Boston High School: Drew Baker

D2 North: Lincoln-Sudbury 2, Winthrop 1

March, 1, 2014
WOBURN, Mass. -- Sometimes the best laid plans can often be whittled down to a certain hunch one might have. On Thursday night, Tom Pare had one and the Lincoln-Sudbury head coach decided to go with it.

Less than 24 hours before the Warriors' Division 2 North quarterfinal contest against Winthrop, Pare let his intuition take over. He adhered to a belief that his junior goaltender Derek Ashe was the right man for the job to start, what L-S hopes will be a long and magical playoff ride.

As it turned out, Pare's presumption was right on. On Friday night, Ashe was marvelously between the pipes, stopping 25 of 26 shots to lift the Warriors to a 2-1 triumph over the Vikings at Ned O'Brien Ice Rink.

No. 4 L-S (13-3-5) moves into Monday's semifinal round against top seed Beverly (a 2-1 winner over Danvers) at Chelmsford Forum at a time yet to be determined.

The victory over the Vikings marks the second in as many years for L-S in the postseason. Last year, in quarterfinal action, the Warriors won in a shootout.

"The guys stepped up and that is what it really came down to," said Pare. "We came into this rink with an attitude and everyone was ready to go. The senior leadership really stood out tonight. One player in particular is Matt Barker. He was planting kids all over the ice. He's just a top, gritty leader for us. He's just one of those kids you love having on your team. If it wasn't for guys like him we don't win this game because Winthrop is physical and have some snipers on their team."

Trailing by a goal after two periods, No. 5 Winthrop (15-6) threw everything it could on Ashe over the final frame. The Vikings fired 13 shots his way in the period but failed to notch the equalizer. With just four seconds remaining and goalie Raymond Feeley (25 saves) pulled for the extra attacker, Winthrop made a final desperation attempt on net. Defenseman Stephen Goddard positioned himself inside the blue line. As the senior waiting for traffic to convert around the crease, he then unleashed a rocket through a plethora of legs, skates and sticks. Yet somehow Ashe was able to find the puck through all the chaos, snatching it in mid-air to preserve the victory.

"After I make one save it's all about making the next save," Ashe said. "That last one was more a reaction save for me. I knew he would shoot it high because most guys shoot the puck high in high school I just kept my position and was able to tie it up."

As this one played out, the Warriors needed every ounce of energy from Ashe to pull this one out. Winthrop started this game off extremely flat. Turnovers, several in fact, inside its own zone as well as the neutral zone had the Vikings playing back on their heels for a large portion of the opening period.

In addition, the Warriors came out of the blocks looking to be physical and bounce Winthrop off its anticipated lanes.

Adding to Winthrop's misery, the Warriors jumped ahead 1-0 at 4:30 of the first after sophomore Drew Baker put back his own rebound from the short side. A few minutes later, L-S was called for a couple of penalties. However, Winthrop could not convert on either man-advantage opportunity. The Vikings were handed another power play opportunity early in the third but could not capitalize.

"We talked about coming out the gate and having a fast start but I didn't think we did that," said Winthrop head coach Dale Dunbar. "But when we started getting our feet going then the body I felt things were going the other way for us. Our power play looked good but we just couldn't beat [Ashe]. Give him credit because he made some big-time saves. We had our chances but didn't capitalize and it's a tough one to swallow right now."

The Warriors went up by a pair at 3:57 of the middle period. Baker, standing inside the left circle, hoisted a shot which caromed off of Feeley's chest. The puck rolled out in front where defenseman Aiden Maron was waiting and the sophomore put his shot into the back of the net.

To the Vikings credit, the lackadaisical play witnessed early on was now behind them. Midway through the second, Winthrop was doing a much-better job getting to loose pucks, hitting their opponent back and effectively transitioning into the L-S zone. Things would finally pay off for them at 8:15 as junior Zach Deeb poked in a rebound glove-side bringing the Vikings to within a goal.

The intensity seen during the final minutes of the second by Winthrop carried into the third. Then, it was the Vikings playing the role of aggressor as they were finding open spaces to shoot the puck from. Meanwhile, L-S was playing not to lose as it tried to nurse its lead by tossing the puck into the Vikings zone on every opportunity.

With time winding down, Winthrop left nothing on the table in search for that elusive tying goal which never came.

