sjostedt (1g,1a), and D Jagger Benson (1g,1a) led the Rams' attack. The goaltending from both sides was excellent. Owen Cuddyer (35/36) earned the win, and Pomfret senior Peyton Durand (39/42) closed the door on his four-year career with his best season (2.00 GAA and a .935 save percentage).
 
#7 Holderness @ #2 Proctor, 3:30 pm -- Holderness 9, Proctor 6
A crazy game. Holderness broke out with five straight goals by early in the second period. But then Proctor scored five of the next six to cut the Bulls' lead to 6-5. Next, Holderness got three straight to put the game away. Holderness junior Tim Manning had a hat trick and added two assists for a 5-point day, and senior Isaiah Fox and sophomore Carter Rose each added two goals apiece. For Proctor, junior Nate Chickering (1g,3a) and sophomore Cooper Rice (2g,1a) led the way. Check out the box score. Here's the link:  Holderness-Proctor Box Score

#6 New Hampton @ #3 Rivers, 5:00 pm -- Rivers 5, New Hampton 4
A John Kantaros unassisted GWG with 1:44 left in the third broke a 4-4 tie and allowed Rivers to advance to Saturday's semis. This game had a few twists and turns, but things were looking good for Rivers when Ryan Bell scored at 1:19 of the third to put his team up, 4-2. But New Hampton came back to tie it up at 4-4 on goals from Isaac MacLeod and Steven Ardagna, the latter with 3:43 remaining on the clock. Overtime was looming when Kantaros, a senior, came through with his fourth goal of the season to send the home crowd happily into the night. Rivers outshot New Hampton, 28-16. New Hampton also spent twice as much time in the penalty box as Rivers, and that doesn't even take into account a game misconduct called on junior F Jake Dunlap.

#5 St. Mark's @ #4 Groton, 3:45 pm -- St. Mark's 5, Groton 1
St. Mark's beat archrival Groton in its final regular-season game just four days earlier, and today was more of the same. Senior Matt Toporowski (hat trick), Brendan Gibbons (1g,2a), D Tucker Hartmann (3a) led the attack.


Saturday, March 2nd Semifinals Schedule:


Elite 8 - Semifinals:
Dexter @ Salisbury, TBA
Lawrence @ KUA, TBA

Large School - Semifinals:
Kent @ Deerfield, TBA
Cushing @ Nobles, TBA

Small School - Semifinals:
St. Mark's @ Tilton, TBA
Holderness @ Rivers, TBA


 

Wednesday's Quarterfinals Scoreboard

All games at campus rinks, except as noted.

Elite 8 - Quarterfinals:

#8 Westminster @ #1 Salisbury -- Salisbury, 4-2 (Final)
#7 Gunnery @ #2 KUA, 4:30 pm -- KUA, 1-0 (Final)
#6 NMH @ #3 Lawrence Academy -- LA, 2-1 (OT) -- (Final) -- Riley Duran OT GWG
#5 Dexter @ #4 St. Sebastian's -- Dexter, 3-2  (Final)

Large School Playoffs - Quarterfinals:
#8 Avon @ #1 Deerfield -- Deerfield, 4-1 (Final)
#7 Cushing @ #2 Exeter -- Cushing, 2-0 (Final)
#6 St. Paul's @ #3 Nobles -- Nobles, 3-2 (OT) -- (Final) -- Casey Severo OT GWG
#5 Andover @ #4 Kent -- Kent 4-2 (Final)

Small School Playoffs - Quarterfinals:
#8 Pomfret @ #1 Tilton -- Tilton, 4-1 (Final) 
#7 Holderness @ #2 Proctor -- Holderness, 9-6  (Final)
#6 New Hampton @ #3 Rivers -- Rivers, 5-4 (Final) John Kantaros GWG with 1:27 left
#5 St. Mark's @ #4 Groton -- St. Mark's 5-1 (Final)


Saturday's Schedule:

Elite 8 - Semifinals:
Dexter @ Salisbury
Lawrence @ KUA

Large School - Semifinals:
Kent @ Deerfield
Cushing @ Nobles

Small School - Semifinals:
St. Mark's @ Tilton
Holderness @ Rivers


 

All-NEPSAC Teams Named

As voted by league coaches:

2018-2019 All-NEPSAC West

Forwards
Justin Hryckowian - Jr. - Salisbury
Nick Capone  - Jr. -  Salisbury
Alex Laferriere - Jr. -  Kent
Stefan Miklakos - Sr. - Avon
Alex Jefferies - Jr. -  Gunnery
Robert Cronin - Sr. -  Gunnery

Defensemen
Cooper Moore - Sr. - Brunswick
Jimmy Rayhill, Jr. - Gunnery
Luke Krys, Sr. - Salisbury
Owen Nolan - Sr. - Millbrook

Goalies
Thomas Gale - Sr. - Deerfield
Henry Wilder - Jr. - Hotchkiss
Ian Shane - Jr. - Westminster

2018-2019 All-NEPSAC East

Forwards:
Liam Gorman - Sr. - St. Sebastian's
John Farinacci - Sr. - Dexter 
Devan Tongue - Sr. - Northfield Mount Hermon
Tomas Mazura - Jr. - Kimball Union Academy
Dan Ciccarello - Jr. - St. Mark's
Mac Carso - PG - Andover 

Defense:
Ian Moore - Soph. - St. Mark's
Jayden Struble - Jr. - St. Sebastian's
Cade Webber - Sr. - Rivers
Christian Felton - Sr. - Kimball Union Academy 

Goalie:
Derek Mullahy - Sr. - Dexter 
Andy Beran - Sr. - St. Paul's
Connor Hasley - Jr. - Northfield Mount Hermon

 


Wednesday's Matchups & Game Times

All games are on Wednesday, February 27th at campus rinks, except as noted.

Elite 8 - Quarterfinals:

#8 Westminster @ #1 Salisbury, 3:30 pm -- Moved up to 3:00 pm
#7 Gunnery @ #2 KUA, 4:30 pm -- @ Keene State College; Keene, NH
#6 NMH @ #3 Lawrence Academy, 5:00 pm
#5 Dexter @ #4 St. Sebastian's, 4:00 pm

Large School Playoffs - Quarterfinals::
#8 Avon @ #1 Deerfield, 3:30 pm
#7 Cushing @ #2 Exeter, 4:00 pm
#6 St. Paul's @ #3 Nobles, 3:15 pm
#5 Andover @ #4 Kent, 3:30 pm -- @ Loomis Chaffee; Windsor, Conn.

Small School Playoffs - Quarterfinals:
#8 Pomfret @ #1 Tilton, 3:30 pm
#7 Holderness @ #2 Proctor, 3:30 pm
#6 New Hampton @ #3 Rivers, 5:00 pm
#5 St. Mark's @ #4 Groton, 3:45 pm

 

Highlights from Final Day of the Regular Season
-- Deerfield needed a win, but only got a tie
-- Gunnery's Jefferies posts natural hat trick, but to no avail
-- Hoggers' Hasley posts 8th shutout of season
-- Mazura's 5-point day leads KUA to Lakes Region title
-- LA's Colangelo has 7-point day
-- Stanizzi finishes career with 6th shutout of season
-- Proctor's Abbate has 5-point afternoon
-- Exeter Edges Andover in OT


@ LA 10, Tabor 3
-- The Spartans (19-2-6) clinched home ice and the #3 seed for the Elite 8 quarterfinals behind an insane 7-point day from junior wing Sam Colangelo (a hat trick and four assists). Riley Duran (2g,1a), Ethan Bastien (1g,2a), and D Braden Doyle (3a) each had 3-point days, and Holt Oliphant had two goals. LA outshot Tabor, 55-20. 

Pomfret 5 @ Williston 2 -- Pomfret (16-12-1) had a lot to play for in this game, specifically the #8 seed in the Small School Tournament, and they didn't waste their opportunity. Five different scorers found the back of the net and Pomfret got another strong game from senior goaltender Peyton Durand (26/28).

Proctor 6 @ New Hampton 4 -- A 5-point day (2g,3a) from senior Myles Abbate created the most buzz, with senior Jack Swarbrick (2g,1a) right behind him. The Hornets (19-11-1) clinched the #2 spot in the Small School Tournament.

St. Mark's 5 @ Groton 3 -- Matt Toporowski (2g,1a) and defensman Ian Moore (2g) led the way as St. Mark's avenged a 3-2 OT loss on its home ice three weeks ago. So the rivals have a split for the season. But it's not over.  St. Mark's (18-9-2), the 5th seed in the Small School Tournament, will visit #4 seed Groton (19-7-2) for a quarterfinal matchup Wednesday.

@ Westminster 2, Deerfield 2 -- This was the day's biggest game, a matchup that would determine who would gain the #8 seed in the Elite 8. The winner, by dint of a tie, was host Westy, which had beaten the Big Green on the road a month ago, and only needed a tie today -- and that's what they got. This was a goaltenders' game, with the light shining on DA senior Thomas Gale (45/47) and Westy junior Ian Shane (41/43). Shane has allowed more than 3 goals in a game just once this season, and that came against Salisbury, which just happens to be the matchup Westy draws for Wednesday's Elite 8 quarterfinal. 

@ Berkshire 4, Gunnery 3 -- Host Berkshire scored 4 straight goals in the first period. Gunnery followed up with  3 straight power play goals, all from junior F Alex Jefferies, but fell short. Despite the loss, Gunnery will still be in the Elite 8, but as a #7 seed. They'll travel to #2 KUA on Wednesday. Jefferies' 3 goals give him 27 on the season, to go along with 30 assists. His 57 points make him prep school's leading scorer in the regular season.

@ St. Paul's 2, Holderness 1 -- A Julian Menes 5x3 goal at 13:49 of the third period broke a 1-1 tie and gave SPS the win in the 5th place game at the Lakes Region Tournament. SPS senior Andy Beran kicked out 20 of 21 for the win, and Holderness's Connor Androlewicz (42/44) took a tough loss. 

@ Middlesex 3, St. George's 0 -- Middlesex senior goaltender Joe Stanizzi (29/29) posted his 6th shutout of the season. Stanizzi finished his third and final year as Middlesex's #1 goalie with a 1.89 GAA and a league best .949 save percentage. Middlesex finished the season a game under .500 at 12-13-0.

