Boston High School: Corbin Robichaud

D1 South: Marshfield 6, Hingham 3

March, 13, 2013

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.

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.”

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. 6 Hingham 3, No. 13 Winchester 1

February, 11, 2013

HINGHAM, Mass. -- Hingham outshot Winchester, 35-15, Monday night at Pilgrim Rink. If quantifying the Harbormen’s time of possession, it would have approached approximately 70 percent in their favor. They were fast, strong, and in control.

But heading into the final minutes of the third period, it was still just a one-goal game and the Sachems, led by sophomore goaltender James Offner (32 saves), were one chance away from stealing a point on the road.

Finally, with 1:47 remaining in the game, junior forward Sam D’Antuono tipped a shot through Offner’s 5-hole and Hingham (12-5-1) could celebrate a crucial 3-1 win, boosting its chances of earning a place in the Super 8.

“We’re just trying to win every shift, every period,” Harbormen head coach Tony Messina said. “I know that sounds clichéd, but with our schedule it’s like this every night. Winchester is a very good team, but every other team we play seems to be good, too.”

He then added, “We have a little trouble scoring goals so every team seems to be tough for us. We’re used to these types of games.”

The way that the game started, it did not look like scoring would be an issue for the hosts. Hingham, riding the emotion of the pregame Senior Night ceremony, stormed out of the gates and outshot Winchester, 13-3, in the opening period. Stephen Hughes had already hit an early post when senior forward Jack Gordon flicked a shot past Offner to make it 1-0 at 6:22.

Winchester (11-4-2), which had turned the puck over in its defensive zone leading to the opening goal, was struggling to get any offense. Yet, 27 seconds into the second period, the game was tied. A scramble in front of Hingham goalie John Grenier was stabbed home by Bobby Keane on a feed by Brendan Greene.

Sachems head coach Matt Spang was proud of the way his team reacted to going behind and battled back against a strong opponent.

“They came at us hard, which we knew they would because they’re a very good team,” he said. “The first five minutes they were on us, but we weathered the storm and got right back in the game. In the third period we didn’t find another gear, which is unfortunate.”

After recording the first three shots of the second period, all within the opening 90 seconds, Winchester could not sustain the momentum and slowly Hingham got back the control of the game. After being repeatedly thwarted by Offner, the Harbormen finally regained the lead.

With the two teams skating 4-on-4, Hingham stole the puck in the neutral zone and junior defenseman John Carlson drove at the Sachems defense. He then fired a pass across to the far circle where junior captain Matt Brazel fired an unstoppable one-timer just inside the post to make it 2-1. It was the type of goal that comes from playing on the same line since juniors and, according to Messina, a much needed score for the team.

He remarked, “The second goal that they got just drives a coach crazy. We warned them about that, take their focus off what they’re doing and go out there thinking it’s going to happen by accident. They scored and I think that got them going pretty good. It was good to answer that pretty quickly.”

The Sachems went into the third period down only a goal, despite the gulf in shots and chances created. In the final 15 minutes, Winchester continued to struggle to create scoring opportunities and mustered only four shots on goal, several of which were from outside the blue line.

Hingham was the aggressor, despite the one-goal lead, and with 2:51 left had a goal wiped off the board because the net was dislodged. A little over a minute later, D’Antuono redirected Corbin Robichaud’s shot from the point and put the game away.

“In the third period, it’s a 2-1 game against a very good team,” Spang said, “that’s when we need our better players to step up and that wasn’t the case tonight and that’s unfortunate. I don’t think our ‘D’ zone was great tonight. We need to improve a lot.”

He added, “We had a lot of turnovers…way, way, way too many turnovers.”

Messina credited his team’s mentality for forcing the Sachems into giveaways. He noted, “Once we got the forecheck going, we were pretty good. We like to get our defense up in the play so that helps keep the puck in and we did, we turned a couple of those [turnovers] into good shots.”

Recap: No. 3 Hingham 4, No. 16 Norwood 1

December, 13, 2012
HINGHAM, Mass. – No. 3 Hingham boys’ hockey entered Wednesday’s season opener against No. 16 Norwood as if they were trying to shoot through the Great Wall of China.

The wall that stood in their way at Pilgrim Skating Rink was Mustangs senior netminder Jordan Davis. While the ESPN Boston preseason second-team All-State goaltender did his best to keep it a scoreless game, the barrage he faced made it a mere inevitability that one shot would break through.

Although the Harbormen outshot Norwood 10-1 in the first period, Davis kept it goose eggs on the scoreboard. That wouldn’t last, however, as Hingham opened up in the second period and into the third in a convincing 4-1 win over the Mustangs.

"We knew their defense was a little young, a little inexperienced, and we were trying to get the puck deep every time and shots just naturally come with that,” Harbormen head coach Tony Messina said. “We knew [Davis] was a great goalie and he proved it tonight. You need traffic in front, tips rebounds, those kind of things, it took us a while to break the seal."

Hingham (1-0-0) broke the stalemate with 9:12 to play in the second period as Sam D’Antuono snuck into the Mustangs’ zone on a short-handed breakaway. He beat Davis (39 saves) on the backhand to give the Harbormen a 1-0 lead. D’Antuono finished with a two-point game, adding an assist to Justin Ryder’s goal, Hingham’s last.

Defenseman John Carlson also had a two-point night for the Harbormen, ripping a slapshot into the back of the net at 12:54 of the third period. Carlson added the second helper on Ryder’s tally,

Patrick Colpoys netted the Harbormen’s third goal, a power-play tally with assists from Luke MacInnis and Corbin Robichaud.

John Galvin broke up John Grenier’s shutout bid for Norwood (0-1-0) with 7:56 to play, collecting a loose puck in the slot and beating Grenier stickside. Jack Sheehan and Rourke Flynn picked up assists on the play.

Hingham’s torrid start, controlling play for long stretches of time in Norwood’s defensive zone, might be attributed to a lesson learned by the Harbormen in some of their preseason performances.

“The last couple scrimmages, we were coming out kind of slow in the beginning,” Hingham junior captain and center Matt Brazel said, “so we were amped up in the beginning, and try to get as many shots as possible and crash the net.”

The Harbormen’s fast start in their season opener was matched by the Harborwomen, who opened their season in the nightcap at Pilgrim against Medway/Ashland.

The Harborwomen claimed a 7-1 win, led by Jane Freda’s hat trick. Hannah Falvey (2 goals) and Rachel D’Entremont (2 assists) also had multi-point games for Hingham.

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

January, 19, 2012

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."

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."


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.

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."