"That was a great goaltending effort by him," Pare said. "Literally it came down to Thursday night after practice when I announced who would be the starter. Derek just mentally prepares for these type of games. We scrimmaged Wachusett Regional on Wednesday and then we had a great practice on Thursday and I just felt he earned the start tonight and I'm glad he did because he played great."

Recap: No. 25 Lincoln-Sudbury 3, Tewksbury 3

January, 30, 2014
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. -- At the start, it appeared Lincoln-Sudbury was poised to make it a long evening for Merrimack Valley/Dual County rival Tewksbury.

The Warriors scored twice in the opening minute and 12 seconds, making it look easy both times.

But someone forgot to remind L-S there was still 43:48 left to be played. During that time, the Warriors leveled out offensively and the Redmen turned up their play – enough so, to earn a 3-3 tie Wednesday night at New England Sports Center.

"Obviously we had a great start," L-S head coach Tom Pare said. "It goes to show you that if you don't play an entire 45 minutes it's not going to happen. Credit Tewksbury because they out-worked most of the second period and most of the third period. It's not a bad tie because Tewksbury is a good program that is well-coached. It's a team that we respect and we always seem to be battling them for the league title.

“We knew they were gunning for us because we beat them up at their place.”

The Redmen (10-2-2, 5-2-1), who lost to L-S, 3-1, on Jan. 15, returned to their form late in the opening period and maintained the rest of the way.

But it didn't start out that way. Eric Holden, off the opening face off, raced into Tewksbury's zone all alone and beat goaltender Kyle Paquette just 15 seconds in.

Perhaps a bit in shock over the early tally, the Redmen seemed a bit off-kilter. Less than a minute later, L-S stormed up ice on a odd-man rush. Myles Cohen drew the defense over to him and promptly delivered a cross-ice pass to Drew Baker. The sophomore forward, standing alone in front of Paquette, sent a shot just under the crossbar to give the Warriors a 2-0 advantage.

From there, however, Tewksbury started to work its patented in-your-face defensive style as they held the Warriors to just one more shot for the remainder of the period. At 6:44, after a few earlier attempts by the Redmen had just missed their mark, junior forward Colin Quinn, standing inside the blue line, rang a shot off the post and into the net, putting Tewksbury on the board.

"The first eight minutes for us were completely uncharacteristic," said Redmen head coach Derek Doherty. "In a big game like this it didn't seem like we were prepared. We were but we just didn't execute properly in those opening eight minutes. Early on we told our guys that they needed to play better defensively. Everyone is going forward and it left our goalie wide open. Kyle has done a great job for us in net all year long and plays very focused. But we cannot leave him out on an island by himself the way we did early on."

Following Quinn's marker, it appeared as though the Redmen had weathered the early onslaught and were now back to playing the style they are known for. Only 1:38 into the middle period, Tewksbury knotted things at 2-2. Jack Cash, a senior, broke free down along the right side and beat Derek Ashe (20 saves) with a hard wrist shot. But the Warriors (9-1-4, 7-1-1), whose offense was left vacant for nearly 14 minutes, found itself again. At 3:37 of the frame, Matt Jacobs gave L-S the lead back after grabbing a fat rebound in front and pushing it past Paquette (12 saves).

From that point moving forward, the Warriors were doing everything possible to shore up their defensive play and keep the Redmen from getting any quality looks at Ashe. For a while the strategy was working. Tewksbury had to scratch and claw to gain space inside the offensive zone. With less than five minutes to go in the period, the Warriors got careless with the puck inside their own zone. Tewksbury intercepted the puck which set up Quinn's second goal of the night, as he knocked home a rebound off of Ashe's chest following an initial shot by Ryan Petti.

"It would've been better had we won the game," said Quinn of his two goals and now has seven for the season. "I think we had a lot of chances on their goalie but just couldn't get the bounces. We hit a lot of posts and crossbars. We normally don't start well as a team and have to fight coming from behind. When we got behind tonight it was nothing really different for us. We just had to fight back like we normally do."

Tewksbury controlled much of the third period, by keeping the action inside the L-S end. The Warriors offense was struggling, helt do just one shot over the first 13 minutes in the frame. But they managed to initiate late flurry, putting three consecutive shots on Paquette within a span of 5 seconds. However, the junior netminder, who entered having posted three consecutive shutouts, was able to fend off the sudden offensive explosion and secure the tie.

"Our kids played well but we've got to learn to go for the jugular when it is there," Pare said. "It was one of those things where our kids got complacent after those first two goals. Needless to say we got woken up pretty quickly by them."