@ Millbrook 2, T-P 0 -- Millbrook senior G Cam Fernandez (30/30) finished on a high note, with his first shutout of the season. Seniors Owen Nolan and Ethan Abraham scored the goals.

@ Nobles 5, Milton 4 (OT) -- A Casey Severo power play goal in OT gave Nobles (17-8-2) the win and the #3 seed in the Large School Tournament. Junior F Jack Cronin notched a hat trick, which gives him 24 goals on the season. Cronin has been red-hot over his last 6 games with a 13-4-17 line.

@ Exeter 3, Andover 2 (OT) -- A Sam Willman goal 15 seconds into OT gave Exeter (19-10-2) its second win over archrival Andover this season. It also gives Exeter the #2 slot in the Large School playoffs. Andover (16-11-1) takes the #5 seed.

@ Taft 3, Hotchkiss 2 (OT) -- An OT goal from senior defenseman Billy Dobensky gave Taft the win in this rivalry game. It's the second time this season that Taft (10-10-2) has beaten Hotchkiss (11-11-2), both times by a 3-2 score, and both times in OT.

@ KUA 6, Tilton 2 -- Junior Tomas Mazura had a 5-point day with a hat trick and two assists to lead the Wildcats over Tilton in the Lakes Region championship game. KUA (27-4-2) enters the postseason as the #2 seed in the Elite 8, while Tilton (19-8-0) wins the #1 seed in the Small School playoffs. If Tilton had pulled off the upset in this game, it would have earned them the #8 slot in the Elite 8.

@ Salisbury 8, Canterbury 0 -- Junior Nick Capone had a 5-point day with a hat trick and 2 assists to lead #1-seeded Salisbury (23-3-0). Junior Cole Vallese notched two goals.  

Kent 5 @ Choate 2 -- Junior Dane Dowiak notched a pair of goals and junior G Blaine Moore (24/26) got the win for the Lions, who finish the regular season on a 6-0-1 run and gain the #4 seed and home ice in the Large School playoffs.

@ NYA 6, Pingree 3 -- Junior Jared Buckner notched a hat trick to lead NYA to a 6-1 win in the title game of the Holt Conference Playoffs.

NMH 3 @ Hoosac 0 -- Junior G Connor Hasley (19/19) posted his 8th shutout of the season, and senior Devan Tongue had a pair of goals to give him an 11-37-48 regular-season scoring line. NMH (22-5-2) will be the #6 seed in the Elite 8 and will travel to LA on Wednesday.

Cushing 5 @ Governor's 2 -- Nick Cafarelli (1g,3a), Brad Zona (1g,2a) and Patrick Borella (1g,2a) led the Penguins' attack and senior netminder Joey Sharib (26/28) took care of business between the pipes. Cushing (16-10-4) draws the #7 seed in the Large School Tournament  and will travel to #2 Exeter for Wednesday's quarterfinal.

@ Loomis 1, Avon 1 -- Jake Sigal scored for Loomis and Timur Alishlavov scored for Avon, but the goalies were the main storyline here as Loomis senior Kohl Reddy (39/40) and Avon senior Alex Aslanidis (22/23) did all they could for their respective teams. Avon won the 8th and final seed in the Large School Tournament, and will travel to #1 Deerfield on Wednesday.


 

 

Final Lakes Region Results

Friday's Results:

Upper Division
@ KUA 4, Proctor 1
@ Tilton 4, New Hampton 1

Lower Division
@ St. Paul's 6, Vermont Academy 2
@ Holderness 6, Brewster 0

Saturday's Results:

5th Place: @ St. Paul's 2, Holderness 1
3rd Place: Proctor 6 @ New Hampton 4  
Championship: @ KUA 6, Tilton 4


Final Holt Conference Playoffs Results
Friday's Results:

@ NYA 3, Portsmouth Abbey 2 (OT)
@ Pingree 4, Worcester Academy 3

Saturday's Results:

Championship: @ NYA 6, Pingree 1



Red-Hot Abacus Working Overtime on JSPR

The teams slotted #1-6 in JSPR are in the Elite 8, regardless of whether they win, lose, or tie today. The actual order will likely shift some, but all will be playing again next Wednesday.

Nothing is set in stone yet for Gunnery, Westminster, Deerfield, or Tilton. Each could get in or be bounced depending on today's results.

We thought Tilton, currently #10 in JSPR, was out, but, after running the numbers through the abacus a few more times, we see they do still have a route to the Elite 8, but it's a curious, long-shot route. If Tilton manages to beat #2 KUA -- and they've split two games so far this season -- in today's Lakes Region title game, and #9 Deerfield manages to beat or tie #8 Westy, then the Rams still have a shot. This would depend on the outcome of all other games, of course. Still, we were surprised to see they had any chance at all.

The most obvious game of the day is #9 Deerfield at #8 Westsminster. The winner of this game will almost certainly win the #8 slot and reach the Elite 8.


JSPR: Sat. Feb. 23, prior to games


 

Gorman, Garrity Hold off Thayer, 3-2

Boston, Mass. -- St. Sebastian's, behind a Liam Gorman power play goal late in the second period to break a 2-2 tie, and a 33-save effort from junior goalie Luke Garrity, edged Thayer, 3-2, to take the 22nd Annual Valicenti Cup at Warrior Ice Arena tonight. 

Garrity was named MVP.

"He was great," Arrows' head coach Sean McCann said. "The fact that he was able to handle shots from so many different angles as well as corral rebounds, either steering them to the corners or smothering them, didn't allow for many second-chance opportunities. It was a really good performance."

Thayer came out of the gate hard, and had the edge in the first period, creating some great scoring opportunites for Garrity to fight off. But the period's only goal came when St. Seb's senior JP Milbury, at the edge of the crease, beat Thayer junior goaltender Gavin Fitzpatrick at 8:05.

The game opened up more in the second, and St. Seb's took advantage early, as freshman Jack Hughes knocked home a rebound to put the Arrows up, 2-0.

But Thayer answered with two goals in less than three minutes. With Milbury off for hooking, Thayer senior forward Christian Hayes, playing the right point on the power play, wafted a wrister on net. The puck had eyes, and cut the Arrows' lead to one goal.

Thayer then tied it up at 2-2 on defenseman Jake Flynn's wrister from the slot at the 7:26 mark. Sophomore Sasha Teleguine picked up the assist.

Finally, with 1:48 left in the second period, and Thayer freshman Nick Roukounakis in the box for interference, Seb's got a break with a freakish goal, as Tommy Lyons's pass to Liam Gorman in front was too high, but bounced off Gorman's shin pad and past a startled Fitzpatrick. Although the Arrows went into the second intermission up by a goal, McCann wasn't happy with the direction the game was taking.

"To be honest," McCann said, "I thought in the first and second we weren't very good. I thought we sat back. We  didn't defend well. We gave them too much time and space. That wasn't our game plan."

When the teams returned to the ice for the third, St. Sebastian's shut down the Tigers, with a lot of help from Garrity.

"I was really happy with the third," McCann said. "To me, that's like playoff hockey. We made good decisions with the puck and didn't turn it over in our own zone or off the rush. We were patient waiting for opportunities rather than trying to force the play.We stayed on the defensive side of the puck and worked hard going back to our own end. Those are the little things. It's not as fun as scoring goals, but to win you have to do those things."

St. Sebastian's did those things, won, finished the regular season 21-5-0, and advances to next Wednesday's Elite 8 quarterfinals against an opponent to be determined. Thayer finishes its season 13-11-4.


 

Lakes Region Results & Schedule

Friday's Results:

Upper Division
@ KUA 4, Proctor 1
@ Tilton 4, New Hampton 1

Lower Division
@ St. Paul's 6, Vermont Academy 2
@ Holderness 6, Brewster 0

Saturday's Schedule:
5th Place: Holderness @ St. Paul's, 4:00 pm
3rd Place: Proctor @ New Hampton, 2:00 pm
Championship: Tilton @ KUA, 4:30 pm


Holt Conference Playoffs
Friday's Results:

@ NYA 3, Portsmouth Abbey 2 (OT)
@ Pingree 4, Worcester Academy 3

Saturday's Schedule:
Pingree @ NYA, 3:20 pm


 

Lakes Region and Holt Tournament Schedules

Lakes Region Tournament (Day 1 of 2, Semifinals)
Teams: KUA, Tilton, New Hampton, Proctor, SPS, Holderness, Brewster, and VA.
There are two brackets, but no crossover. Each bracket has its own championship game.

Semifinals:

In the top bracket:
Game 1 -- #4 Proctor @ #1 KUA, 4:30 pm
Game 2 -- #3 New Hampton @ #2 Tilton, 6:00 pm

In the lower bracket:
Game 3 -- #8 Vermont @ #5 St. Paul's, 4:30 pm
Game 4 -- #7 Brewster @ #6 Holderness, 5:30 pm

Day 2; Saturday, Feb 23:
Game 5 -- Winners G1 vs. G2 (Championship)
Game 6 -- Losers G1 vs. G2 (Consolation game)
Game 7 -- Winners G3 vs. G4 (Lower bracket championship)
Note: There is no consolation game in the lower bracket

 

Holt Tournament (Day 1, Semifinals)
Teams: NYA, Worcester, Pingree, and Portsmouth Abbey.
#4 Portsmouth Abbey @ #1 NYA, 4:50 pm
#3 Pingree @ #2 Worcester Academy, 5:10 pm

Day 2; Saturday, Feb 23
Championship game, TBD
(There is no consolation game)


 

Prep Highlights of Wednesday, February 20th

-- Vermont Academy stuns Tilton
-- Groton wins 16th of last 17 games
-- Pierce stops 54 shots, Brooks upsets Rivers
-- Mercuri's OT goal lifts Salisbury over Hotchkiss
-- Milton Upsets Thayer

@ Millbrook 4, Berkshire 1 -- Berkshire entered the third up 1-0 on a Briggs Gammill goal, but couldn't hold the lead as Millbrook's senior F Jason Ruszkowski scored the game-tying goal just 19 seconds into the period. A little over 3 minutes later,  Ruszkowski scored the GWG. Millbrook senior G Cam Fernandez (21/22) earned the win.

