Boston High School: Jack Quinlivan

D3 boys final: Shrewsbury 7, Hanover 1

March, 16, 2014
Mar 16
8:27
PM ET


BOSTON – Midway through the season, Shrewsbury coach Steve Turnblom moved sophomore Matt Dillon from the blue line to first-line forward.

That move has paid off all season long for the Colonials and Sunday was no different as Dillon scored a goal and registered five assists in Shrewsbury’s 7-1 win over Hanover in the Div. 3 state title game.

“A big game like that, having seven goals up on the board it means a lot to put up points like that but at the same time you have to worry about the team accomplishment more than that,” Dillon said.

After the game, Turnblom had nothing put praise for his sophomore forward.

“He’s just an incredibly talented kid who moves the puck, great talent and great vision,” Turnblom said. “He’s been doing it all year long and leads the Central Mass in scoring.”

Dillon is just one example of many who have bought into the pass-first offense that Turnblom runs. Hanover had no answer for the Colonials crisp and fluid passing game, showcased by their huge advantage in shots on net. Shrewsbury opened up by outshooting the Indians 18-5 in the opening period and 35-14 in the game.

“We make them pass, you don’t come back from the first half of the year if you don’t pass the puck,” Turnblom said. “Setting everyone up, that’s key getting, assists and playing the game property. If you want to play past high school that’s how you have to play.”

Despite the heavy barrage of shots in the opening stanza, it was Hanover the opened up the scoring. At 5:26 of the period, Landon Hasenfuss rifled a shot on net on a 2-on-1 rush that was stopped by William Shipman. But Matt McDougall was there for the rebound, which hardly squeaked past the goal line before it was cleared out by a defender.

“Nothing worse than when you are dominating at the other end, getting a lot of shots and chances and they get a breakout and score at the other end,” Turnblom said.

For the remaining 40 minutes of regulation however, it was all Shrewsbury.

Five minutes after the opening tally, the Colonials lightning-quick offense struck twice. The first came from Dan Quinlivan who was fed a beautiful backhanded pass through the crease form Dillon for the easy goal. Fifty-four seconds later, Cole Vincequere picked the top-right corner from the right point to give Shrewsbury an all-of-a-sudden 2-1 lead.

But the back-breaker came with what looked like no time left on the clock.

Shrewsbury broke out with a 2-on-1 rush with Dillon feeding Jack Quinlivan for the goal with no time left on the clock.

After a conference with the goal judge, the goal was allowed and one second was put back on the clock as Shrewsbury skated to the locker room with a 3-1.

“What happened is they are a hell of a hockey team, they could be a Division 1 team,” said Hanover coach Jonny Abban. “We came out slow. To get this far in the tournament you need to bring your ‘A’ game every shift and we took some shifts off and we paid for it.”

The rout is on: The Colonials wasted no time in the second period, as just 31 seconds into the period, Dave Belbin picked the top-left corner from the left dot.
All the bounces went Shrewsbury’s for the rest of the game. Five minuats later it was Dillon’s turn to score a goal when his shot got from below the dot got a fortuitous bounce, deflecting off a Hanover skate and in.

Jack Quinlivan and Matt Ward added two more goals as the Colonials coasted the remainder of the game to capture the Div. 3 title.

“It’s awesome,” said Turnblom. “To see these kids that I’ve had since they were freshman and to get a shot to come here and win it was huge I’m very happy for them.”

Something has to give: Entering Sunday’s title game, the two teams were on a combined 18 game win streak. Shrewsbury was dismantling any team that stood in their way while the Indians coasted through the Div. 3 South.

But when the two teams took the ice, it was apparent that Shrewsbury was the faster team.

In the beginning of the year, coach knew a lot of hype was around this team but we hadn’t done anything yet and had the whole season to go,” senior defensemen Cole Vincequere said. “To really make a difference we had to bring home a medal.”

No. 22 Shrewsbury eyes D3 state title

January, 14, 2014
Jan 14
9:58
PM ET
SHREWSBURY, Mass. -- It was right around the midway point of last year's hockey season when people began taking notice of Shrewsbury High's upstart team.

The Colonials were being reminded often on how good it looked and how great they could be. But it wasn't too long after when the Colonials, themselves, started buying into the hype — perhaps a bit too much.

You could make a case that Shrewsbury's top-scoring line of a year ago was as good as any in the state; it was certainly best in Central Mass. They were a multi-talented group with an uncanny ability of moving the puck around on a dime inside an opponent's defensive zone. The trio worked so beautifully together that they combined for an eye-catching 125 points.

