Prep Highlights of Sat. Feb. 29, 2020
NYA Wears Holt Crown
Ramirez, Welch Lead Exeter Over Andover
Wilder Posts His Fifth Shutout
Tilton Wins Lakes Region
Wild Boars Win!
Lawrence Academy 4 @ Tabor 0 -- Riley Duran (2g,1a), Conor Lovett (1g,1a), and Blake Humphrey (1a) led the Spartans' scorers. With the win, LA clinched the ISL Keller Division crown for the third time in the last four years. they're also the #1 seed for the Elite 8 and will host #8 Berkshire in a quarterfinal game on Wed. March 4.
@ Pomfret 4, Williston 1 -- PG goaltender Andrew Shearson kicked out 22 of 23 shots, and four Pomfret players got one goal apiece. By winning this game, Pomfret was able to sneak past Proctor in RPI, and gain the #8 spot in the Small School Tournament. They will travel to #1 St. Mark's on Wednesday.
North Yarmouth Academy 3 @ Worcester Academy 1 -- NYA won its second consecutive Holt Conference Championship with the help of goals from Alexandre Saul, Jared Buckner, and Karim Garifulin. NYA senior G Stefan Kulhanek (31/32) earned the win. WA junior G Jack Byrne (27/30) took the loss.
@ Kents Hill 3, Hebron 3 -- Kents Hill took a 3-0 first period lead, but Hebron came right back with three unanswered goals, the last off the stick of senior Enrico Madlangsakay.
Nobles 3 @ Milton 3 -- Nobles senior G Marc Smith (29/32) and Milton junior Chris DeMers (35/38) battled to a draw. Both of these teams advance to the post-season. In the Elite 8, #7 Nobles will be at #2 Avon Old Farms and, in the Large School Playoffs, #7 Milton travels to #2 Brunswick -- or some rink in between, most likely.
@ NMH 4, Hoosac 1 -- The Hoggers got goals from 4 different skaters and senior G Connor Hasley (20/21) picked up the win. Hasley finishes his two-year prep career with a 1.87 gaa and a .936 save percentage. After a year of juniors, he'll be at Bentley.
Berkshire 5 @ Gunnery 2 -- Hayden Riva and Griffin Grise each had 2 goals and Jed Baliotti (26/28) earned the win for Berkshire. The Bears had a funny season. They lost six in a row from late December to mid-January, then went 13-1-1 over the second half for a well-deserved #8 slot in the Elite 8. They will travel to #1 Lawrence Academy on Wednesday. Gunnery was OK early in the season, but a bad February (2-5-2) took them out of the Elite 8 picture. They are the #6 seed in the Small School Tournament and will travel to #3 New Hampton on Wednesday.
St. Paul's 4 @ Holderness 1 -- JT Halliday had 2 goals, Joe Schubert had a pair of assists, and senior G Charlie Murphy (22/23) picked up the win, the last of his three-year prep career.
Exeter 1 @ Andover 0 -- A Reese Ramirez goal at 17:20 of the third period lifted Exeter to a dramatic 1-0 win over rival Andover. The goalies, both seniors, ended their prep careers in high style. Exeter's Ryan Welch, a 4-year starter, stopped all 44 shots he faced for the win. Andover's Charlie Archer, who was a 3-year starter, stopped 38 of 39 shots for the tough-luck loss.
@ St. Mark's 5, Groton 4 -- St. Mark's junior Trevor O'Brien had a hat trick, with the final goal the game-winner, to help defeat Groton, the school where his grandfather, 'Junie' O'Brien, was a long-time coach and teacher. (The new -- make that 'newer' -- rink at Groton is named for him.) Junior D Ian Moore, a Harvard recruit, had a goal and 3 assists for the Lions. As for the Zebras, junior Will Molson (2g,2a) figured in all 4 of their goals. Both teams had excellent seasons, and both are going to the Small School playoffs, St. Mark's as a #1 seed, and Groton as a #4 seed.
@ Tilton 7, Proctor 2 -- In the championship game of the Lakes Region Tournament, Tilton's Jack Seymour (2g,1a), Brett Lockhart (1g,2a), and James Cates (3a) led the way offensively. Senior G Justin Lee (24/26) picked up the win. Tilton is the #5 seed in the Small School Tournament and will be at #4 Groton on Wednesday. Proctor woke up this morning as the #8 seed, but this loss, combined with a Pomfret win, sunk their hopes. This winter, the competition in the Lakes Region was stronger than any year this typist remembers -- and that covers a fair number of years.