@ Vermont Academy 7, Tilton 5 -- VA upset Tilton, 7-5, jeopardizing the Rams' Elite 8 hopes. This was a back-and-forth affair, with the game being tied at 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 5-5 before VA senior Nick Rashkovsy scored the GWG on a 5x3 PP at 12:20 of the third. Tilton outshot VA 44-28. Tilton drops to 18-7-0. VA improves to 4-23-1, not a great season, but they'll always have this game to look back on.

@ Brewster 4, Hebron 2 -- Brewster notched 3 first-period goals and hung on for the win. Brewster G Jack McGee (26/28) earned the win. 

@ T-P 5, Taft 2 -- Trinity-Pawling blew open a 1-1 game with 4 third-period goals. T-P senior goalie Evan Ruschil (47/49) came up with another strong game. Since allowing 4 goals to Salisbury on Jan. 16th, Ruschil has not allowed more than 3 goals in any of his 8 subsequent games.

@ Loomis 3, Choate 1 -- A Cody Hoban goal at 5:08 of the third turned out to be the GWG. Hoban added an ENG in the final minute. The goalies -- Loomis's Kyle Chauvette (28/29) and Choate's James Dunne (32/34) -- were good in this one.

@ Lawrence 4, St. Sebatian's 2 -- See below for full game story.

@ Groton 4, Middlesex 1 -- Junior Luke Beckstein notched a hat trick to lead Groton to its 16th win over its last 17 games to improve to 19-6-2.

Holderness 4 @ Berwick 2 -- Isaiah Fox scored a pair of goals and Connor Androlewicz (34/36) took care of business between the pipes. Berwick's goalie, junior Alex Ramsey, kicked out 52 shots in a hard-luck loss. Holderness has been playing well lately, going 4-1-1 over its last 6 to improve to 12-10-4 on the season.

Albany Academy 1 @ Williston 0 -- A Liam Quinlivan third-period goal and a 19-save shutout from Kyle Penton was all AA needed today. Williston G Kyler Breland (35/36) took a tough loss. AA is 11-5-2 vs. NEPSIHA opponents this season.

Brooks 2 @ Rivers 0 -- Brooks senior G Spencer Pierce posted a 54-save shutout and Michael Hughes scored a second-period PPG to lead Brooks to a 2-0 road upset of Rivers. Brooks has won 3 of its last 4. Rivers' G Casen Janko (13/14) took the loss.

@ St. Mark's 5, St. George's 4 (OT) -- Sophomore D Ian Moore scored 40 seconds into OT to lift the Lions to the win. St. Mark's, now 17-9-2, got 3-point games from Danny Ciccarello (2g,1a) and Matthew Toporowski (1g,2a).

Westminster 0, Gunnery 0 -- This game was all about the goalies, Gunnery's JP Mella (28/28) and Westy's Ian Shane (36/36).

@ Salisbury 4, Hotchkiss 3 (OT) -- Salisbury held a 3-1 lead halfway through the third, but Hotchkiss's Alex Mozian and Mason Von Joss tied it up and sent it to OT, where Salisbury's Lucas Mercuri scored 1:33 into OT.

Cushing 5 @ New Hampton 0 -- Junior Nick Cafarelli (1g,2a) and senior G Joe Sharib (37/37) led the Penguins (15-10-4) to the road win.

Avon 1 @ Canterbury 0 -- A Tabor Heaslip 3rd period 4x4 goal, with an assist from Timur Alishlavov, was all the Winged Beavers' offense needed today. Avon sophomore G Connor Callaghan (18/18) earned the shutout; the Saints' Connor Cherry (36/37) was the hard-luck loser.

Dexter 16 @ Pingree 0 -- Well, as you can see, many goals were scored. Chase McInnis, John McElaney, Aidan Connolly, and John Farinacci each had 5-point games.

@ Belmont Hill 4, Tabor 3 (OT) -- A Brett Bliss goal at 2:22 of OT gave the Hillies the win. After 2 periods, Tabor held a 3-1 lead, but Ryan McGuire (2g) and Andrew Holland -- both goals were assisted by Michael Hayes and D James Perullo -- scored to tie it up and send it to OT.

Milton 4 @ Thayer 3 -- Milton carried a 3-0 lead into the third period, whereupon Thayer tied it up with 3 straight tallies. Quinton Fox broke the tie and gave the Mustangs the upset win with a PPG at 14:04. The shots were crazy in this one. Milton soph Chris DeMers (57/60) got the win; Thayer junior Gavin Fitzpatrick (14/18) took the loss.

@ Kent 4, Deerfield 4 -- Another back-and-forth game, with ties of 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, and 4-4, which is where it finished with Dane Dowiak scoring the game-tying goal for Kent. Deerfield's Thomas Gale (39/43) and Kent's Alex Contey (40/44) were kept busy in this one.

@ NMH 4, Andover 2 -- The Hoggers took a big step toward securing a spot in the Elite 8 with this win. Senior Devan Tongue had a pair of goals and junior Connor Hasley (28/30) earned the win. NMH improves to 21-5-2, while Andover drops to 16-10-1.

Nobles 4 @ Governor's 3 -- Junior Jack Cronin scored his 21st goal of the season to lead Nobles to its 6th consecutive win. It looks like the Bulldogs are finishing the season the way they started it (5-0-0 before their first loss of the season). They are 16-8-2 now.


 

LA Tops Seb's in Battle of Heavyweights

Groton, Mass. -- Before a full house packed with students from both schools, host Lawrence avenged the 9-2 beating it took at St. Sebastian's Feb. 8th.

From the opening faceoff, the Spartans were on a mission and it didn't take long for it to pay off, as sophomore center David Sacco scored on a rebound just 1:06 into the game. As the period moved on, it was apparent LA had more jump to its game, beating St. Seb's in the 1-on-1 battles, driving to the net, and winning the game in all three zones.

"We knew they were going to come with speed and they were going to come hard," St. Seb's coach Sean McCann said. "They did exactly what we thought they would do. We just didn't respond the way we needed to."

The Arrows started the second period a little flat and back on their heels, but 4:44 into the period, managed to tie the game at 1-1on a Jayden Struble wrist shot from the right edge of the slot. That would be as good as it got for the visitors.

Quickly after, LA senior center Ethan Bastien banged home the rebound of a David Sacco shot to make it 2-1.

The backbreaker came shortly after.

With Sacco in the box, and Seb's on the power play looking to tie it up at 2-2, the Arrows gave up a short-handed goal when there was a breakdown in coverage in their defensive zone. Junior Sam Colangelo spotted a wide-open Connor Sweeney and, with 4:28 left in the second, Sweeney had plenty of room and time to shoot. Which he did, making it a a two-goal lead again. Pretty devastating for the visitors. The Arrows never recovered.

"The reality is, we should have the coverage, especially on the power play,"  McCann said. "We shouldn't leave a guy open like that to allow an easy pass and shot like that. That's a tough one to swallow."

With 3:00 left in the period, LA made it academic when junior Holt Oliphant scored on the rebound of a Braden Doyle shot to make it 4-1.

Seb's scored the only goal in the third when, with 5:36 left and Seb's going on the power play, McCann called a timeout and pulled his goalie, giving the Arrows a 6-on-4. It worked, as senior co-captain Tommy Lyons scored from the right faceoff circle to make it 4-2 LA.  And that's how it ended.

One oddity of the game was the fact that LA took five penalties to just one for St. Seb's, usually a recipe for losing, but not tonight.

"Our PK I thought was excellent," LA coach Rob Barker said afterward, like the cat who had just eaten the canary.

"They were the better team today, without a doubt," said McCann. "They won a lot of battles against us, they were faster on the puck, they drove the net really hard, and they were physical. We just didn't bring the game we had in the past."

For what it's worth Seb's outshot LA, 33-28, the result of all the power plays the Arrows enjoyed, but didn't do much with, in no small part because of the play of LA senior goaltender Ian Graiff, who was excellent in swallowing up pucks and keeping rebounds to a minimum. And, of course, the penalty killers.

We asked Barker how much motivation his team had in light of the 9-2 beatdown 12 days earlier. "Yeah, I think it motivated them" he said. "I think it also helped them realize we need to lean on each other and how much hockey is a team sport. When we veer off our game straategy and don't implement and buy into it, we're just not as successful."

Both these teams are already in the Elite 8 and it's quite possible they could wind up meeting each other again in the playoffs. So the story is not over yet.


 

Salisbury #1 in Final USHR Prep Poll of Season

Salisbury took over the #1 spot in the second USHR Prep Poll of the season, back on Dec. 17th, right after the Flood-Marr Tournament, and has held it ever since. Eight straight weeks.

-- Of the 10 teams in today's final poll, we looked back to see how many teams in each poll made it all the way through to the final poll. It's a quick and easy way to judge the volatility to the season -- and there wasn't a lot of it. Perhaps that will come over the next two weeks.

On Dec. 10th, the first poll, four teams -- Tilton, LA, Deerfield, and KUA -- made it through to the final Top 10.

Here's how it went the rest of the way:

Dec 17th (after the Xmas tournaments): 6 teams.
Jan. 7th (after the New Year's tournaments): 7 teams
Jan. 14th: 9 teams
Jan. 21st: 9 teams
Jan. 28th: 8 teams
Feb. 4th: 10 teams (!)
Feb. 11th: 9 teams

The schools that had a place in the poll numerous times, but failed to make the final Top 10 were Exeter (5 times), Andover (5 times), Avon (3 times), and Nobles (2 times). A few teams made a single appearance.

-- We added something else for this final poll: each of the 10 teams' average goals per game (GPG) as well as goals against average (GAA). The biggest splits?

#10 Westminster's GPG is 2.95 (34th); GAA is 1.89 (5th).
#1 Salisbury's GPG is 5.30 (1st.); GAA is 2.66 (28th).

Every other team fell between these two extremes.

-- Some publications print polls after the close of the regular season. We find this a rather fatuous exercise. No need for it. Six days from now we'll know who is in and out. The rest will be settled on the ice.


