Boston High School: Andrew Flynn

D1 South: Marshfield 6, Hingham 3

March, 13, 2013
3/13/13
4:25
AM ET


BOURNE, Mass. – It’s a played-out story, but it actually fit this time.

On the eve, or during the bus ride to a big hockey tilt, it’s not unusual that “Miracle”, the movie on the United States’ run to the gold medal in the 1980 Olympics, will be cited as a source of inspiration for high school hockey players.

Marshfield head coach Dan Connolly followed suit, channeling his inner Herb Brooks in the lead-up to Tuesday’s Division 1 South championship game against South Shore rival Hingham. Yet, in this instance, there were a real connection for his Rams’ team to the experience of that Red, White & Blue squad at Lake Placid.

On the final day of the regular season, Marshfield endured a 10-1 shellacking at the hands of Harbormen. After that matchup, the Rams were forced to regroup, as Hingham skated on to a Super 8 play-in game. So too did a young Team U.S.A. after they played the feared Soviet Union in an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden, a 10-3 thrashing at the hands of the Red Army team.

It wasn’t quite a Miracle on Ice, but the Rams claimed a 6-3 victory over Hingham on Tuesday, earning their second trip the state championship game at the TD Garden in the last three seasons.

“We talked about it yesterday, when Russia pounded the U.S., and then, two-, three-weeks later, they win the big game,” Connolly said.

Marshfield (20-6-0) accomplished its first goal heading into the section final by not allowing the Harbormen (16-9-2) to fly out of the gates – as they had during the regular-season finale.

Still, Hingham claimed the first lead of the game at 3:21 of the second period, when junior center Matt Brazel turned his own face-off win into a goal.

However, the Rams closed the period with a string of three goals. Trevor Salmon, Matt Burchill and Jimmy Connors scored within the final five minutes of the second to send Marshfield to the room with a 3-1 lead.

“It was attention to detail, focus on the little things,” Connolly said. “Then, we have that little flurry at the end of the second and it’s bing, bing, bing.”

The Rams didn’t relent in the third period, opening with sophomore Pat Shea netting an unassisted goal at 1:26. Then, Joe Admirand provided Marshfield with a five-goal pad with Mike Carbone adding his second point of the game with the assist at 5:08 of the third.

Will Decost tallied his second point of the game with an empty-netter, sandwiched between two late Hingham goals from Corbin Robichaud and Andrew Flynn.

MOMENTUM SHIFT
Several weeks ago, Connolly shifted forward Trevor Salmon back to defense, after injuries threatened the Rams’ depth on the blue line. Although Salmon admits that he puts team defense first, as a valued part of Marshfield’s penalty kill unit, he also looked at ease beating Hingham goaltender John Grenier through the 5-hole on his breakaway goal.

“It was a great pass from JoJo [Carbone] up the seam,” Salmon deflected praise. “I couldn’t have done that without him.”

Salmon’s marker was a hinge point for the Marshfield rally, with the over swell carrying through the third period. Yet, when pointing back to the momentum shift, Salmon also credited his team’s commitment to taking care of business in their own zone (a major lesson from their last Hingham duel) as a key component to Tuesday’s win.

“We came out flat, we didn’t really play team defense,” Salmon said of their Feb. 22 loss. “We knew it was going to change today.”

SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON
Sunday’s Division 1 state final will feature that tournament’s last two champions with Marshfield joining North title-winner Burlington at the TD Garden.

While there’s been some roster turnover since last time out, there are a good number of the Rams who skated on the Bruins’ home ice sheet as sophomores. Mike Carbone was one of those players, scoring the game-winning goal for Marshfield a 3-2 comeback win over Wakefield.

“A lot of our players played on that team,” Salmon said. “We have a lot of experience going into the Garden. I think we have what it takes to get the ‘W’ there. But it’s a strong Burlington team, we know they’re the state champs from last year.”

Recap: No. 5 Reading 1, No. 8 Hingham 1

January, 21, 2013
1/21/13
9:40
PM ET


READING, Mass. -- Reading boys' hockey got the best of the power play early, but could not hold onto a late lead against fellow Super 8 contender Hingham on Monday.

Despite a six-minute disadvantage in penalties, the host No. 5 Rockets (9-1-4) entered the final two minutes with the only man-up goal and a 1-0 edge. However, a late unassisted effort by the Harbormen’s Andrew Flynn equalized for No. 8 Hingham (8-4-1) to force a 1-1 tie between the public school powerhouses at Burbank Arena.

“Having a lot of power plays is a good thing, but it’s not really a great thing because your top guys are playing a lot,” said Hingham assistant coach John Mahoney, who was filling in behind the bench for Tony Messina. “When you do not convert, they are out there even more. It was a broken play just inside the blue line and Andrew Flynn did a great job keeping the play alive.”

Flynn netted the game-equalizing score immediately after winning a faceoff in the neutral zone. The senior defender caught a one-on-one situation with the goalie off the victory and chipped the puck in off the keeper's blocker for the 1-1 tie with 1:51 left in the game.

“I saw a lot of my players crashing the net and I saw a little bit of shortside, so I just tried to shoot it,” Flynn said. “We had been trying to win it back all game. I was trying to punch it through right away.”

Matt McLelland scored the opening goal during a power play late in the second period. The senior saw an opposite post gap on the net and wristed a shot in from in front of the blue line for the 1-0 advantage at 14:13.

“We are always telling them just to pound pucks on net,” Rockets head coach Mark Doherty said. “The puck dropped back to McLelland who can really snap a puck off.”

