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Sunday, February 19, 2012
Cape Cod Classic: Super 8 preview?

By Scott Barboza



FALMOUTH, Mass. -- One week from Saturday, the Super 8 hockey committee will convene and assemble the field of the state’s premier tournament. Both No. 4 Hingham and No. 7 BC High almost assuredly will be among the teams making the cut.

But if Saturday’s matchup between the two clubs to open the Cape Cod Classic tournament was any indication of what is to come, Bay State hockey fans in for one might fine tournament.

The Eagles and Harbormen skated to a 1-1 tie, as it will be entered in the MIAA’s scorebook. Hingham’s Ryan Linehan scored with 25 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.

After a five-minute overtime period, BC High netminder Peter Cronin and Hingham counterpart John Grenier continued trading saves. Finally, Eagles senior captain and defenseman Brian Furey sent BC High along to the winner’s bracket with the first and only goal of the shootout in its seventh round.

“[Grenier] was playing aggressive, so I figured I’d fake the shot and have some room stuff it in, and I did,” Furey said.

BC High (9-5-4) claimed the lead at 12:54 of the second period with defenseman Sam Topham rifling a slapshot past Grenier, glove side.

The Eagles appeared to be well on their way to two points in the third period, controlling play in Hingham’s end for the bulk of the stanza. BC High continued to hem the Harbormen, even in the minute. Hingham (14-4-2) had been unable to pull Grenier for an extra attacker when senior captain winger Matt Hughes made his way through the neutral zone with about 30 seconds remaining.

After the puck was chipped up the boards, Hughes gained the blue line and played a perfect cross-ice pass onto Linehan’s stick. Linehan’s one-timer slid past Cronin for the tying goal.

“We had an injury on that play, the guy jumped over the boards, he kind of got caught in no-man’s land,” BC High head coach John Flaherty said. “If he’d gotten a piece of him, maybe it doesn’t happen. It was just a good hockey play by Hingham. [Hughes] made a great pass, [Linehan] one-timed it and it ended up in the back of the net.”

HE’S A GAMER
Hughes missed part of the second period with a shoulder injury, after he was ridden into the boards awkwardly on a check. He returned later in the game, playing in pain. Although his status going forward is day-to-day, Hughes’ returned paid dividends.

“It was a nice pass, and it was a lot of guts coming back," Harbormen head coach Tony Messina said. "I don’t know what the extent of his should injury is going to be, but he said he could play with the pain. And he did a great job.”

FINISH WITH A FUREY
With most of BC High’s forward options exhausted in the shootout, and with no end in sight, John Flaherty glanced down his bench at his available shooters. Furey nodded back toward the Eagles bench boss. Flaherty signaled back toward center ice.

After watching six of this teammates fail to convert against Grenier, Furey knew exactly what to do with the puck.

Although the thought of letting a Chara-like slapshot from the between the circles did cross his mind.

“I don’t quite have a 108-mile-per-hour slap shot though,” Furey added.

ARCHIES 4, NO. 20 FALMOUTH 1
In the Classic's nightcap, Archbishop Williams (8-8-1)  completed half of the work they needed to accomplish on Cape Cod with a 4-1 win over the host Falmouth Clippers (12-4-5).

Archies head coach Derackk Curtis was not very pleased with his team’s overall effort, but the Bishops did enough to pull to within one win of qualifying for the MIAA state tournament.

“That wasn’t our best game…I thought that we’d come out with a little more urgency,” Curtis said.

AW was outshot by the Clippers 26-12 for the game, but did the most of with the pucks they did put on Falmouth’s Petey Negri as the scored goals on 3 of their first 5 shots on net in the contest.

With a pair of goals just 32 seconds apart in the first period AW took a 1-0 lead into the locker room after one. Mike Sorenti sniped one inside the near side post at the 6:42 mark of the first. Then, before the dust settled on that one, Sean Leblanc chopped one in from the doorstep to give the visitors at 2-0 lead.

Falmouth came out like gangbusters to start the second period and picked up the tempo, but AW held the fort as goalie Joe Vinay (25 saves) made a handful of big stops, the best of which was on a doorstep bid by Cyrus Wickersham at the five minute mark.

With a goal on their first shot of the second period, at 5:24 by Falmouth resident Mike Jessman, AW was in the driver’s seat.

FHS broke through at 13:36 of the second to cut the deficit to 3-1 when Nick Lineaweaver netted a power play goal off a nice feed across the crease from Ben Taylor. The air quickly left the Clippers’ balloon, though, as AW got a power play goal just 15 seconds later, off the stick of Bill Sweezey, that made it 4-1. AW scored its four goals all on their first eight shots on net.

AW will meet surprise winner Waltham, Monday at 7 p.m.. Falmouth squares off with Arlington Catholic at 3 p.m.

NO. 18 AUSTIN PREP 4, DUXBURY 1
BC High will face Austin Prep on Monday after the Cougars qualified for the Division 1 North tournament in a 4-1 win over Duxbury.

Cam Russo, Nolan Vesey and Scott Corcoran all scored in the first period, putting AP (9-6-3) in the driver's seat.

WALTHAM 3, NO. 17 ARLINGTON CATHOLIC 2
Although the Hawks are out of postseason contention, they put on an impressive display early on against the Cougars.

Waltham (4-11-3) ran out to a 3-0 lead by the second intermission, before the Cougars (9-6-4) scored twice in the third to make a game of it.

(Reporting from Rich Maclone was included in this story.)