USHR Prep Poll, Week of Feb. 18, 2019



Prep Composite Schedule, Week of February 18th

Mon. Feb. 18
Bishop's College School @ Gunnery, 4:30 pm
Hoosac @ Vermont Academy, 5:00 pm
Lawrence Academy @ Milton, 6:00 pm -- Milton forfeited (headmaster's decision), so it's a 1-0 LA win. 
Tabor @ St. George's, 6:00 pm
Holderness @ Proctor, 6:00 pm 

Tues. Feb. 19
Salisbury @ Avon, 5:00 pm -- makeup of Sat. Feb. 16th

Wed. Feb. 20
Avon Old Farms @ Canterbury, 2:30 pm
Berkshire @ Millbrook, 2:30 pm
Taft @ Trinity-Pawling, 3:00 pm
Hebron @ Brewster Academy, 3:00 pm
Brooks @ Rivers, 3:00 pm
Middlesex @ Groton, 3:00 pm
Choate @ Loomis Chaffee, 3:00 pm
Tilton @ Vermont Academy, 3:30 pm
Albany Academy @ Williston Northampton, 4:00 pm
Hotchkiss @ Salisbury, 4:00 pm
Andover @ Northfield Mt. Hermon, 4:00 pm
St. Sebastian's @ Lawrence Academy, 4:00 pm
Pomfret vs. Kents Hill, 4:00 pm -- at Phillips Exeter
Holderness @ Berwick, 4:00 pm
Winchendon @ Exeter, 4:00 pm
Milton @ Thayer, 4:00 pm
Westminster @ Gunnery, 4:00 pm
Dexter @ Pingree, 4:00 pm
St. George's @ St. Mark's, 4:00 pm
Hill School @ Lawrenceville, 4:00 pm -- ppd. to Thurs. 2/21 at 4:30 pm
Worcester Academy @ NYA, 4:30 pm
Tabor @ Belmont Hill, 4:30 pm
Cushing @ New Hampton, 4:45 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Governor's, 5:15 pm
Deerfield @ Kent, 5:30 pm -- the correct start time is 4:30 pm
Roxbury Latin @ BB&N, 5:30 pm -- the correct start time is 4:30 pm

Thurs. Feb. 21
Hill School @ Lawrenceville, 4:30 pm -- MAHL Championship Game

Fri. Feb. 22

Lakes Region Tournament (Day 1 of 2, Semifinals)
Teams: KUA, Tilton, New Hampton, Proctor, SPS, Holderness, Brewster, and VA.
There are two brackets, but no crossover. Each bracket has its own championship game.
Semifinals:

In the top bracket:
Game 1 = #4 Proctor @ #1 KUA, 4:30 pm
Game 2 = #3 New Hampton @ #2 Tilton, 6:00 pm

In the lower bracket:
Game 3 = #8 Vermont @ #5 St. Paul's, 4:30 pm
Game 4 = #7 Brewster @ #6 Holderness, 5:30 pm

Prep School Challenge 2019  (Day 1 of 3)
At Albany Academy
Teams:
Pool A: Bishop's College, Albany Academy, Hill School.
Pool B: Lawrenceville, Stanstead, Académie Saint-Louis.
3:15 pm -- Stanstead vs. Académie Saint-Louis
5:15 pm -- Bishop's vs. Albany Academy

Holt Tournament (Day 1, Semifinals)
Teams: NYA, Worcester, Pingree, and Portsmouth Abbey.
#4 Portsmouth Abbey @ #1 NYA, 4:50 pm
#3 Pingree @ #2 Worcester Academy, 5:10pm
(Sat. 2/23/19 -- Championship game and Consolation game)

Belmont Hill @ Westminster, 5:15 pm
Williston Northampton @ Winchendon, 5:30 pm
St. Sebastian's @ Thayer, 6:00 pm -- at Warrior Ice Arena
Berwick @ Governor's, 6:30 pm
Brunswick @ Trinity-Pawling, 7:00 pm
Hoosac @ Dexter, 7:00 pm

Sat. Feb. 23

Lakes Region Tournament (Day 2, Finals)
Teams: KUA, Tilton, New Hampton, Proctor, SPS, Holderness, Brewster, and VA.
-- Top Bracket Championship: Friday's winners
    Top Bracket Consolation Game: Friday's losers
-- Lower Bracket Championship: Friday's winners
    (Note: In the lower bracket, there is no consolation game.)

Prep School Challenge 2019
(Day 2 of 3)
at Albany Academy
11:00 am -- Lawrenceville vs. Stanstead
1:00 pm -- Hill vs. Bishop's
5:30 pm -- Académie Saint-Louis vs. Lawrenceville
7:30 pm -- Albany Academy vs. Hill

Holt Tournament (Day 2, Championship Game)
at Albany Academy
Friday's top bracket winners play for the championship.
Friday's top bracket losers play a consolation game.

Pomfret @ Williston Northampton, 2:00 pm
St. Mark's @ Groton, 2:00 pm
Deerfield @ Westminster, 2:00 pm
Gunnery @ Berkshire, 2:30 pm
Tabor @ Lawrence Academy, 3:00 pm
St. George's @ Middlesex, 3:30 pm
Andover @ Exeter, 4:00 pm
BB&N @ Brooks, 4:00 pm
Cushing @ Governor's, 4:00 pm
Milton @ Noble & Greenough, 4:15 pm
Hotchkiss @ Taft, 4:30 pm
Trinity-Pawling @ Millbrook, 4:30 pm
Kent @ Choate, 5:00 pm
Canterbury @ Salisbury, 5:00 pm
Avon Old Farms @ Loomis Chaffee, 7:00 pm
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ Hoosac, 7:00 pm -- at RPI

Sun. Feb. 24

Prep School Challenge 2019 (Day 3 of 3)
@ RPI's Houston Fieldhouse
Crossover Play
11:15 am --  3 vs. 3
1:30 pm --  2 vs. 2
3:45 pm -- Championship Game: 1 vs. 1


 

Prep Highlights of Saturday, February 16th


-- Menes's natural hat trick leads SPS

-- Ruschil kicks out 52 to lead T-P past Hotchkiss
-- Seb's extends winning streak to 11
-- Deerfield's Gale slams door on Exeter
-- Burke lifts Groton in OT
-- Cormier scores 2 as Rivers sneaks by Middlesex


@ St. Mark's 1, Lawrence Academy 0
-- Sophomore Brendan Gibbons scored his 13th goal of the season at 0:45 of the third to give the Lions a big win. Senior Connor Berry and sophomore D Ian Moore assisted. St. Mark's senior G Alex Cardonick kicked out all 32 shots he faced to pick up his second consecutive shutout, and his third in the last four games. LA junior Brandon Milberg (30/31) was the hard-luck loser. St. Mark's improves to 16-9-2. LA falls to 16-2-6.

@ New Hampton 6, Proctor 4 -- Senior Alec Grace scored a pair of goals to lead the Huskies (14-12-4) to the win. Junior Ronan Walsh (hat trick and an assist) reached the 40-point mark, but the Hornets fell to 18-9-1.

@ St. Pauls 4, Holderness 0 -- Senior Julien Menes scored a natural hat trick (5x3, SHG, and even-strength) and senior G Andy Beran kicked out 37 shots for his 5th shutout of the season to lead the Pelicans, who improve to 15-9-1.

Pomfret 3 @ Millbrook 1 --Pomfret got goals from 3 different scorers and senior Peyton Durand (35/36) took care of business between the pipes. With the win, Pomfret goes a game over .500 at 13-12-1.

@ Rivers 2, Middlesex 1 -- Junior Matt Cormier scored all the goals Rivers would need, both assisted by Michael McEachern and D Cade Webber. The goals were Cormier's team-leading 19th and 20th of the season. Junior Casen Janko (17/18) earned the win for Rivers, now 17-8-2. Midddlesex senior Joe Stanizzi (46/48) was the hard-luck loser -- and not for the first time in his career. Stanizzi leads all prep goaltenders with a .947 save percentage. 

@ Brewster 3, Vermont Academy 2 -- Brewster junior Brett Daubet broke a 2-2 tie, scoring the game-winner midway through the third, and PG goalie Jack McGee (31/33) earned the win. VA senior Steven Turner (36/39) took the loss.

@ Tilton 8, Hebron 0 -- After two losses, the Rams got back on the beam today, blitzing Hebron with 57 shots. Senior Cam Ryan (2g,1a), PG Ryan Harrigan (2g,1a), and senior Brendan Sjostedt (1g,2a) each notched 3 points as Tilton improves to 18-6-0. Senior Jakob Wepman (20/20) notched the shutout. 

@ Groton 4, St. George's 3 (OT) -- An OT goal from senior Drew Burke at 2:30 of OT lifted the Zebras to the home win. In addition to Burke, Groton's leading scorer, three other players found the back. Groton, winners of 15 of its last 16 games, is now 18-6-2.

@ Dexter 6, Kents Hill 0 -- Senior John Farinacci (2g,1a), junior John McElaney (1g,2a),, and junior Ben Raymond (2g) led the Dexter attack. Senior Derek Mullahy (13 saves) picked up his 8th shutout of the season. Dexter is now 19-3-4.

Hill 7 @ Hoosac 3 -- Senior Ryan Long (2g,1a) led the Hill attack. Hill improves to 14-8-1 overall, and 7-4-0 in NEPSIHA play.

Trinity-Pawling 3 @ Hotchkiss 2 -- Senior goaltender Evan Ruschil (52/54) was busy, but was rewarded for his work as T-P, which took only 17 shots at the Hotchkiss net, picked up the road win and improved to 7-12-2. Senior D Stephen Perez assisted on all 3 of T-P's goals. Hotchkiss goalies were soph Cameron Smith (4/7) and junior Henry Wilder (10/10). Hotchkiss drops to 11-9-2.

North Yarmouth Academy 4 @ Portsmouth Abbey 1 -- Senior Alisdair Swett had 2 goals, the latter an empty-netter, and juniors Jared Buckner and Damon Dulac each had 2 assists to lead the NYA attack.

@ KUA 1, Cushing 1 -- In their second game in two days (KUA won Fri. night, 5-2) the two teams settled for a 1-1 tie. In the second period, KUA junior Sullivan Mack scored his team-leading 25th goal of the season, but less than 4 minutes later, Cushing junior Max Dorrington scored the equalizer. All the rest was up to the goalies, Cushing senior Joe Sharib (35/36) and KUA junior Veeti Kohvakka (26/27). KUA is now 25-4-2 and Cushing is 14-10-4.