@ Hotchkiss 5, Taft 0 -- Senior G Henry Wilder (26/26) posted his 5th shutout of the season. Senior D Nick Traggio had 3 assists and the Bearcats got goals from 5 different scorers. Hotchkiss, the #5 seed, heads into the Elite 8 with a 12-1-2 record in its last 15 games. They will be at #4 Dexter on Wednesday.
Belmont Hill 6, Westminster 3 -- In a game played at Northeastern's Mathews Arena, Westminster carried a 3-2 lead into the third period -- and then proceeded to give up four unanswered goals (the last was an empty-netter). Five different players scored for Belmont Hill, which finished its season at .500 (13-13-3).
Salisbury 3 @ Canterbury 0 -- James Cerepak, Cole Vallese, and Lucas Mercuri scored the goals and senior G Nick Haas posted an 18-save shutout. Canterbury senior G Cal Skwara (46/49) took the loss. On Wednesday, Salisbury, the #3 seed in the Elite 8, will host #6 KUA in a rematch of last year's Elite 8 Title Game, won by KUA, 4-3. The two teams have previously met this year, in the Flood-Marr, and Salisbury won, 4-2.
@ Kimball Union 5, New Hampton 3 -- These two schools have had some exciting matchups this season, and this was the third. In the first game, KUA won, 7-6 (OT), then New Hampton took the next one, 6-3. So this was the rubber match of what looks to be a budding rivalry. It was anticipated that these two would meet for the championship of the Lakes Region Tournament, but both lost in round 1 on Friday. No problem, they'll meet in the third-place game instead. KUA went up 3-0, but New Hampton got the next two, both from Isaac MacLeod, to make it a one-goal game with less than 5 minutes remaining. But KUA's Sullivan Mack (who else?) scored his 42nd goal of the season to make it 4-2. But with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker, New Hampton's Adam Shuchart made it 4-3 with 1:06 left. That's as close as the Huskies got, however, as the Wildcats sccored an empty-netter with 18 seconds left. KUA senior G Veeti Kohvakka (40/43) got the win; New Hampton junior Lucas Brine (37/41) took the loss. KUA, the #6 seed in the Elite 8, will be at #3 Salisbury Wednesday. New Hampton is the #3 seed in the Small School Tournament. They will host #6 Gunnery.
@ St. George's 6, Middlesex 2 -- This was a 2-2 game with 3 seconds remaining in the second period when senior captain Michael DiMascolo (2g,1a) put St. George's up, 3-2; DiMascolo added an insurance goal to make it a 4-2 game early in the third. The Dragons would score a shorty and an empty-netter in the final couple of minutes.
Choate 4 @ Kent 1 -- Choate, which has had a season they'd rather forget, ended on a high note, getting their 4th win of the season at the expense of Kent. Sophomore D Mattie Grabmann scored two goals, including the game-winner for the Wild Boars. In net, PG Tomas Horak (26/27) got the win. Kent junior G Jeremy Siegel (21/25) took the loss. Kent had a good first half, but a poor second half. At 12-12-1, they are the only team in the playoffs without a winning record. The Lions have the #8 seed in the Large School Tournament, and will visit #1 Cushing on Wednesday.
@ Cushing 7, Governor's 3 -- Gov's held a 3-1 lead late in the second period, but then the Penguins got to work, scoring six unanswered goals, five of which came in the third period. Junior Jake Hewitt (1g,3a) led all scorers. Right behind him was junior D Lukas Gustafsson (3a), and junior F Nick Rheaume (2g). Cushing finishes 21-7-3 and is the #1 seed in the Large School Tournament. They will host #8 Kent on Wednesday.
Championship SundaySunday, March 8th Finals
Salisbury, Loomis, Gunnery 2020 Champs
All games at Trinity College; Hartford, Conn. (Limited Parking!)
Elite 8: #3 Salisbury 4, #4 Dexter 0 (FINAL) -- Behind a shutout from Nick Haas, goals by Massimo Lombardi, Dean Bauchiero, Lucas Mercuri, and Matt DeBoer (empty-net), and smart, disciplined hockey from start to finish, Salisbury won the 2020 Elite 8 Championship with a 4-0 win over Dexter.
