HYANNIS, Mass. – Through four games this season, almost everything has gone Barnstable’s way. And Friday night’s game against Newburyport was no different.
Donnie Brodd nearly matched his season’s output with four points (two goals, two assists) and Dylan Campbell recorded the shutout in his first game of the season in a 6-0 win in the opening round of the Cape Cod Freeze Out.
Their reward? The No. 19 Red Raiders get No. 8 Springfield Cathedral in Saturday’s championship game.
Newburyport will meet Braintree in the consolation game.
Barnstable hadn’t played since last Wednesday, when a last-second goal from Duxbury gave them one point instead of the two they had hoped for. After a nine-day layoff, Barnstable coach Scott Nickerson wasn’t pleased with his what his team showcased despite the lopsided victory.
“I didn’t think we jumped on the puck, I didn’t think we did a lot of things well. We capitalized on some chances to take a lead so that made it a bit easier but we have a long way to go. I thought we weren’t reacting quick enough, I didn’t think we moved the puck quick enough, there’s a lot of things I was disappointed in.”
The Red Raiders did get a solid performance from Campbell, who saw the ice for the first time this year. Campbell gave starting goalie Kevin Huska the night off and looked solid. In Nickerson’s eyes, he was one of the few bright spots.
“He made the saves he had to make, he didn’t give up any bad rebounds, I thought he played the puck well. If you are looking for a strong point that’s certainly was one and that makes us better.”
Offensively, the Red Raiders took advantage of a handful of mental errors from the Newburyport blue line. Kyle Rood and Brodd gave the Red Raiders first period goal but the defensive breakdowns didn’t come until the second period.
The first came when Brodd took the puck up the middle, and sped by both defenders, finding himself alone with goalie David McDonough. Brodd made a quick move to beat McDonough and gave the Red Raides a 3-0 lead.
Less than three minutes later, Brodd found Kevin Conway behind the defense in the neutral zone and fed him a beautiful pass up the middle. Conway took the puck in stride and was off. He beat McDonough stick side seconds later, ending the sophomore goalies night.
“It was nice to get goals from a couple new guys and I thought some of the younger guys played well,” said Nickerson.
Chris Fowler added a power play goal a minute later when he fired a shot off of the initial faceoff to give Barnstable a 5-0 lead heading into the second break.
“Soft” team? Just ask the coach: Clipper coach Paul Yameen was not happy about the effort his team put forth and rightfully so. He was not shy in telling it like it was after the game.
“I don’t think that’s ever happened to us in my 10 years here and its very disappointing because we’re better than that.”
Newburyport didn’t look good all game. Barnstable was faster, hit harder and made plays all night and the Clippers had no answer.
“That’s not how you play hockey, that’s not how we play hockey. I just told them that, I’m embarrassed and that’s the first time in 10 years I’m embarrassed. We are soft. We are a soft team right now and that’s very disappointing because that’s not the way we coach.”
There didn’t seem to be much fight from the Clippers team who fall to 1-3-0 on the season. Things don’t get any easier for Newburyport either as they get No. 22 Braintree in the consolation game Saturday afternoon. Braintree is coming off an ugly 6-0 loss from the hands of Springfield Cathedral and will be looking to take their frustration out on someone.
“I wish we could play in an hour, but we just need to put this one behind us and play our style of hockey, said Yameen. “We’re not an overly skilled team up front so we need to do the little things to score and we’re not doing that. We’re not crashing the net, we’re not sustaining a heavy fore-check.
Taking the body: Barnstable was dishing out the hits like they were going out of style. After taking the constant battering, it softened up the Clippers a bit and they shied away from attacking the net as the game went on.
But Nickerson wasn’t a fan of that style of play and was worried that his teams desire for the big hit would come back to haunt them.
“I think a lot of times where we hit just to hit and hitting just to hit isn’t effective. We need to play the body better and have a purpose to what we are doing or some of these better teams will make you pay. It doesn’t make sense to bang the body and make a lot of noise.”
That statement will the put to the test Saturday against Springfield Cathedral. The Panthers are an experienced group and one missed hit could result in the puck going into the net.
Nickerson already sees his team as underdogs against the No. 8 team and knows it will take a total team effort to pull out a victory but knows a victory isn’t out of the question.
“If you look at them on paper and you go man-to-man, they are loaded and we are only mediocre and its going to take a team effort,” said Nickerson. “There is no doubt we are underdogs. But if we play the way we can and the guys do what they need to do, at the high school level anything is possible.”