@ St. Sebastian's 6, Governor's 2 -- St. Seb's extended its winning streak to 11, as the Arrows (20-4-0) got goals from six different players. Seb's outshot Gov's, 34-16.

@ Berkshire 2, Westminster 2 -- Senior Jordie McKenna's goal at 13:35 of the third period allowed Westy to get out of town with a tie. This was a goalies' game, with Berkshire soph Jed Baliotti (28/30) and Westy junior Ian Shane (30/32) both giving their teams a chance to win. 

@ Taft 5, Choate 1 -- Junior Zack Tonelli notched 4 points (2g,2a) to lead the Rhinos to a home win that pulled them to the .500 mark at 9-9-2. Taft junior G James Donaldson kicked out 25 of 26 shots for the win. 

NMH 4 @ Loomis 1 -- Senior Devan Tongue (1g,2a) was one of 5 different scorers to come through for the Hoggers today. Junior G Connor  Hasley (19/20) picked up the win. NMH is 5-0-1 in its last 6 games to improve to 19-5-2.

Kent 4 @ Canterbury 0 -- Four different scorers found the back of the net for the Lions and junior goaltender Blaine Moore posted a 20-save shutout. Canterbury's senior goalie, Connor Cherry (44/48) did all he could, but to no avail. The win was Kent's 5th in a row. They are now 13-7-2.

@ Deerfield 1, Exeter 0 -- A third-period goal from junior Connor Guest and a 35-save shutout from Thomas Gale was all the Big Green needed tonight. Exeter junior goaltender Ryan Welch (24/25) took a tough loss. Deerfield improves to 17-10-2 while Exeter drops to 17-10-2.


 

Saturday's Salisbury-Avon Tilt Cancelled

Salisbury has cancelled -- possibly postponed -- Saturday's scheduled game at Avon Old Farms due to a flu epidemic that has led Salisbury to close the school until Sunday evening.

How does this affect the two teams regarding playoff position?

First off, Avon has much more to gain by playing the game. A win over Salisbury could give them a shot at the #1 seed in the Large School Tournament, assuming they win their remaining games vs. Pomfret, Canterbury, and Loomis.

Salisbury, on the other hand, has few worries. The Crimson Knights are pretty much a lock for the #1 seed, though a second loss of the season to Hotchkiss next Wednesday could make things interesting.

From Salisbury's point of view, the 'best scenario' is that all their remaining games are cancelled, in which case they would have no risk of losing the #1 seed. 

Update: Salisbury @ Avon has been rescheduled for Tues. Feb. 19th (5:00 pm).


 

Youngsters Lead Thayer Onslaught

Agganis Arena, Boston -- Thayer sophomore Sasha Teleguine had a four-point day with a hat trick and an assist to lead Thayer past St. Paul's here today. Granted, one of the goals was an empty-netter, but nonetheless... an impressive afternoon for the North Attleboro native. Ditto for eighth-grader Mike Stenberg, an '04, who had a pair of goals. Junior goaltender Gavin Fitzpatrick stopped 20 of 21 St. Paul's shots for the win.

"Teleguine had a big game for us, his best of the year," said Tigers head coach Tony Amonte. "He controlled the play. He was on fire."


"That was probably the best game we've played in two or three weeks," Amonte added. "System-wise, being disciplined, and getting pucks to the net. We just seemed to play the right way."

And they did it from the opening faceoff, coming out hard and dominating the first period. Teleguine scored the first goal of the game at 6:53 when he curled behind the SPS net and took a tough-angle shot from the right outside hashmarks. It seemed to catch SPS senior goalie Andy Beran by surprise, as it zipped cleanly into the net.

At 12:33, Stenberg scored on a wraparound off a rebound to make it 2-0. SPS head coach Dan Murphy called a timeout to settle the troops, but Thayer kept coming, finishing the period with a 21-7 shot advantage and a 2-0 lead.

St. Paul's came out and played a much better second period, but once again it was Thayer which struck first, as senior Christian Hayes scored a nice top-shelf goal at the 7:51 mark to make it 3-0. This pretty much iced the game, and less than two minutes later, TA put a bow and an exclamation point on it as Teleguine beat a defender in the slot and took a shot on Beran. It was hard to see what exactly happened next, but the puck got loose in the crease, Beran and the SPS defensemen couldn't get a handle on it, and Stenberg swept in and poked it over the line to make it 4-0.

In the final minute of the period, SPS soph Owen Stadheim knocked home a rebound to send the teams into the second intermission with Thayer up, 4-1.

With 11:09 left in the third and his team trailing by three, Murphy pulled Beran for the extra attacker, but Teleguine scored an ENG to put Thayer up, 5-1. When play resumed, SPS backup goalie, junior Charlie Murphy, took over between the pipes. 

He didn't fare any better. Teleguine completed his hat trick at 10:24, with a pretty inside-outside move as he barrelled down the slot. It was 6-1 then. At 15:53 Joe Bennett curled out from the corner and beat Murphy to make it 7-1.

"We were chasing it," said SPS's Murphy. "They were much better than us in the first, but I thought we had a little momentum and played well in the second. We just didn't score. We gave up two goals. If we could get to the third period down by two, we had a chance, but that wasn't the case."

We asked Murphy about his goaltender, Beran, a Bowdoin recruit who came into the game with a .943 save percentage, and stopped 37 of 41 today.

"He's been our best player all year," Murphy said. "He's entitled to have an off day. He gets a pass in my book."

Notes:

SPS soph Joe Schubert was called for a butt-end late in the first. He was assessed a five-minute major and a game penalty. He will have to sit out the Pelicans next game, a Saturday matchup against Holderness, which has been playing good hockey lately.

SPS ninth-grader Ryan Murphy, the son of the St. Paul's coach, does double-duty for the team, doing play-by-play for the school's radio station, WSPS (which is also carried on YouTube), and filming the game at the same time. A serious multi-tasker. 

Today's win was a big one for Thayer. Right now, it looks like Cushing will edge out Thayer for the last Large School seed. But Cushing has a home-and-home with KUA this weekend. Thayer will be at Milton Friday and Tabor Saturday. There's still a lot of hockey to be played.

St. Paul's is now 14-9-1. Thayer is 11-9-4.

The crowd was average for a prep game, but it seemed very small in the spaciousness of Agganis. This reporter felt like a BB in a boxcar.


 

Salisbury Remains #1 in USHR Weekly Poll

Once again, Salisbury (20-3-0) remains in the top spot in this week's USHR Prep Poll. Below the Crimson Knights, there's the usual shifting around, and there is one newcomer to the poll but, with two weeks left in the regular season, things are both falling into place and ripe for some major shifts.

USHR Prep Poll, Week of February 11, 2019



Prep Composite Schedule, Week of Feb. 11th

Mon. Feb. 11
Albany Academy @ Berkshire, 4:30 pm
Portsmouth Abbey @ Groton, 5:00 pm
Pingree @ Middlesex, 5:15 pm
Canterbury @ Gunnery, 5:30 pm

Tues. Feb. 12
Vermont Academy @ Hoosac, 4:00 pm

Wed. Feb. 13
Gunnery vs. Pomfret, 1:45 pm -- at Trinity College
Brewster Academy @ Tilton, 2:30 pm
Kent @ Hotchkiss, 2:30 pm
Proctor @ Kimball Union, 2:30 pm
Choate @ Avon Old Farms, 3:00 pm
Trinity-Pawling @ Berkshire, 3:00 pm
Hebron @ Kents Hill, 3:00 pm
Portsmouth Abbey @ Middlesex, 3:00 pm
North Yarmouth Academy @ Bridgton Academy, 3:30 pm
Kingswood Oxford @ Harvey, 3:45 pm
Taft @ Deerfield, 4:00 pm
Brunswick @ Albany Academy, 4:00 pm -- ppd. to Thursday 2/14 at 3:30 pm
New Hampton @ Vermont Academy, 4:00 pm
Loomis Chaffee @ Westminster, 4:00 pm
St. Paul's vs. Thayer, 4:00 pm -- 4:30 pm at Agganis Arena
Portledge @ Lawrenceville, 4:00 pm
Princeton Day School @ Hill School, 4:00 pm
Rivers @ St. Mark's, 4:30 pm
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ Exeter, 4:30 pm
Hoosac @ Millbrook, 4:30 pm
Holderness @ Winchendon, 4:30 pm
Williston Northampton @ Canterbury, 4:30 pm
Governor's @ Lawrence Academy, 4:45 pm
Groton @ Brooks, 4:45 pm
Berwick @ Dexter, 4:45 pm
Andover @ Cushing, 5:00 pm
Belmont Hill @ Milton, 5:00 pm
St. Sebastian's @ Tabor, 5:15 pm
Noble & Greenough @ BB&N, 5:30 pm
Roxbury Latin @ St. George's, 5:30 pm
Pingree @ Worcester Academy, 6:00 pm
St. John's Prep @ Catholic Memorial, 7:00 pm
Pope Francis @ Austin Prep, 7:30 pm

Thurs. Feb. 14
Brunswick @ Albany Academy, 3:30 pm -- makeup of Wed. Feb. 13th

Fri. Feb. 15      
Hoosac @ Hebron, 4:00 pm
Dexter @ Winchendon, 4:00 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Belmont Hill, 5:00 pm
Brooks @ Andover, 5:15 pm
Brunswick @ Gunnery, 5:15 pm
Kimball Union @ Cushing, 5:15 pm
Berwick @ St. Mark's, 5:30 pm
Exeter @ Rivers, 6:00 pm  -- new start time is 6:15 pm
Deerfield @ Williston Northampton, 6:00 pm
Lawrence Academy @ BB&N, 7:15 pm
Thayer @ Milton, 7:15 pm
Académie Saint-Louis @ Brewster Academy, 8:00 pm

