NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Last season against Bishop Guertin, Needham’s offense rallied during the final quarter to beat the Cardinals by three goals, and claim their first victory against the New Hampshire powerhouse since 2008.
On Tuesday, BG erased Needham’s memories of 2011 by tallying six goals in the first quarter, and five in the third, which helped the Cardinals beat the Rockets, 14-8.
“We came out and jumped on them, [6-1] and the key to that was our face-offs,” Bishop Guertin head coach Chris Cameron said. “Our faceoff guy was outstanding, and today he just gave us possession after possession.”
BG’s junior Blake Boudreau, who won all the faceoffs in the first quarter, began the game by winning the opening draw, and then racing down field to net his team’s first goal in a span of eight seconds.
“Basically that’s pretty much what I work on in practice, and to tell you the truth, I just try to do my thing,” Boudreau said of his faceoff victories. “I was a freshman on the team, and I learned from the seniors and I just worked my way up, and it’s finally paying off.”
“[My goal] definitely started [our team’s] momentum,” added Boudreau. “We just got off to a [quick] pace, and I try to get [my team] as much possession as we can, and the more possessions we get, the more time we get the ball and the more goals we score, so that’s what I try to do.”
Boudreau’s faceoff prowess sparked the Cardinals offense to construct a 5-0 cushion, as seniors Paul Spinney, (five goals, one assist) and Brody Smith, junior Tommy Vailas, and freshman Colin Swanson all whipped the ball past Needham’s senior netminder Lucas Davis before junior Ned Connolly registered the Rockets first score at 5:27.
BG (4-0) answered two minutes later when senior Luke Roever connected with Spinney, but Needham (2-2) responded with two quick tallies prior to the conclusion of the opening quarter, as juniors Nico Panepinto (3 G) and Robbie Pisano (2 G) each rifled the ball past senior goaltender Colin Delea.
The Rockets rallied to tie BG midway through the second frame by rattling off three consecutive goals by senior Jamie McGill, Pisano, and Panepinto before the Cardinals pulled ahead with Spinney’s third strikes of the evening.
“It’s all about runs,” exclaimed Needham head coach Dave Wainwright. “They were able to capitalize on [various] opportunities and we weren’t.”
McGill evened the score with less than three minutes remaining in the first half, but sophomore Dom St. Laurent helped the Cardinals regain the lead for good by skipping in the go-ahead goal at 1:48, which gave the Cardinals an 8-7 lead at the break.
“We were focusing on good shots, and that was key for us [in the first half],” Cameron said. “Once there was a swing – we were shooting the ball well tonight, which was good, but we knew that we needed possessions because they can score.”
Entering the second half, BG’s offense obliged to their coaches halftime orders by possessing the ball and registering five tallies in seven minutes. Spinney and sophomore Connor Donahue each notched two goals, while sophomore John Miller recorded his only score of the contest during the third period.
“After seeing [the score at halftime], so I knew I had to step up for my team, and do what I had to, and make sure that everyone knew their objectives they had to get done,” said Spinney. “I just did mine as best I could, and that’s all I can really say [because] we didn’t quit. We kept our sticks good, and kept our legs good.”
Needham’s offense, which was shutout for the entire third quarter, managed to locate the back of Delea’s cage midway through the fourth quarter when senior J.P. McHale set up Panepinto for the Rockets' eighth goal.
BG tallied their final goal during the closing seconds when Roever rushed from behind Davis’ net for the score.
“I think that anytime you can come to Needham, and beat Needham, I think they’re one of the top three or four teams in Massachusetts ... it was a great win for us."