In the first period, Salisbury's Lombardi, off a faceoff to the left of Dexter freshman G Dylan Silverstein, scored the game's first goal -- and the only goal of the period, one best described as a 'feeling out' period.
The pace picked up significantly in the second period. Dexter had the edge in play, but not on the scoreboard as Salisbury capitalized on a couple of Dexter defensive lapses to take a commanding 3-0 lead into the third period. Salisbury's first goal of the period developed off a 3x2 and led to the Bauchiero-Mercuri-DeBoer line bunched in front of Silverstein. The puck deflected off Bauchiero's skate at the 7:57 mark. 2-0, Salisbury. With a couple of minutes left in the period, a Dexter defenseman pinched, was stripped of the puck, and the Lucas Mercuri line was off to the races, Mercurio finishing to make it 3-0 Salisbury.
In the third, Salisbury stuck to its plan, playing sound positional hockey in all three zones. Dexter failed to get into their game due to uncharacteristic mistakes at critical moments, such as taking two penalties during a 5-minute powerplay just over halfway through the period. Haas's work in net didn't give Dexter much of a chance to get into the game, either. He didn't have to make exceptional saves, but he stayed square to the puck and challenged shooters when needed.
Large School: #3 Loomis 2, #1 Cushing 0 (FINAL) -- Loomis junior G Kyle Chauvette blanked Cushing, 2-0, and got the only goal he needed from senior Cody Hoban with 48 seconds left in the first period. Hoban, who suffered a bad knee injury in Loomis's 7-0 loss to Avon on Jan. 29th, and was expected to be out for the season, came back for the three playoff games and today came through with a big goal when his team needed it. The other hero for Loomis was Chauvette, who was excellent, and just got better as the game went along. The third period was his best, as Cushing peppered him and increased the pressure as the period went along. In the last few minutes, he made several 10-bell saves. The New Hampshire native was the difference in this game. In the final minute, Adam Martin notched an empty-netter. Cushing played a sound game, with very good team defense. Freshman G Jackson Irving was also very good, but wasn't tested to the degree Chauvette was. In the main, this was a well-played game by both teams. Could have gone either way, but Chauvette wouldn't allow it.
Small School: #6 Gunnery 5, #8 Pomfret 3 (FINAL) 12:30 pm -- In an exciting, chippy, end-to-end game with a ton of wild goal-mouth scrums, Pomfret scored 3 first period goals to take a 3-1 lead into the second period. Alas, they would score no more, as Gunnery, powered by a hat trick from senior Zander Lizotte, scored the next four goals. Gunnery goals by Alex Jefferies (2) and Lizotte (3). Pomfret goals from sophomore Carter Rugg, and seniors Tyler Bourque, and Ryan Kosinski. Pomfret played gritty and hard and deserved to be here. A #8 seed, they beat St. Mark's and Groton in the quarters and semis, respectively. After a rough first period, Gunnery senior G Carmine Andranovich settled down and was excellent from there out.
Saturday, March 7th Semifinals Scoreboard
Elite 8 Semifinals:
@ #4 Dexter 3, #8 Berkshire 0
#3 Salisbury 4, #2 Avon 3 (OT) -- Matt DeBoer OT game-winner
Large School Semifinals:
@ #1 Cushing 4, #4 St. Sebastian's 2
#3 Loomis 5 @ #2 Brunswick 2
Small School Semifinals:
#8 Pomfret 4 @ #4 Groton 0
@ #6 Gunnery 5, #7 Rivers 2
Sunday, March 8th Championship Schedule:
All games at Trinity College; Hartford, Conn.
Small Schools: #8 Pomfret vs. #6 Gunnery, 12:30 pm
Large Schools: #1 Cushing vs. #3 Loomis, 2:30 pm
Elite 8: #3 Salisbury vs. #4 Dexter, 5:00 pm
2020 ALL-NEPSAC Teams
*As voted on by the league coaches
East -- First Team
Sullivan Mack, KUA, Sr.
Danny Ciccarello, St. Mark's, Sr.
Tomas Mazura, KUA, Sr.
Ian Moore, St. Mark's, Jr.
John Fusco, Dexter, Sr.
Connor Hasley, NMH, Sr.
East -- Honorable Mention
Isaac MacLeod, New Hampton, Sr.
Casey Severo, Nobles, Sr.
Marcus Joughin, New Hampton, Sr.