Sat. Feb. 16    
Académie Saint-Louis @ Belmont Hill JV, 12:30 pm
Governor's @ St. Sebastian's, 1:00 pm
Lawrence Academy @ St. Mark's, 1:30 pm
Hill School @ Hoosac, 1:30 pm
Choate @ Taft, 2:00 pm
North Yarmouth Academy @ Portsmouth Abbey, 2:00 pm
Pomfret @ Millbrook, 2:00 pm
Proctor @ New Hampton, 2:00 pm
Brooks @ Roxbury Latin, 2:00 pm
Westminster @ Berkshire, 2:30 pm
Holderness @ St. Paul's, 2:30 pm
Salisbury @ Avon Old Farms, 3:00 pm -- cancelled or postponed, TBD
Middlesex @ Rivers, 3:00 pm
Kents Hill @ Dexter, 3:00 pm
St. George's @ Groton, 3:15 pm
Hebron @ Tilton, 4:00 pm
Vermont Academy @ Brewster Academy, 4:00 pm
Thayer @ Tabor, 4:00 pm
Andover @ BB&N, 4:30 pm
Trinity-Pawling @ Hotchkiss, 4:30 pm
Cushing @ Kimball Union, 4:30 pm
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ Loomis Chaffee, 6:00 pm
Exeter @ Deerfield, 6:00 pm
Lawrenceville @ Worcester Academy, 6:00 pm
Kent @ Canterbury, 7:00 pm

Sun. Feb. 17
Lawrenceville @ Pingree, 11:15 am
Hill School @ Worcester Academy, 1:00 pm
Académie Saint-Louis @ Kents Hill, 1:00 pm (S)
Choate @ Northfield Mt. Hermon, 2:00 pm
Avon Old Farms @ Pomfret, 2:30 pm

Mon. Feb. 18
Lawrence Academy @ Milton, 6:00 pm -- makeup of 1/16/19 
Bishop's College School @ Gunnery, 4:30 pm
Hoosac @ Vermont Academy, 5:00 pm
Tabor @ St. George's, 6:00 pm
Holderness @ Proctor, 6:00 pm 


 

Prep Highlights of Saturday, February 9, 2019


-- Kenerson OT goal gives Rhinos win over rival Hotchkiss
-- Saints Sink Penguins
-- KUA blows 3-goal lead, settles for tie
-- Belleavoine OT goal wins it for Williston


@ #6 St. Sebastian's 6, Hoosac 3
-- St. Seb's, going into the third tied with Hoosac at 3-3, sprung to life, scoring three unanswered goals. Freshman Jack Hughes (2g,1a) and junior Connor Joyce (2g) led the Arrows' attack. Seb's is 18-4-0 and riding a 9-game win streak.

@ Belmont Hill 3, BB&N 0 -- Bel Hill got one goal from Andrew Holland and two from Brett Bliss (the second was an ENG). Belmont Hill outshot winless BB&N, 61-8. Bel Hill soph Charlie Lambert picked up an 8-save shutout. BB&N senior John Day (59/61) was the ultimate hard-luck loser. So far this season, Day has a .922 save % for team that has yet to win a game. BB&N is 0-20-1.

@ Proctor 2, Kents Hill 1 --A second period short-handed goal from d-man David Netburn lifted the Hornets (18-7-1) to their 10th win in their last 12 games. Proctor junior G Cole Chingris (21/22) earned the win; Kents Hill junior Max Macchioni (36/38) took a tough loss

#2 Lawrence Academy 2 @ St. Paul's 1 -- A second period goal from LA junior F Conor Lovett held up as the GWG for the Spartans. LA senior Ian Graiff (21/22) and SPS senior Andy Beran (27/29) both had strong games. LA is now 14-1-6; SPS is 14-8-1.

#10 Westminster 2 @ Pomfret 0 -- Junior G Ian Shane posted a 24-save shutout for the Martlets. Pomfret senior G Peyton Durand (40/42) took the tough loss. Westminster improves to 12-5-3. 

St. Mark's 2 @ Middlesex 0 -- Junior Danny Ciccarello scored the GWG in the second period goal, and sophomore D Ian Moore added an ENG late. This was a goalies' game with St. Mark's senior G Alex Cardonick notching a 25-save shutout, while Middlesex senior Joe Stanizzi (43/44) was another of today's hard-luck losers. It's nothing new for Stanizzi, who has a .943 save percentage.

Nobles 3 @ Milton 1 -- Junior Jack Cronin scored 2 goals to lead Nobles here today. Cronin has 5 goals over his last 2 games. Nobles junior G Marc Smith (21/22) earned the win; Milton senior Erik Voloshin (35/38) took the loss.

@ Albany Academy 4, Hebron 2 -- AA got goals from 4 different scorers and PG goalie Kyle Penton kicked out 20 of 22 shots.

Rivers 6 @ Roxbury Latin 2 -- Senior D Cade Webber had 2 goals, and Rivers got goals from 4 other scorers as it won its third straight to improve to 15-7-2.

@ #8 NMH 8, Worcester Academy 1 -- Chris Throndson (2g,1a), Ean Small (2g,1a), Jack Loran (1g,2a), and Grady Friedman (3a) each had 3 points for the Hoggers, who are now 17-5-1.

St. George's 3 @ Brooks 1 -- Sophomore B Jenkinson (2g,1a) figured in all 3 of the Dragons' goals. Senior G Gianni Rodriguez (30/31) earned the win.

@ Brunswick 5, Berkshire 4 -- Down 4-1 at home after two periods, Brunswick sprang to life and scored 4 unanswered goals to win. Brunswick also put an end to its 3-game losing streak, its longest of the season.

Taft 3 @ Hotchkiss 2 (OT) -- An OT goal from senior defenseman Peter Kenerson gave the Rhinos a road win over Hotchkiss, its traditional rival. Senior Finn Walker assisted on Kenerson's game-winner and chipped in with a goal of his own. Taft PG goalie Thomas McAleer (35/37) earned the win. Hotchkiss junior Henry Wilder (25/28) took the loss. The two teams will meet again on the season's final day.

@ Exeter 4, Choate 3 -- Exeter scored four straight goals spanning the first and second periods to take a 4-1 lead. Choate scored the final two goals but couldn't get the equalizer.

Brewster 7, NYA 0 -- Senior Lenny Brochu (2g,2a), junior Max Eckstein (1g,3a), PG Dara Canavan (1g,2a) and senior Ben McCabe (3a) led Brewster's attack. Senior goaltender Chris Dalton (22/22) picked up the shutout.

@ #1 Salisbury 6, Loomis 3 -- Both Salisbury and Loomis scored 3 second-period goals, with Loomis answering each time Salisbury scored. The third period, however, was different, as host Salisbury (20-3-0) scored 3 unanswered goals to win it handily.

Williston 4 @ Millbrook 3 (OT) -- Williston forward James Belleavoine's OT goal -- which capped off the senior's hat trick -- was the story here. Williston had a 3-1 lead midway through the second but Millbrook's Jake Gagnon scored a PPG with 11 seconds remaining in the period, and Kyle Neudorf scored a 6x4 goal with 42 seconds left in regulation. Williston's 6'3" PG goaltender Kyle Breland (29/32) got the win.

@ #3 KUA 4, Holderness 4 -- KUA took a 3-0 lead in the second period, but Holderness scored 3 PPGs before the end of the period to tie it. KUA's Paul Dore scored his second goal of the day on a PP midway through the third,, but Holderness senior F Isaiah Fox scored with the goalie pulled and 57 seconds remaining in regulation. Holderness senior G Connor Androlewicz kicked out 46 shots. KUA outshot Holderness, 50-25.

@ #9 Gunnery 6, Lawrenceville 4 -- Junior F Mark D'Agostino (1g,3a) figured in 4 of Gunnery's 6 goals here today. The win, Gunnery's fifth in a row, improves its record to 19-4-1.

@ Kent 4, T-P 2 -- Junior Dane Dowiak's goal midway through the third broke a 2-2 tie and senior Michael Posma added an ENG with 7 seconds left to give host Kent the win. Gabe Blanchard scored two goals for T-P. 

@ Canterbury 5, Cushing 1 -- This has to be the highlight of Canterbury's tough season, as the Saints improve to 4-19-1 at the expense of Cushing. Senior F Matt Iasenza (2g,1a) led the Saints' attack. Canterbury senior G Connor Cherry (35/36) earned the win, while Cushing junior G Pat Aalto, in his second start of the season, had a tough day (20/25).

@ Avon Old Farms 2, #7 Deerfield 1 -- See full game story below.
 

 

 

Heaslip Goal with 2 Seconds Left Lifts Avon over #7 Deerfield

Avon, Conn. -- As the final few minutes of today's Deerfield-Avon Old Farms game were starting to tick down with the #7 Big Green sitting on a 1-0 lead, there was no reason to expect one goal from the Winged Beavers, much less two goals in two minutes. But that's exactly what happened.

The first -- and tying -- goal came with 2:02 on the clock, as Timothy Heinke finally busted through for the Winged Beavers, beating Deerfield senior goalie Thomas Gale on a backhander of a shot that had rebounded to the sophomore from Berlin, Conn. at the right side of the crease. Heinke didn't miss, making it a 1-1 game that looked to be heading to OT.

Suddenly, the Winged Beavers got a huge break. A gift, really. With seconds to go and Deerfield pressing for the winning goal, the Big Green's left defenseman pinched, vacating the left point. Avon soph Tyler Boucher corraled the puck and tipped it up the boards. As it neared the blue line, Heaslip, a junior center from Fort Worth, Texas, picked it up and was off to the races on a 2-on-0 breakaway with Stefan Miklakos. They didn't waste this gift, as Heaslip passed it to  Miklakos, who sent it right back to Heaslip, who scored with 2 seconds on the clock, sending the home crowd happy.

"It's about time we beat a good team," said Avon head coach John Gardner. "We weren't playing well all game. We had no energy. Our best players weren't productive. But we got lucky at the end."

The final period was Avon's best period. "We finally took the body in the third," Gardner said.

After a fast but sloppy first period mostly played in the neutral zone, Deerfield had its best period in the second, with the Big Green breaking through on the PP, working the puck around the perimeter, from Sean McAvoy to Michael Holland to defenseman Zach Milton who had a nice shooting lane in front of him, and didn't miss.

In the final minute of the second, Deerfield senior goaltender Thomas Gale made a great save to preserve the Big Green's 1-0 lead heading into the third.

"Going into the second intermission, that was a big momentum builder for us," said Deerfield assistant coach Jan Flaska, subbing for head coach Tim McVaugh, who was off for family reasons.

And that momentum almost carried the Big Green to its second win of the season over Avon. But it all fell apart in the final few minutes, after Deerfield had outplayed Avon for 51 minutes.

