Boston High School: Flood-Marr Tournament

Flood-Marr final: Salisbury 4, Nobles 3

December, 22, 2013

MILTON, Mass. – Hockey is a game of flowing movement and grace punctuated by frenetic moments of chaos.

After Salisbury and Noble & Greenough battled for almost 45 minutes for the Flood-Marr tournament title, the game ended on one of those moments, a goal by Derek Barach with 27 seconds left, propelling Salisbury to a 4-3 win and its first tournament title since 2009.

Barach deflected a rising shot from Evan Smith down to the ice and poked it past Brendan Cytulik.

“I was about to come off but I stayed out there for the last shot,” Barach said. “Evan shot it on net, I tipped it down, and it landed at my feet. I just whacked at it. It's kind of lucky, but a goal's a goal so I'll take it.”

Before the curtain was fully raised on the game Salisbury was up 2-0. Goals by Smith and Griffin Luce put Salisbury up a pair just 64 seconds into the game.

“We had the momentum early,” Salisbury coach Andrew Will said. “It was certainly enough time for good teams like Nobles to regroup and get settled. They just kept plugging away.”

Nobles was able to stem the Salisbury attack and halved the deficit midway through the second period when Drew Bennett poked home a rebound. Bennett also scored Nobles' third goal.

“Drew [Bennett] was able to take advantage of the good opportunities that we had,” Nobles coach Brian Day said.

Salisbury used its size advantage to dictate tempo, but Nobles was able to keep pace. When Salisbury extended the lead to 3-1 late in the second Nobles refused to fold.

The Bulldogs buckled down and scored two goals less than five minutes apart to tie the game midway through the third period.

“The biggest thing we take away is that we're a much better team today than we were when we walked into this rink two days ago on Friday,” Day said. “We've gone through a lot of good, positive growing experience, we've competed hard. I think this will serve us well. We'll move forward and we'll be better as a result of it.”

With another notch on its belt, the top prep school team in New England shows no signs of slowing down.

“We got a great group of guys,” Barach said. “One of our mottos is to be relentless every game, and we let it get away from us a little bit but it shows we have the composure to stay even-keeled and get back in the game once they tied it up and get the winner at the end.”

SMITH'S DOMAIN: Big games call for big players and Salisbury's Evan Smith owned the role. The Yale commit scored a pair of goals to go with his assist on the game winner and provided a physical presence for the full 45 minutes.

“He's one of those kids who relishes pressure; he thrives on it,” Will said. “He looks to be the guy on the ice the team turns to. He's a relentless player; he has a ton of fun out there.”

Smith earned all-tournament honors and played like it on Sunday. Alongside his twin brother Mitchell, Smith controlled the game when he was on the ice and was a huge reason that Salisbury took home the hardware.

“To win the Flood-Marr this year, it's great to have a bunch of victories under your belt,” Smith said. “To beat a good team like Nobles is a good feeling.”

KUA's Roberto changes commitment to BU

April, 29, 2013
Former Malden Catholic and Kimball Union Academy hockey standout Nick Roberto has switched his commitment to Boston University, after de-committing from Maine in the recent weeks. He will join the Terriers for the 2013-14 season.

Roberto, a Wakefield, Mass. resident, tallied 23 goals and 48 points in 29 games for the Wildcats last season.

"Nick has worked very hard to attain this goal," KUA head coach Mike Levine said Monday. "The KUA community is very happy for both him and his family."

Roberto played the previous three seasons with Malden Catholic, where he was a part of the Lancers' Super 8 championship team in 2010-11, before enrolling at Kimball Union. He also was part of the Wildcats' Piatelli/Simmons Tournament victory in 2011-12 and was named Flood-Marr Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2012.

He joins former KUA teammates Doyle Somerby and John Macleod as BU commits and becomes the seventh player with Massachusetts roots joining the Terriers next year, including Robbie Baillargeon, Brendan Collier (former MC teammate), Tommy Kelley, Dalton MacAfee, T.J. Ryan and Somerby.

Roberto's change in commitment was first reported by Jasper Kozak-Miller of the "Over the Boards" hockey blog.

Player Perspective: KUA's Nick Roberto

December, 18, 2012
Kimball Union Academy hockey wrapped up its first-ever Flood-Marr Holiday Tournament championship on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Westminster School. The Wildcats were led by senior forward Nick Roberto, who earned the tournament’s David Rogerson Trophy as its MVP.

Roberto, a Maine commit and Wakefield, Mass. native, also became the first KUA player to take home MVP honors since 1975.

Considered one of the top prep hockey teams in New England entering the 2012-13 season, the Wildcats are in the hunt for another NEPSAC championship this year.

We caught up with Roberto, who started his high school hockey career at Malden Catholic, in between games on Friday:

Q: You have some pretty skilled players beside you on your line with Casey Miller and J.D. Dudek. How do your skills complement each other?

A: “We’re always on the same page. We’re not selfish players, we’re always looking for each other. I like Casey because I’ve been playing with him for two years now. He’s a pass-first and shoot-second kind of player. He’s always looking. Dudek came over [transfer from Pinkerton Academy] and he’s just a hell of a player, he’s going to [Boston College], that says a lot. He brings a lot of skill to the line. I’m more of a grind-it-out player, but Casey and him, it’s all skill. That goal, my first goal [on Friday] was all Dudek, Casey drove the net and I was high and Dudek just made a nice pass. I was lucky to get it underneath the crossbar. And then, at the end of the game … At first, I thought it was going to be a little bit scary, but we got it. Casey just found a little hole on the ice and I tipped [the shot] up and batted it out of midair.”

Q: The tournament started a little tough for you guys, but you took over the third period of your first game against Salisbury with your two goals, including the game-tier and the game-winner. What was the difference?

A: “I think I played the worst two periods of my life, then the third period, Coach [Mike Levine] just told everybody to relax. I was a little snake-bitten with my stick and then I just came alive in the third. But it was a team effort.”

Q: You have a very talented roster and, as a result, there’s high expectations again for this team this year. What do you expect of yourselves as a team?

A: “I think today [Friday] really showed what we’re made out of as a team. It was the first time we’ve been losing for two periods and we fought back. No one gave up. Everybody was really positive on the bench, and that helps a lot. Coach wasn’t negative. He’s always helping us, encouraging us. We just starting playing hard, getting shots to the net and good things happened.”

Q: You have a couple of your old Malden Catholic teammates – Connor Evangelista and Brendan White – playing with you. What’s it like having been around those guys for so long?

A: “Well, Connor and I have been best friends since we were about three years old. We’ve gone to every school together: preschool, elementary school, middle school, MC and now here. We were roommates last year. Brendan came along this year, and I’m roommates with [Providence College commit] Niko Rufo this year, but I think Whitey’s in our room more than we are. It’s just fun up there with those two because we’ve been friends for such a long time.”

Q: You’re still a couple years away from Maine, but what are your hockey plans from here?

A: “I went up there a couple of weeks ago, I saw them play BC and we talked after the game. They said they don’t have that many openings for 2013, so then I can play a year of juniors and step right in and play. I’m fine with that, they’re really supportive of me – whatever helps. I’m not looking to go to college right now with the economy being what it is. I might as well live the dream some more and I’ll get there when I get there.”