Luca Fantilli, KUA, Jr.
Lukas Gustafsson, Cushing, Jr.
Mason Kucenski, Vermont Acadeny, Jr.
West -- First Team
Aidan Thompson, Berkshire, Sr.
Alex Jefferies. Gunnery, Sr.
Briggs Gammill, Berkshire, Sr.
Tabor Heaslip, Avon, Sr.
Jerod Crespo, Salisbury, Sr.
Nick Traggio, Hotchkiss, Sr.
Henry Wilder, Hotchkiss, Sr.
West -- Honorable Mention
Lucas Mercuri, Salisbury, Sr.
Gavin Puskar, Hotchkiss, Sr.
Jacob Quillan, Salisbury, Sr.
Aidan Cobb, Kent, Sr.
Drew Tsakounis, Avon, Jr.
Zack Bookman, Millbrook, Sr.
Thomas Horak, Choate, Sr.
Elite 8 Quarterfinals
Gammill OT Goal Stuns #1 LA; Salisbury Eliminates KUA
#8 Berkshire 3 @ #1 Lawrence Academy 2 (OT) -- Senior Briggs Gammill's goal at 9:13 of overtime lifted #8 Berkshire to an upset win over #1 Lawrence.
A Yale recruit, Gammill (2g,1a) figured in all of of Berkshire's goals. Berkshire senior Logan Green assisted on two goals, the second being the OT game-winner.
LA outshot Berkshire, 48-17. Berkshire junior goalie Jed Baliotti (46/48) -- along with Gammill, of course -- was the difference in the game.
After a scoreless first period, Lawrence got on the board first, on a Holt Oliphant goal at 7:29 of the second period. Gammill answered with his first goal with 2:52 left in the period.
In the third, Lawrence took a 2-1 lead on a Riley Duran goal at 5:41, but the lead was short-lived, as LA got into penalty trouble, giving Berkshire a two-man advantage. And Bears' senior Aidan Thompson, a Denver recruit, tied it up, 2-2, at the 8:50 mark. Junior D Abdoul Diouf and Gammill got the assists.
Then came OT and Gammill's goal that propelled #8 Berkshire into Saturday's semifinals. They'll be at #4 Dexter for a 3:00 pm start. Lawrence (22-3-2) had a terrific season, but this one will sting for a while.
@ #2 Avon 6, #7 Nobles 3 -- Junior JP Turner had a 5-point day (3g,2a), figuring in all of the Winged Beavers' goals except for the empty-netter with 37 seconds left. The hat trick was Turner's first in his two-year Avon career. The five-point game was a first, too.
The two teams were tied 2-2 at the first intermission. Nobles took a 3-2 lead on a Jack Cronin powerplay goal just 17 seconds into the second period. It was the last goal they'd score, as the Winged Beavers took flight with four unanswered goals. And it was Turner who turned things around with a short-handed goal at 5:18 of the second to tie it at 3-3. Junior Brendan Williams, assisted by juniors Paul Davey and Turner, gave Avon its second lead of the game, and one they would not relinquish.
In the third period, Turner completed his hat trick with a powerplay goal at the 8:38 mark to make it 5-3. Nick Cyprian would score an empty-netter to wind up the game at 6-3.
Avon junior G Connor Callaghan (23/26) got the win. Nobles' senior Marc Smith (33/38) took the loss.
Nobles finishes up at 18-6-3. Avon is 24-2-0 and hosts Salisbury in a Saturday semifinal. Game time is 3:30 pm.
#3 Salisbury 7, #6 KUA 4 @ (at Westminster) -- A Jake Quillan hat trick and two goals from Lucas Mercuri led Salisbury to the 7-4 win and a semifinal matchup at Avon on Saturday at 3:30 pm.
KUA took a 2-0 first-period lead on a pair of Sullivan Mack goals, his 42nd and 43rd of the season. Early in the second, KUA senior Tomas Mazura scored a short-handed goal to make it 3-0, KUA. That's when Salisbury scored three of its own, the first two from Quillan and the third from sophomore Oliver Frontini, to tie the game at 3-3. KUA took a 4-3 lead on a powerplay goal by senior D Teddy Griffin at 14:39. The lead lasted all of 18 seconds. Salisbury senior Lucas Mercuri squeezed in a pair of goals before the end of the period to give the Crimson Knights a 5-4 lead, and this time they'd hold it in a firm grip.
