FALMOUTH, Mass. -- BC High found itself in the championship game of The Boathouse at Pier 37/Black Dog Cape Cod Classic Thursday without having actually won a game in the tournament. The Eagles advanced with shootout wins over Hingham and Austin Prep earlier in the week, but officially both of those games count as ties in the standings.
As Eagles head coach John Flaherty entered the building for the final night of boys’ high school hockey at the Falmouth Ice Arena (a new rink opens in town later this year) he said he was asked by a rink employee if she was going to get to see another shootout.
“I hope not,” he said with a laugh.
Flaherty got his wish as BC High warmed up for their impending trip to the Super 8 last night by squaring off against a team that was fighting for its playoff life, Archbishop Williams. Despite the Bishops needing to secure at least a tie against the Eagles to qualify for the state tournament, the Eagles prevailed 2-1 -- in regulation. The loss denied the Bishops a chance to play in the postseason as they finished at 8-9-3 for the year.
BC High senior assistant captain Bartley “Moe” Regan scored a pair of third period goals, one just after a power play expired and then another with the man-advantage, to power his team to the win as the fourth-ranked Eagles improved to 10-5-5.
Regan was just happy to be back on the ice in the third period after getting a bit of a scare earlier in the game when an errant stick caught him up under the chin and in the area of his Adam’s Apple. The tall forward said that he suffered a similar injury earlier in the season, one of a worse variety that had him thinking he had just died. That previous scare made dealing with this shot a tad easier as he shook things off and was back on the ice in minutes.
“I’m sure he’s a lot happier about the two goals than the scratch on his neck,” Flaherty joked after the game.
Two periods later he was the one delivering the pain to the Bishops, on the scoreboard. Just as Mike Sorenti was exiting the box for a hooking violation the Eagles’ Brian Furey let a bomb fly from the right point that Regan tipped on goal. Bishops keeper Joe Vinay (37 saves), who kept his team in the game with a number of highlight reel stops, halted the tip but couldn’t get a piece of the quick backhander that Regan flung at the net. The goal gave BC High a 1-0 lead at 3:01 of the third period.
“The puck was just coming out and I hit it with my stick and I was falling down. I didn’t even see it go in, but I heard everyone start cheering and I was pumped,” Regan said.
Regan struck again in similar fashion for a power play goal at 5:08 to double the lead on a goal he did see go in the net. Again Furey fired one on that Vinay stopped, but Regan cleaned things up in front and gave his team some breathing room.
Archies head coach Derackk Curtis said that he was perplexed by penalties that preceded the two Eagles’ tallies.
“It’s frustrating, it’s really frustrating, because they don’t call anything all game and then in the third period they’re call all these phantom calls…I can’t figure it out,” Curtis said. “Going into the third period, with 15 minutes to play, anything can happen and then to have back-to-back penalties suck the life out of you, it’s frustrating for the kids ya know. These kids played really hard.”
And they continued to play hard after falling behind. The Bishops sliced the Eagles’ lead in half just a little over two minutes later with their own power play goal off the stick of freshman forward Tyler Bradford. The rookie pounced on a rebound of a Mike Jessman shot to cut the deficit to 2-1 with a half period left to go.
But that would be the only mistake that BC High’s steady netminder Peter Cronin made. Cronin stopped the other 12 shots that reached him in the game and breathed sigh of relief when a Jessman bid from the doorstep with three minutes to go sailed a bit high. The Bishops got Vinay off the ice for an extra attacker inside the last minute, but couldn’t get a shot through to Cronin in the crunch.
The keeper said that the Eagles are happy to close out the season strongly. “We wanted to come out here and get (win) number 10. We didn’t want to let another point get away and we got two today thanks to a good effort from [Bartley] Regan and we beat a good team today,” Cronin said.
And going forward the competition will only get tougher. The Eagles believe that they’re ready.
“The way we’re playing right now, I feel really confident. Everyone’s working real hard and everyone’s playing for the team and that’s what you have to do to win,” Regan said.
Cronin echoed those thoughts. “We’re going to have to come out there with intensity, and the will to win, and I think we’ll be okay.”
CLOSING DOWN A GRAND OLE BARN
In the night’s other game, the Falmouth played the last ever boys’ varsity game at the Falmouth Ice Arena and closed up shop happily with a 2-1 win over Duxbury.
The game featured an on-ice ceremony celebrating Falmouth’s 1979 state championship team with 16 of the 19 players on the roster from that year, and one of the assistant coaches, lining up to recreated their team photograph that hangs in the lobby of the building.
Goalie Petey Negri, who took over the starting goaltender position a month ago, had his best game of the season. Negri made 22 saves in the victory, including a diving stab to rob Cam Daly in the third period of the game.
“That’s what we’ve been looking for from Petey,” Clippers head coach Buddy Ferreira said. “That was the game right there. If he doesn’t make that one it’s 1-1, but he came up big."
Also coming up big was junior blue-liner Zack Zaino, who Ferreira said was one of the best players on the ice. Zaino scored on a first period wrist shot to give the Clippers a 1-0 lead. That lead held for most of the night until things got really exciting in the final three minutes.
With 3:01 to go junior forward Durham Ghelfi popped his own rebound behind Dragons goalie Conor Charland to give Falmouth some breathing room. The goal was the result of a nice back check by Storm Fotiu, who stole the puck from Duxbury as they tried to clear the zone and centered to Ghelfi, who crashed the net. The junior’s initial bid was stopped, but he poked the second try through the five-hole.
Duxbury, which outshot Falmouth 22-12 over the last two periods after FHS held a 10-1 advantage in the first, battled back to give themselves a chance seconds later. Greg Williams let one fly off the right wing boards that sailed through traffic and by Negri at 12:38 of the third.
That would be it for the Dragons though as the 21st-ranked Clippers improved to 12-5-5 for the year. Duxbury is now 9-9-4, and both teams now wait to see what the state tournament has in store for them.