"You have to finish the game," said Flaska. You just have to do that."

Notes:

Deerfield, which has lost 3 of 5, and Avon, which won for the first time in 3 games, are both 12-7-1 now. But DA has played a tougher schedule and has had success vs. other Top 16 teams in the RPI, eg., beating KUA twice, beating NMH, beating Andover, and beating Avon in their first meeting. All of Deerfield's losses have come against Top 16 teams. In other words, they have had great success beating teams they should beat, and going .500 or better against the iron of the league.


 

#6 St. Seb's Blitzes #2 LA, 9-2

Needham, Mass. -- An NHL scout entering Lane Rink tonight said, "I don't normally care who wins games, but I'm really excited about this one."

Same here, and same for all the fans inside, especially the always-loud Arrows' student section.

But Seb's had all the sizzle tonight, and previously unbeaten LA was all fizzle.

"I don't think anybody expected that," said St. Sebastian's head coach Sean McCann. "I know I didn't."

St. Sebastian's was all over Lawrence Academy, leading 3-1 after one, and 8-2 after the second, before adding one goal in the third.

It's tough enough coming out for the second down by two, but Lawrence took too many penalties, and the Arrows' power play was lethal tonight, moving the puck with quick, short passes and, instead of shooting on the first decent chance they had, Seb's would move it one or more times while waiting to find that wide-open guy.

"They did it in different ways and with different looks," McCann said. "It's nice to see that happen." 

Seb's outscored LA 5-1 in the second, and three of those goals came on the power play, putting the game far out of reach for the visitors.

It wasn't all about Seb's PP, though.

"Our PK played really well tonight," said McCann. "We were in lanes and clearing rebounds." Indeed, Seb's took 12 penalties over the course of the game, one more than LA. And the only power play goal the Spartans scored on was a 5x3.

"You had two really good teams here tonight," McCann added. "We played the game with speed, and moved the puck well. There was a lot of unselfish play."

Junior Liam Connors (hat trick and an assist) and senior Liam Gorman (1g,3a) were the big point accumulators for the Arrows, teaming up on four of their goals. Senior Tommy Lyons notched three assists, and junior Connor Joyce had a pair of goals.

LA junior Tyler Young scored both of his team's goals.

"We had a bad game versus a good team playing playing well and clicking on all cylinders," said LA head coach Robbie Barker. "They really make you pay for your mistakes. We just didn't bring our 'A' game."

As far as seeing his team's first loss of the season, Barker shrugged it off. "That doesn't really bother me," he said. "I'm glad it happened now rather than 2-3 weeks from now. What I am worried about is how we deal with this adversity. Can we bounce back?"

Notes:

There was a minor dustup midway through the third. Seb's JP Milbury was assesed a major and a game misconduct, LA's Matt Connor got a major and DQ for fighting, and Seb's Jayden Struble got a major and a DQ for being the third man in.

Connor and Struble will have to sit out their respective teams' next game. On Saturday, LA will be at St. Paul's (3:00 pm) and Seb's is hosting Hoosac (1:00 pm).

And if you want to look further ahead, the St. Sebastian's-Lawrence rematch is on Wednesday Feb. 20th (4:00 pm) at LA.


 

"Want.to.play.a.game?"

In the famed cult classic, “2001: A Space Odyssey”, the HAL 9000 supercomputer ignores human logic in favor of completing the mission for which it was programmed. Today, we play the role of HAL, and you, the reader, play that of Dave Bowman, one of the surviving astronauts.

The game, based on NEPSIHA results submitted to date, asks what the final regular-season standings will look like and, consequently, who will get into the Elite 8, Large School, and Small School tournaments.

Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL. (Don’t project the final seedings!)

HAL 9000: I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that. (The program has been written; it must be done.)

So here’s how the season's projections are calculated: Take the remaining games in the regular season and simulate the outcome of a Team A vs. Team B matchup based on a comparison of each team’s RPI, record against common opponents, head-to-head results, and game location. The winner of the comparison wins the simulated game. In the event of a comparison tie, the team with the stronger RPI that also has home ice advantage gets the win. Otherwise, it’s a tie game.

Now, while the above calculation works, it’s not 100% accurate. Why? At its root, it assumes that RPI is a static constant, i.e., it does not change from the starting point of a team’s current RPI. To address this issue we’ll utilize recursion.

And what is that?

Step 1) This is recursion. Step 2) Go to step 1.

Of course, this isn’t particularly useful because it never halts -- i.e., it loops endlessly -- but it does illustrate the concept. So let's see how we can go about keeping a running tab of each team's updated RPI throughout the simulated season. We'll proceed as follows: for each game day, recalculate every NEPSIHA team’s RPI using the outcomes of simulated game results for the current game day. Next, feed the entire set of NEPSIHA teams' RPI back to Step 1, along with the aggregate game results, which we will need to determine common opponents and head-to-head criteria. This process is repeated until we reach the end of the regular season, at which point the simulation is finished. Mission accomplished! Well, almost.

With our simulated season results in hand we can now generate projected final RPI, JSPR, and playoff seedings, just as we’ve done for the past several years with the non-projected versions of the same. That's it in a nutshell.

What are we measuring? Basically, the remaining strength of schedule for prep hockey as a whole.

With these projections, we can assess the potential, or lack thereof, of any given team making it into the playoffs. Some bubble teams have a very difficult road ahead, which is exactly what they need heading down the stretch if their goal is the Elite 8. Take Cushing for example. The Penguins have a brutal stretch, playing Andover on Feb. 13, followed by back-to-back games against KUA two days later. If, somehow, they pull off a miracle on ice and win those games, their Elite 8 chances will skyrocket. Nobles, on the other hand, is a bubble team that essentially needs the world to turn upside down for them to get into the Elite 8. They have very weak opponents down the stretch, so every current Top 16 team would have to fall apart for Nobles to have a shot at the Elite 8. Other teams, like Salisbury, are projected to, not surprisingly, run the table. In Salisbury's case they may need to do just that in order to hang on to the #1 seed.

You can view the new projections feature under the main navigation bar (Playoffs >> Season Projections) on desktop, laptop, and tablet systems. For mobile phones, it can be found under the “More” menu. As always, the results are in real time, so with each submitted game result a new simulation is triggered.

It's worth noting that the projection algorithm is self-correcting. That is, with each submitted game result the simulation adjusts to reflect the new state of the prep hockey world. So, take note of how the landscape changes, particularly when a big upset occurs.

Enjoy!

 

 

New USHR Weekly Poll Out

This week's poll is ready and, no surprise, Salisbury is still #1, with a handful of other teams trying to battle their way to the top.

As usual, the next few weeks will be very interesting. Best of luck to all.


USHR Weekly Prep Poll, Week of February 4, 2019




Prep Composite Schedule, Week of Feb. 4th, 2019

Mon. Feb. 4
Worcester Academy @ Groton, 4:45 pm
Wyoming Seminary @ Portledge, 5:30 pm

Wed. Feb. 6
Holderness @ Tilton, 2:00 pm
Kents Hill @ Bridgton Academy, 2:00 pm (S)
Avon Old Farms @ Gunnery, 2:30 pm
Canterbury @ Trinity-Pawling, 2:30 pm
Williston Northampton @ Northfield Mt. Hermon, 3:00 pm
Westminster @ Hotchkiss, 3:00 pm
Middlesex @ Roxbury Latin, 3:00 pm
Deerfield @ Loomis Chaffee, 3:30 pm
Delbarton @ Hill School, 4:00 pm
Brewster Academy @ Pingree, 4:00 pm
Millbrook @ Albany Academy, 4:00 pm
Kimball Union @ Andover, 4:00 pm
Thayer @ Lawrence Academy, 4:00 pm
Lawrenceville @ Brunswick, 4:00 pm
Nichols @ St. Michael's College School, 4:00 pm
St. Paul's @ Cushing, 4:00 pm
Worcester Academy @ Portsmouth Abbey, 4:00 pm
Berkshire @ Kent, 4:30 pm
Groton @ BB&N, 4:30 pm
Vermont Academy @ Stanstead College, 4:30 pm (S)
St. Sebastian's @ Belmont Hill, 4:30 pm
Salisbury @ Taft, 4:45 pm
Proctor @ Exeter, 4:45 pm
New Hampton @ Dexter, 4:45 pm
Milton @ Tabor, 5:30 pm
Pomfret @ Choate, 5:30 pm
Berwick @ Hebron, 5:30 pm
St. Mark's @ Brooks, 5:30 pm
Governor's @ Noble & Greenough, 5:30 pm
Mount Saint Charles Academy @ St. John's Prep, 6:30 pm

Fri. Feb. 8
Culver Academy vs. Northwood Junior, 3:45 pm -- at Nichols Showcase
Vermont Academy @ Winchendon, 4:00 pm
Albany Academy @ Exeter, 5:00 pm -- new start time is 6:00 pm
BB&N @ Middlesex, 5:00 pm
Kimball Union @ New Hampton, 5:00 pm
St. Mark's @ Cushing, 5:00 pm
Belmont Hill @ Thayer, 5:00 pm
Proctor @ Berwick, 5:15 pm
Westminster @ Choate, 5:15 pm -- new start time is 4:30 pm
Governor's @ Andover, 5:30 pm
Lawrence Academy @ St. Sebastian's, 5:30 pm
Roxbury Latin @ Pingree, 5:30 pm
North Yarmouth Academy @ Brewster Academy, 6:00 pm
Gunnery @ Brunswick, 6:00 pm
Shattuck-St. Mary's @ Nichols, 6:00 pm -- at Nichols Showcase
Académie Saint-Louis @ Lawrenceville, 7:00 pm