Early in the third, a Dean Bauchiero powerplay goal gave Salisbury a 6-4 lead. With the empty-netter, Quillan had his hat trick, and Salisbury had eliminated KUA, which had edged Salisbury, 4-3, last March to win its third straight prep crown. Before KUA's run, the last team to three-peat was Salisbury, from 2013 to 2015. And now that their nemesis is out of the way, perhaps Andrew Will's team can start another run of Elite 8 championships. First, though, they have a big task in front of them Saturday as they head down Route 44 to #2 Avon for a 3:30 pm semifinal.
@ #4 Dexter 5, #5 Hotchkiss 2 -- Scroll waaay down for the full game story.
Saturday's Elite 8 Semifinal Schedule
#8 Berkshire @ #4 Dexter, 3:00 pm
#3 Salisbury @ #2 Avon, 3:30 pm
Large School Quarterfinals:
High Seeds Advance to Saturday's Semifinals
#1 Cushing 8, #8 Kent 3 (at Deerfield) -- Kent, with 1 win in its final 7 games, did not come into this game with any kind of confidence. And things didn't get any better here, as the #1 Penguins, with only 1 loss in their last 16, came in with a ton of momentum and got right to business. Seniors Max Dorrington (3g,2a) and Connor Wood (1g,3a); freshman Cam Lund (4a); and juniors Nick Rheaume (1g,2a), D Lukas Gustafsson (1g,1a), and Billy Norcross (1g,1a) all had multiple points to lead the Cushing attack. Cushing outshot Kent, 45-26. Cushing sophomore D Jackson Dorrington was assessed a major and a game misconduct for head contact. The Penguins, now 22-7-3, host #4 St. Seb's (17-9-1) Saturday at 1:00 pm.
#2 Brunswick 7, #7 Milton 1 (at Wesleyan) -- Senior Will Forrest (2g), junior Michael Salandra (2g), and seniors Connor Sullivan (1g,1a) and Henry Foster (2a) each had two points. Sophomore Andon Cerbone and freshman Beanie Richter each had a goal. Junior G Alexander Rohlf (24/25) picked up the win. Brunswick outshot Milton, 44-25. Brunswick (18-7-2) hosts #3 Loomis Saturday afternoon at 2:30 pm.
#3 Loomis 4, #6 Deerfield 2--- Junior Luke Steele needed all of 28 seconds to get Loomis on the board. Less than two minutes later senior D Mathieu Schneider put the Pelicans up, 2-0. After that opening salvo, host Loomis wouldn't score again -- for the rest of the first and all of the second period. In the third, the teams traded goals. Deerfield senior Connor Guest cut the lead to one with a powerplay goal at 3:58. Loomis went up 3-1 with a powerplay goal of their own off the stick of Jake Sigal. But Deerfield junior Ben Zimmerman got it right back to cut Loomis's lead to 3-2. Deerfield pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, but no dice. Chris Hibson's empty-netter with 27 seconds left was just icing on the cake. Loomis junior G Kyle Chauvette (26/28) earned the win; Deerfield senior G Justin Prete ended his prep career by kicking out 39 of 42 shots, a hard-luck loss. Loomis, now 15-7-4, is at #2 Brunswick (18-7-2) for a Saturday semifinal. Faceoff is at 2:30 pm.
#4 St. Sebastian's 2, #5 Thayer 0 -- Host St. Seb's senior Connor Joyce scored just 1:20 into the game, with an assist to senior Liam Connors. The Arrows would add a powerplay goal at 10:57, Connors from juniors Brendan Dumas and Thomas Messineo. No goaltending stats were available. St. Seb's (17-9-1) will travel to #1 Cushing (22-7-3) for a semifinal Saturday at 1:00 pm.
Saturday's Large School Semifinals:
#4 St. Sebastian's @ #1 Cushing, 1:00 pm
#3 Loomis @ #2 Brunswick, 2:30 pm
Small School Quarterfinals
#8 Pomfret, #7 Rivers, #6 Gunnery, #4 Groton All Advance
#8 Pomfret 4 @ #1 St. Mark's 3 (at NESC) -- A shorthanded goal by senior Kyle Tomaso at 13:22 of the third period broke a 3-3 tie and lifted #8 seed Pomfret to a stirring 4-3 win in a neutral site game played at the New England Sports Center due to warm weather potentially affecting the ice at St. Mark's Gardner Rink.