Reading goalie Evan Morelli knocked away 28 shots, while opposing goaltender John Grenier made 14 saves (both seniors).

LIGHT ON FUEL?
Reading's defense had no trouble battling off its six penalties throughout the first two periods.

The Rockets faced one minute and fifteen seconds of a six-on-four disadvantage at 9:55 in the first period. Reading allowed only two shots during the penalty then grabbed a hooking for a minute and 18 seconds of man-advantage at 11:03. Rockets junior Mike Thomson nearly slipped a breakaway under the keeper in the final seconds of that power play.

“That obviously was our strong suit today,” Doherty said of his power-play defense. “We have had enough practice. There are systems and we work it a decent amount.”

In the third of four second period Hingham power plays, Habormen center Matt Brazel caught the goalie offset on a two-on-one with fellow junior forward Sam D'Auntuono at 7:45. Brazel slipped the puck in front of net before the keeper could slide to the opposite post, but D'Auntuono shot into Morelli's chest for the save.

“When you have power plays you have to take advantage of them,” Mahoney said. “Get the puck in deep [and] keep it out of our own end. We are not trying to pick corner [just get] shots on net.”

Recap: No. 4 Hingham 4, No. 19 St. John's (S) 0

January, 19, 2012
1/19/12
11:06
AM ET


HINGHAM, Mass. - It's a bit stunning to note that a team firmly entrenched in the mix for a Super 8 bid is making it happen with a defense and goaltender that are seeing the ice for the first time this season.

That has been the case with No. 4 Hingham, who rode that defense and the stellar play of netminder John Grenier to a 4-0 shutout of No. 19 St. John's (Shrewsbury) last night at Pilgrim Arena.

Grenier, a junior, only had to make 13 saves, thanks in great part to the work of his unheralded defense. Led by Nolan Driscoll, Pat Cahill, Andrew Flynn, Noah Ellis and Corbin Robichaud, the Harbormen (10-2-0) put on a shot-blocking clinic, as the stat sheet showed a total of 42 shot attempts by the Pioneers (8-4-1).

"Its not unexpected because although they didn't play in the games with us last year, they practiced with us every day most of those guys," Hingham coach Tony Messina said. "We know what they can do, they've been in the system for a couple years so we were hoping they could acclimate pretty quickly and they have."

"With the goalie, we didn't know how good John was or what he was capable of but he's been more than we expected, more than we could ask for," Messina continued. "Together, they've been pretty good. Its really been team defense too. We try to make sure the forwards are coming back to help and that's obviously a big thing. A lot of blocked shots, a lot of long sticks trying to get sticks on pucks. You have to against the best teams. Otherwise they'll eat you alive."

For his part, Grenier is also very appreciative of being able to man the cage behind such a hard-working blue line corps.

"It was huge," the junior netminder said of his defense's ability to block shot. "The shots they don't block, they could come in, come to me, and you don't know what happens when they get to the net. It either bounces out for a rebound or can get to the net. It's just not a good situation if it comes to the net. If they dont stop it its not any good."

SECOND LINE STEPPING TO THE FRONT
The bulk of Hingham's offense against the Pioneers came courtesy of its second unit. James Gordon had two goals and an assist, Matt Brazel had a goal and two helpers, and Sam D'Antuono dished out three assists.

The tenacity of the second line bore though particularly on rebounds, as Brazel and Gordon notched Hingham's first two tally's by being aware of where the puck was after shots.

Matt Hughes scored the third goal on a one-timer courtesy of a beautiful, cross-crease pass from Brazel, and Brazel and D'Antuono helped spring Gordon for his second, and the game's last, score with 1:03 left to play.

"They've been good for us all year," said Messina in praise of his second line. "They play hard in the offensive zone. the thing we to watch with them is coming back in the defensive zone, but they can put the puck in the net which is great. The first line was a little off tonight but the second line was great."

A PLAYER TO WATCH IN SHREWSBURY

One player from St. John's that immediately jumped off the page was senior forward Kevin Emmerling. The Whitinsville native is listed at a mere 5-10, 170 pounds, but skates with a flash and a flair that leaves no recourse but to generate offensive opportunities.

Emmerling is already drawing looks from Hockey East schools such as UMass-Lowell and Merrimack, a list that will undoubtedly grow as the season wears on.

"He's a very offensively skilled player, said Pioneers coach Brian Murphy of Emmerling. "He's got good speed and great hands. We're pushing him, trying to get him into college and get him ready. I think he can play at a high level, he just needs an opportunity.

PLAYING THE IRON
St. john's has designs on making a run at a Division 1 state championship, or even better, a cherished bid to the Super 8. A year ago, the the Pioneers were oysted by Winchester in the Div. 1 North quarterfinals, 2-1. In an effort to prepare themselves better, Coach Murphy has set up his schedule for his team to face no less than 11 teams from Eastern Mass., including stalwarts such as Hingham and BC High.

While the result haven't been what Murphny had hoped for (the Pioneers are 1-5 thus far against EMass. competition), the goal to is to improve and try and reach the same level of some of these opponents.

"The big thing is the pace, the quickness, the speed of the game. These guys are good players and they play hard and they play quick and so you're going to have to adjust to that pace if you're going to play at a high level," Murphy said. "Thats why we do it, thats why we play all these teams. We want to pick up that pace, we want to challenge ourselves and see if we can get up tthat level."

"Sometimes its frustrating, sometimes its difficult, sometimes you take your lumps but like we said to them in the locker room, we'll be in the tournament, which one who knows, and we just need to keep working, take one game at a time and see if we can get some good things out of this. We can't change it, we just try to see if we can build on it."

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