Sat. Feb. 9
Northwood Junior vs. Shattuck-St. Mary's, 12:00 pm -- at Nichols Showcase
Harvey @ Portsmouth Abbey, 2:00 pm
Hoosac @ St. Sebastian's, 2:00 pm -- new start time is 1:00 pm
BB&N @ Belmont Hill, 2:00 pm
Kents Hill @ Proctor, 2:00 pm
Delta Hockey Academy @ Nichols, 2:15 pm -- at Nichols Showcase
Albany Academy vs. Hebron, 2:30 pm -- at Phillips Exeter
Pingree @ Berwick, 2:45 pm
Deerfield @ Avon Old Farms, 3:00 pm
Rivers @ Roxbury Latin, 3:00 pm -- new start time is 3:30 pm
Lawrence Academy @ St. Paul's, 3:00 pm
Westminster @ Pomfret, 3:00 pm -- new start time is 2:30 pm
Noble & Greenough @ Milton, 3:00 pm
Brewster Academy @ North Yarmouth Academy, 3:15 pm
St. Mark's @ Middlesex, 3:30 pm
Tabor @ Governor's, 3:45 pm
Worcester Academy @ Northfield Mt. Hermon, 4:00 pm
St. George's @ Brooks, 4:00 pm
Taft @ Hotchkiss, 4:30 pm
Berkshire @ Brunswick, 4:30 pm
Williston Northampton @ Millbrook, 4:30 pm
Holderness @ Kimball Union, 4:30 pm
Choate @ Exeter, 5:00 pm
Cushing @ Canterbury, 5:00 pm
Loomis Chaffee @ Salisbury, 5:00 pm
Lawrenceville @ Gunnery, 5:30 pm
Bridgton Academy @ Rice Memorial, 5:45 pm
St. John's Prep @ St Johns Shrewsbury, 6:15 pm
Trinity-Pawling @ Kent, 7:00 pm
Académie Saint-Louis @ Hill School, 7:00 pm
St. Mary's Lynn @ Austin Prep, 8:00 pm

Sun. Feb. 10
Académie Saint-Louis @ Wyoming Seminary, 10:30 am
Northwood Junior @ Nichols, 1:45 pm -- at Nichols Showcase
Northfield Mt. Hermon @ Winchendon, 2:00 pm
Bridgton Academy @ Rice Memorial, 2:00 pm

Mon. Feb. 11
Albany Academy @ Berkshire, 4:30 pm
Portsmouth Abbey @ Groton, 5:00 pm
Pingree @ Middlesex, 5:15 pm
Canterbury @ Gunnery, 5:30 pm 


 

Lamothe, in OT, Leads Groton to 11th Straight Win

Southborough, Mass. -- A goal from senior center Gabriel Lamothe 21 seconds into OT lifted Groton to a 3-2 come-from-behind win over St. Mark's here today.

The win was Groton's 11th straight. After a Jan. 5th OT loss to Brooks, the Zebras record stood at 3-5-2. Now they are 14-5-2 and tied with Rivers at the top of the Eberhart Division of the ISL, both 7-2-0.

"This is a nice cohesive bunch," said Groton head coach Bill Riley. "They believe in each other." 

Today's game was a fun one for the spectators. The pace was fast, the players gave it all they could, and the game was clean. And that's just as things should be with these traditional rivals.

The only goal in the first period came from senior RW Drew Burke, with his team on a 5 vs. 3. Senior Will Torriani and junior Luke Beckstein got assists.

In the second, there was no scoring. Both teams played strong defense, played hard, and kept the goalies from facing too many shots. 

In the third, at the 2:17 mark, junior Danny Ciccarello tied it up at 1-1 for St. Marks, with a goal from in tight, between the crease on the right faceoff circle. Soph Brendan Gibbons got the helper.

Shortly after, 6'3" Groton sophomore goalie Tristan Mecenas stopped the Lions' Gibbons on a partial breakaway down the left side. Seconds later, Mecenas stoned junior Danny Ciccarello on a point-blank shot from the slot. 

Midway through the period, with 7:31 remaining, St. Mark's took a 2-1 lead when senior Connor Berry whacked away at a rebound until he got it past Mecenas.

Groton called a time out. "We were scrambling," Riley said. "Things weren't going our way. They were taking it to us. I just told them, 'We can do this.' I also told them that we had scored over 50 goals on the season and now we had seven minutes to get just one. They settled down and got to work."

It looked like Groton tied it up minutes later as Burke poked the puck over the goal line.  While the players celebrated, the officials gathered and waived it off, saying the puck crossed the line after the whistle.

Finally, with 2:32 left, Groton's Beckstein scored from a scramble in front to tie the game at 2-1.

On to OT, and it didn't take long to end it as Groton's top line center,  junior Gabriel Lamothe got the puck from Burke, stepped around a defender and, cutting crossways across the offensive zone, unleashed a high wrister that cleanly beat St. Mark's senior goaltender Alex Cardonick.

"After they called timeout after we went ahead 2-1, said St. Mark's head coach Carl Corazzini, "they played well down the stretch. We played well for 49 minutes."

"We have to be agressive for the whole game," Corazzini added.

Notes:

Both of these teams are very young, each carrying 11 sophs and freshmen.

For Groton, there were three sophomores who stood out for us. The goaltender, Tristan Mecenas, an October '02 birthdate from Maryland with a year of prep experience, stands 6'3" and has all the earmarks of a Div. I goalie. Basically, he fills a lot of the net, and his movements are economical. Keep an eye on him. He's in a strict rotation with Groton junior Kevin Clark. The two have combined for a 1.74 GAA. Clark has a .943 save percentge, while Macenas is at .941.

Groton also has a couple of sophomore defensemen with a lot of upside. RD Trey Whitehead, from Palmer, Alaska, is small at 5'9", but he has a terrific stick and mobility. LD Thomas Dempsey, a NJ native formerly with the Mercer Chiefs, skates well for his size and leads the defensemen in assists. Actually, there is only one forward who has more assists. Keep an eye on both of those players.

For St. Marks, its top soph, 6'2" RD Ian Moore, is a strong D-I prospect. A few years from now, assuming he keeps working on his game -- and he's much better now than he was as a freshman last year -- he could be playing at a top Div. I program. As they say, he's high end.

Sophs Brendan Gibbons and Jackson Coutu, both forwards, are also big contributors for the Lions. And this is just one class we're talking about.

***
Prep Highlights of Saturday, February 2, 2019

-- Raymond Hat Trick Leads Dexter Past Andover
-- KUA Keeps Hot Streak Going
-- Stanizzi Earns 4th Shutout of Season--

@ Roxbury Latin 5, Milton 2
-- The Mustangs held a 2-0 early lead, but the Foxes came roaring back -- let's asssume foxes roar -- with five unanswered goals, each by a different scorer. Soph Bobby Luca and senior Jack Luca each had a goal and two assists for RL.

Rivers 3 @ Belmont Hill 1 -- Rivers got a goal a period -- from Ryan Rahbany, Michael McEachern, and Matt Cormier -- and junior G Casen Janko stopped 21 of 22 shots.

@ #5 Dexter 5, #9 Andover 2 -- Junior Ben Raymond scored a hat trick (the third goal was an empty-netter) and Bobby Pearl and Aidan Connolly each had a pair of assists to lead Dexter's attack. Dexter senior goalie Derek Mullahy (36/38) earned the win. Andover junior G Charlie Archer  (38/42) took the loss.

#4 NMH 3 @ Vermont Academy 0 -- Senior F Ean Small scored 2 goals to lead NMH past VA, 3-0, today. NMH junior G Connor Hasley (11/11) picked up his 7th shutout of the season.

@ #10 St. Sebastian's 8, Proctor 1 -- Proctor trailed 2-1 over halfway through the second period. Then the walls fell in, with Seb's scoring 6 unanswered goals. Five different Seb's players notched 3 points in this one. Junior G Luke Garritty kicked out 19 of 20 before fellow junior Chris Cataldo (8/8) took over late.

@ Middlesex 3, Brooks 0 -- Joe Stanizzi (28/28) earned his 4th shutout of the season, and Alex Rivet (1g,2a) had a hand in all 3 of his team's goals.

@ KUA 4, New Hampton 2 -- KUA got goals from 4 different scorers and junior Veeti Kohvakka kicked out 28 of 30 to earn the win. Huskies senior Matt Sayles (39/42) was the hard-luck loser. KUA has won 7 in a row and 15 of its last 16.

Tilton 4 @ Exeter 1 -- Exeter took a 1-0 lead into the second, but then Tilton took over, scoring 4 unanswered goals, 2 of which were PPGs and the last one an ENG. Tilton PG goalie Owen Cuddyer (20/21) earned the win. Exeter junior Ryan Welch (21/24) was saddled with the loss.

Albany Academy 6 @ Winchendon 0 -- Cadets PGs Anthony Bono (1g,3a)  and Liam Quinlivan (2g,1a)  led the attack. AA's PG  goaltender Kyle Penton (15/15 in 43:00) and senior Travis Rathwell (6/6 in 11:00) blanked their hosts. That makes 2 straight shutouts for Penton, his 3rd and 4th of the season.

@ Berwick 7, St. George's 4 -- Carson James had a hat trick for Berwick and Tyler Gaulin had 2 goals and an assist to lead Berwick to the home win. For St. George's, Michael Dimascolo (1g,2a) and B Jenkinson (2g) led the attack. This was the first win for Berwick in its last 10 games.

NYA 5, Worcester 4 -- NYA's Clement Delisle-Blais (2g) and Jared Buckner (1g,1a) each had 2 points for NYA. Rory White (1g,1a) and Matt Monopoli (2a) did likewise for Worcester.


Around the Rinks

Groton senior Drew Burke notched a hat trick in Wednesday's 6-2 win over Governor's. The win was Groton's fourth in a row.
Groton senior Drew Burke notched a hat trick in Wednesday's 6-2 win over Governor's. The win was Groton's fourth in a row. (Photo: Groton School)
 
Tilton junior D Jagger Benson scored a pair of first period PP goals to give the Rams an early 2-0 lead Wednesday.
Tilton junior D Jagger Benson scored a pair of first period PP goals to give the Rams an early 2-0 lead Wednesday. (Photo: Dave Arnold Photography)
 
Andover junior G Charlie Archer kicked out 35 of 37 shots in Wednesday's 3-2 win over Tilton.
Andover junior G Charlie Archer kicked out 35 of 37 shots in Wednesday's 3-2 win over Tilton. (Photo: Dave Arnold Photography)
 
Milton's Brandon Tang chases Hotchkiss' Brendan Heywood in Friday action at the Flood-Marr.
Milton's Brandon Tang chases Hotchkiss' Brendan Heywood in Friday action at the Flood-Marr. (Photo: Dave Arnold Photography)