Tomaso's game-winner was his third goal of the game. Senior linemate Tyler Bourque had an assist on it, as he also did on Tomaso's first goal of the night, which came just 20 seconds into the second period and erased the 1-0 lead St. Mark's jumped out to early in the first on a Danny Ciccarello goal, his first of two goals on the night.
Within the first seven minutes of the second, Pomfret would score twice more on goals by PG forward Jake Hughes and Tomaso to make it 3-1. Ciccarello would come back with this second goal at 10:00 to cut the Griffins' lead to one.
Early in the third, at 2:20, St. Mark's tied it up at 3-3 on a goal by junior defenseman and Harvard recruit Ian Moore, assisted by Trevor O'Brien. For the next 11 minutes the teams remained deadlocked until Tomaso completed his hat trick and sent Pomfret, which only secured a playoff spot on the last day of the regular season, when they moved ahead of Proctor. Pomfret is 16-11-3, has won 5 in a row, and will be at #4 Groton (22-7-0) for a semifinal matchup on Saturday at 3:00 pm.
St. Mark's had a terrific season, finishing 22-5-2. Cicarello, a senior, finished with a 34-36-70 line in 29 games, giving him a best-of-preps 2.41 PPG average. Junior defenseman Ian Moore, a Harvard recruit, added to his reputation and is likely to go in the first 3-4 rounds of June's NHL draft.
#7 Rivers 3, #2 Millbrook 0 (at Berkshire School) -- In a game played at the Berkshire School, Millbrook, which had gone all season without being shut out, was blanked by Rivers senior goaltender Casen Janko, who turned away 17 shots, many of them tough chances, for his fourth shutout of the season. The game-winning goal was also the game's first goal, at 5:30 of the second period. With the puck at the end boards behind the Millbrook net, where seniors Michael McEachern and Phillip Tresca were battling a couple of Millbrook defenders for the puck, McEachern worked it free and got it out front to senior Matt Cormier who was uncovered in the slot. Cormier snapped off a quick wrister. Late in the third period, on a delayed boarding major, Rivers carried the puck the length of the ice. Junior D Sam Amato centered it to Coleman Nee who scored an insurance goal to make it 2-0. In the final minute, McEachern scored an empty-netter. Rivers outshot Millbrook, 21-17. On Saturday, Rivers (14-10-1) will be at #6 Gunnery for a 1:00 pm semifinal.
#6 Gunnery 5, #3 New Hampton 2 (at Cushing Academy) -- Gunnery scored three goals in the game's first 5 minutes -- the first two from Merrimack recruit Alex Jefferies, and the third from junior F Daniel Sambuco -- and never looked back. Gunnery senior G Carmine Andranovich (43/45) earned the win, and New Hampton PG Robbie Farrell (38/42) took the loss. Gunnery (17-12-3) came into the game having lost 3 of its last 4, but snapped to life here. New Hampton also entered the playoffs on a cold streak (0-2-2) but found that it didn't get better here. Nonetheless, New Hampton had an outstanding season, going 21-10-4 under first year head coach Connor Gorman and 'retired' assistant Joe Marsh. The Huskies split games vs. Elite 8 teams KUA and Dexter. The Huskies turned the corner, going from an under .500 team last year to the postseason this year.
@ #4 Groton 6, #5 Tilton 4 -- Tilton exploded for 4 goals in a span of 3 minutes in the first period to chase Groton starting goaltender Kevin Clark and take a 4-0 lead into the first intermission. But that was it for the Rams, as Groton fought back with 6 unanswered goals -- 2 in the second and 4 in the third, including an empty-netter. Senior forward Luke Beckstein led the way with a hat trick plus an assist. Ronan Doherty, Max Noll, and Nico Bowden scored the other three. And Groton sophomore G Tommy Giroux, in relief, kicked out all 19 shots he faced. On Saturday, Groton (22-7-0) will host #8 Pomfret (16-11-3) in a semifinal at 3:00 pm.
Saturday's Small School Semifinals:
#8 Pomfret @ #4 Groton, 3:00 pm
#7 Rivers @ #6 Gunnery, 1:00 pm
#4 Dexter Blitzes #5 Hotchkiss
Brookline, Mass. -- Whether it was a case of bus legs -- Hotchkiss is nearly three hours from Boston -- or just the immensity of the moment playing in the Elite 8 in front of a packed house, but #5 seed Hotchkiss was blitzed by #4 Dexter with three goals in the first half of the opening period en route to a 5-2 win here Wednesday.
