Sunday, March 3, 2013
NEPSAC: Brooks 4, Kents Hill 1
By Roger Brown
SALEM, N.H. – Pretty much everything went right for the Brooks School boys hockey team Sunday morning, and not much went right for Kents Hill.
Third-seeded Brooks stuck with its defensive game plan and it paid off with a 4-1 triumph in the New England Prep School's Piatelli/Simmons Tournament at the Icenter.
Brooks scored in every period and limited Kents Hill to 15 shots on goal.
“They put a lot of pressure on us and forced us to make some bad plays,” Kents Hill coach Larry Cockrell said. “I thought their forecheck pressure was very good, and when we did get it down in their end they kept everything to the outside – that's a good recipe. Our strength is transition, and they took that away.”
Cam Armstrong, K.J. Moore, Ian Speliotis and Nick Vasilopoulos scored for Brooks, which raised its record to 18-7-5.
Brooks surrendered two goals in its three tournament games, which included victories over sixth-seeded Middlesex (4-0) and fifth-seeded Tilton (2-1).
“We're a very disciplined team defensively,” Brooks coach Dave Ries said. “We played our system as a team, and every kid competed hard.
“This is the first one [championship] in our program's history, which is huge. It's a good group of kids who do things the right way.”
Brooks led 1-0 after one period and 3-1 entering the third. Kents Hill trailed 3-0 until junior forward Drew Sommerhoff scored with 3:35 left in the second. Sommerhoff was called for roughing Brooks goaltender Colin Langham on the play, however, which killed any momentum Kents Hill had generated.
Top-seeded Kents Hill, which completed its season with a 23-8-2 record, defeated Millbrook (4-1) and Holderness (5-1) earlier in the tournament.
“We knew they had a lot of offensive weapons,” Brooks forward Mitch Nylen said. “Everyone knew their role, stuck to it and it paid off in the end. This is the best payout possible for the hard work put in by the senior class.”
Speliotis gave Brooks a 3-0 lead when he scored on a backhanded shot during a breakaway with seven minutes remaining in the second period. After Sommerhoff's goal, Brooks regained a three-goal advantage when Vasilopoulos scored at 15:20 of the third.
Armstrong, a junior defenseman, scored the only goal in the first period. It was his first goal of the season. The lead doubled when Moore – one of four Georgia residents on the Brooks roster – scored at 5:19 of the second.
“I thought they played outstanding,” Cockrell said. “They did everything right.”