HINGHAM, Mass. -- No. 5 Marshfield won the Division 1 state hockey title last season and the Rams are looking to take the leap to the Super 8 level and compete with the very best in Massachusetts.
Hingham gave Marshfield a sample of what that might be like on Monday.
The No. 9 Harbormen posted three goals in the first 1:13 of the third period in a flurry of offensive power to take a 5-1 lead en route to a 6-2 victory over the previously unbeaten Rams in the nightcap of the Ed Taylor Holiday Tournament doubleheader at Pilgrim Ice Arena.
Dual senior captains Matt Hughes and James Gordon provided the third period barrage with a pair of goals apiece, with Hughes scoring bookend goals and Gordon sandwiching in two of his own in the four-goal barrage.
“Great effort by both [Hughes and Gordon] of them and Ryan Linehan, all three of our captains contributed and they scored five of the six goals,” Hingham head coach Tony Messina said. “The first two periods, we had equal pressure and were just fortunate enough to get some 2-on-1s and some breaks there. We only scored four goals in the first three games, so it’s not like we were putting the puck in the net so it was good to get a chance to do that.”
Despite controlling the puck for most of the first two periods of play, Hingham (2-2-0) found themselves clinging to a slim 2-1 lead after two periods.
At 10:15 of the first, Matt Brazel went to the backhand off a pass in front from Sam D’Antuono to finally beat Marshfield’s netminder Kevin Moran, who played extremely well in net with 15 saves in spite of the final score, to help Hingham break the scoreless tie.
Right out of the gates of the second period, Hughes filled the right slot and fired a mid-air pass to Linehan off the left post and Linehan slapped the puck out of the air for the quick 2-0 lead 33 seconds into the second stanza.
But Marshfield made things interesting, as Mike Carbone scored his third goal of the season in as many games at 9:35 of the second period off a scrum out in front of the crease. Brennan Quackenbush was credited with the assist and Carbone’s goal cut the Rams’ deficit in half heading into the decisive third period.
“I mean we have size, but we just weren’t playing the way we are supposed to,” Marshfield head coach Dan Connolly said. “We have to play better, not a little better, a lot better and honestly we were lucky to still be in it after two periods. Hingham just wanted it more.”
Hughes’ first tally was 20 seconds into the period right off the opening faceoff on a quick tip-in out in front of the crease. Gordon immediately followed with his two tallies at 13:59 and 13:47 of the third on back-to-back goals, and the rout was sealed.
The Harbormen outshot the Rams 11-1 in the first 7:20 of the third and were on cruise control the rest of the way with a final 21-15 shot advantage.
Even though the season has barely kicked off, Connolly was hoping this was a litmus test of sorts for his squad to take the next step on the ladder and compete for a Super 8 title as Hingham has been to the big dance nine out of the last 10 seasons.
“We are not even close to being ready to compete at this level and the gap there is so big,” Connolly said. “Unless our kids change things around and start listening to what we need to do, we are in some trouble.”
NO. 18 WEYMOUTH SKATES PAST DUXBURY
In the opener, Tom Goodwin netted the game-winner with 2:08 remaining in regulation as Weymouth edged Duxbury 2-1 in the opener of the Taylor Holiday Tournament at Pilgrim Arena.
Weymouth (1-1-2) picked up their first win on the young season and advance to the tourney finals to face the host Hingham on Thursday night at 8 p.m. Duxbury will face Marshfield in the consolation tilt at 6 p.m.
“I thought we battled pretty good, got some pucks to the net, but we have a lot of new guys here and lost some size due to graduation, but I think we will get better and better as the year goes along," Green Dragons head coach John Blake said. “We have to keep in the back of our minds that we are young, we play a very tough nonleague schedule, but we do that to find out where we are at and what we need to work on.”
After a scoreless first period, Duxbury (1-3-1) took the lead at 6:48 of the second as Cam Daley put the puck in the back of the net but the lead vanished as Joe Flanagan tied it up only 1:29 later as the Duxbury defense couldn’t clear the zone.
Kevin Stevens, former Bruin and 15-year veteran of the NHL also with the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, and Philadelphia Flyers, was in attendance to watch his son, freshman Luke Stevens, compete for ice time with the Duxbury Dragons.
Stevens, who played his high school hockey at Silver Lake and is now a pro scout in the New England area for the Penguins, likes the way Coach Blake handles the rotations on the ice and knows it will only take time for his son to adjust.
“I like how [Blake] works the young kids in and it seems like he does a really good job but this is only my first year with the Duxbury program,” said the four-time NHL All-Star and two-time Stanley Cup Champion. “The biggest thing with any of these programs is finding the balance to mix in the younger kids with the older kids and my kid is only 14 years old competing with 17-year olds, and [Luke]’s played at a high level all his life, but this year will be different.”