It happened fast. Dexter went up, 1-0, just 2:17 into the game when junior Connor Blanchard on a developing 3-on-1, hit senior Ben Raymond with a great pass and Raymond, using his considerable speed, cut down the wing and took it straight to the net, bearing down on Hotchkiss goaltender Henry Wilder, in a flash. 1-0, Dexter.
A couple of minutes later, at 4:23, senior center Aidan Connolly took a stretch pass and broke in on a 2-on-1 with Jack Dempsey, who put it short-side past Wilder. Bing. 2-0, Dexter.
Less than three minutes later, at 7:20, Dempsey, from in front of the Hotchkiss bench and just inside the Hotchkiss blue line, spotted Connolly with a cross-ice pass. Connolly, off the cycle, beat Wilder stick-side to make it 3-0.
Dexter used its team speed, quick puck movement, and some terrific stretch passes from its ultra-mobile defensemen to send wave after wave into the Hotchkiss zone. It was, if we can borrow from Dustin Pedroia, a laser show.
But Hotchkiss, to its credit, and Wilder, pumped the brakes on Dexter. And anyway, Dexter wasn't going to play a full game vs. Hotchkiss at that tempo. They're not aerobic freaks.
Hotchkiss, settled down by now, got its first legit scoring opportunity halfway through the period -- a couple of good chances, actually. Dexter's freshman goaltender Dylan Silverstein, an '04, was up for them, though.
But with 6:29 left in the period, there was a little miscommunication between Silverstein and one of his defensemen. Silverstein, who should have covered the puck, instead played it and the puck wound up behind the goal line where sophomore Karsen Dorwart, Hotchkiss's big top-line center, put it right on the stick of senior linemate Gavin Puskar, whose shot from the slot beat Silverstein to cut the Dexter lead to 3-1.
With 3:08 left in the period, the Bearcats almost made it a one-goal game as the puck went in the Dexter net, but the goal was waved off because the net was off its mooring.
At the first intermission, down by two goals, Hotchkiss had a fighting chance -- if they got a few breaks.
But they didn't. Instead, Dexter went up, 4-1, at 3:40 of the second period on a goal that deflected off Wilder's skate and into the net. Clearly a goal, but for reasons unknown, was initially disallowed. There was a delayed penalty behind the play, against Hotchkiss. After the officials huddled (for too long), the call was reversed and the goal was awarded to Connolly, his second of the game, from Dempsey. The Bearcats killed off the ensuing penalty.
Then the refs, who called a poor game, called three consecutive penalties on Hotchkiss, each coming as soon as the previous penalty expired. For all practical purposes, Hotchkiss was on the penalty kill for a full six minutes. They did a good job killing it, but they also lost six minutes they could have used to create a scoring opportunity and get back into the game while there was still a reasonable amount of time left. But they were winded and, as the third penalty was about to expire, a Matt Fusco shot from the point rebounded off the end boards and right onto the stick of sophomore Culin Wilson, who made it 5-1.
The third period was anticlimactic. Hotchkiss junior Andrew Esposito, from the side of the net, took a bad-angle shot that deflected off Silverstein with 4:13 to play to cut it to 5-2. And that was it.
Shots were 26-20 in favor of Dexter, though it didn't feel that close.
Dexter will host #8 Berkshire in a Saturday semifinal at 3:00 pm.
"We came in thinking it would be very hard to score on Wilder," said Dexter coach Dan Donato. "He has a great reputation and he's going to BC. And BC doesn't miss on too many goaltenders. So we had that respect factor."
"I thought it was really great to see our guys jump out to a 3-0 lead. And they were like 'OK. We can do this.'"
Down the hall, Hotchkiss head coach Mike Traggio said, "It wasn't quite our day."
They sure did have a great year, though. Going from 11-11-2 in '18-19 to a #5 seed in the Elite 8 is something to remember, even if it takes a while to sink in.
Wed. 3/4/20, Final
Saturday's Semifinal Game Times Included
Wednesday, March 4th Quarterfinals Scoreboard
Elite 8 (Stuart/Corkery Tournament)
#8 Berkshire @ #1 Lawrence -- Berkshire 3, LA 2 (OT) Briggs Gammill OT goal
#7 Nobles @ #2 Avon -- Avon 6, Nobles 3
#6 KUA @ #3 Salisbury -- Salisbury 7, KUA 4
#5 Hotchkiss @ #4 Dexter -- Dexter 5, Hotchkiss 2
Saturday, March 7th Elite 8 Semifinal Schedule:
Winner of 1/8 vs. winner of 4/5 -- #8 Berkshire @ #4 Dexter, 3:00 pm
Winner of 3/6 vs. winner of 2/7 -- #3 Salisbury @ #2 Avon, 3:30 pm
Large School (Martin/Earl Tournament)
#8 Kent @ #1 Cushing -- Cushing 8, Kent 3
#7 Milton @ #2 Brunswick -- Brunswick 7, Milton 1
#6 Deerfield @ #3 Loomis -- Loomis 4, Deerfield 2
#5 Thayer @ #4 St. Seb's -- St. Seb's 2, Thayer 0
Saturday, March 7th Large School Semifinal Schedule:
Winner of 1/8 vs. winner of 4/5 -- #4 St. Sebastian's @ #1 Cushing, 1:00 pm
Winner of 3/6 vs. winner of 2/7 -- #3 Loomis @ #2 Brunswick, 2:30 pm
Small School (Piatelli/Simmons Tournament)
#8 Pomfret @ #1 St. Mark's -- Pomfret 4, St. Mark's 3
#7 Rivers @ #2 Millbrook -- Rivers 3, Millbrook 0
#6 Gunnery @ #3 New Hampton -- Gunnery 5, New Hampton 2
#5 Tilton @ #4 Groton -- Groton 6, Tilton 4
Saturday, March 7th Small School Semifinal Schedule:
Winner of 1/8 vs. winner of 4/5 -- #8 Pomfret @ #4 Groton, 3:00 pm
Winner of 3/6 vs. winner of 2/7 -- #7 Rivers @ #6 Gunnery, 1:00 pm
Note to all schools planning on streaming playoff games: Please let us know the Internet address by writing email@example.com We will publish the list.
Sun. 3/1/20 -- Updated Wed. 3/4, Noon
Please send any livestream web addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday's Quarterfinal Matchups
Neutral site games are marked with an asterisk. We will fill in missing game times as they become available. Please send any livestream wed addresses to email@example.com
Note: Brunswick-Milton, originally scheduled for Choate, has been moved to Wesleyan. 5:00 pm faceoff.
Elite 8 (Stuart/Corkery Tournament)
#8 Berkshire @ #1 Lawrence -- @ Lawrence, 3:30 pm https://www.localsportsproductions.com/live/
#7 Nobles @ #2 Avon -- @ Avon, 5:00 pm https://www.avonoldfarms.com/athletics/live-stream/watchhockey
#6 KUA @ #3 Salisbury -- @ Westminster, 4:00 pm* https://www.salisburyschool.org/athletics/livestream-action
#5 Hotchkiss @ #4 Dexter -- @ Dexter, 4:00 pm Game will be on Hockey TV. Scroll listings for March 4.
Large School (Martin/Earl Tournament)
#8 Kent @ #1 Cushing -- @ Deerfield, 3:30 pm* https://www.cushing.org/live-webcast-channel or https://events.locallive.tv/events/37077
#7 Milton @ #2 Brunswick -- @ Wesleyan, 5:00 pm* locallive.tv/brunswick
#6 Deerfield @ #3 Loomis -- @ Loomis, 3:30 pm https://www.loomischaffee.org/athletics/sports-information-center/livestream
#5 Thayer @ #4 St. Seb's -- @ St. Seb's, 4:00 pm
Small School (Piatelli/Simmons Tournament)
#8 Pomfret @ #1 St. Mark's -- @ St. Mark's, 5:00 pm -- moved to NESC Rink 1 @ 6:00 pm
#7 Rivers @ #2 Millbrook -- @ Berkshire, 5:00 pm* https://berkshireschool.gameonstream.com/
#6 Gunnery @ #3 New Hampton -- @ Cushing, 3:30 pm* https://www.gunnery.org/athletics/games-schedules
#5 Tilton @ #4 Groton -- @ Groton, 4:15 pm www.youtube.com/channel/UCk2-I-ODuowgaY3nAvFiw_Q