The belief was that Shrewsbury had enough talent to whisk past its competitors in district play and would finish it off with a MIAA state championship trophy in tow.

It didn’t go quite according to script.

In last February's Division 3 Central Mass. semifinal played at Fitchburg's Wallace Civic Center, the favored Colonials endured a gut-wrenching 2-1 overtime loss to Wachusett Regional. Suddenly, in the span of a millisecond, all of the talk, predictions and championship dreams had vanished.

Even today, almost a year later, the loss continues to gnaw at them. But instead of feeling sorry for themselves, the Colonials are using it as motivation.

Just a month into this season and it appears as though the motivation is working.

The Colonials, ranked No. 24 in ESPN Boston’s MIAA Top 25 poll, have sprinted out of the starting block with reckless abandon. Following Monday night's win over Hudson, Shrewsbury presently sits at 8-0. They are averaging over seven goals per game and have yet to be seriously tested. For this team, which last won a state championship in 2009, it has an agenda to meet and it won't conclude until they are the last ones standing come March inside TD Garden.

"That loss to Wachusett last year is what is driving us this year," said junior forward and leading scorer Dan Quinlivan (11 goals, 6 assists), who is paired with twin brother Jack and junior Trevor Shea to form one of Shrewsbury's four solid lines. "You never want to go out that way, especially in overtime like we did. It was a lesson learned."

Last year, the Quinlivans were teamed with first-line center Dave Belbin in forming one of region’s most formidable trios. The chemistry between them, not to mention their speed, puck-handling accuracy and precision-like passing skills were crisp and fluent.

This season, third-year head coach Steve Turnblom made a surprise move when he decided to tweak his lines a bit in an attempt to get more scoring production from other team members. Belbin now anchors a line with fellow senior Derek Dell'Olio and sophomore Adam Twitchell.

"Moving guys around has helped us a lot," sophomore defenseman Matt Dillon said. "Last year Dave, Jack and Dan were putting up most of the points. This year we have Dave's line and then we have Jack and Dan's line. Our third and fourth lines are contributing as well. The depth we have in all four of our lines has helped out quite a bit."

Dan Quinlivan said, "Last year the better programs had players who could shut our first line down at times. This year we have goal scorers on every line."

With each shift, Shrewsbury appears to be playing with a purpose. Its tempo is fast and furious the entire 45 minutes. Its hybrid offensive style has left a few opponents scrambling for the bench in an effort to catch their breath.

"Our speed is a factor no doubt," said Belbin, who netted 22 goals and added 20 assists a year ago. "But at the same time we knew we needed to be more-sound defensively. I think that is where we have stepped it up this year (having allowed just 12 goals). Last year the focus was on scoring points. This year, there is more attention being paid to keeping teams off the boards, create some havoc in our defensive zone and finish off our checks. The points will come off of that."

With upcoming games against such powers as St. John's (Shrewsbury), Wachusett, Groton-Dunstable and Longmeadow, the Colonials realize they have the firepower to win a state title. But the Colonials can also expect to see the best from every opponent they face. No matter the record.

"We know we are going to get everyone's A-gamem which I think is good because our guys will be ready for it," Turnblom said. "However, there is that old cliché that anyone can beat anyone. We certainly understand that. How we get better from game to game is the key for us. It's all about the little things you need to do to get better as a team. Going out and slapping teams around, but being sloppy in doing it, does us no good.

“Eventually that will come back to bite you as we know, especially when you are in a big game against a Wachusett, or St. John's, or during the playoffs. We still need to tighten things up at both ends of the ice and keep our minds focused in every game that we play. It is so important for all of us to know exactly what each one is doing out there."

Perhaps, most importantly, there is no trace of selfishness to be found in Shrewsbury’s game. To a player, all have a particular role and they execute.

"Come playoff time everyone should understand their roles here," said winger turned center Jack Quinlivan, who paced Shrewsbury with 25 goals last season. "Everyone will get their shot at some point, you just don't know when. But when that opportunity does come you have to be ready for it."

An area that plagued the Colonials a year ago was an inconsistency in goal.

As productive as Shrewsbury's offense was, its goaltenders were allowing nearly as much at the other end of the ice. It was an issue Turnblom knew he needed to address once the season came to an end. This year, he has three goaltenders, all of whom, he says are capable of stoning the opposition.

At present, seniors Will Shipman and Matt Andrews are the front-runners with sophomore Shane Gorrie not far behind. Combined, the team’s goals against average sits below 2.00.

Andrews came on board this year after transferring from nearby St. John's of Shrewsbury. Dropping down from a Division 1 level program to Division 3 did raise a few eyebrows but Andrews stands by his decision.

"I've known most of the guys on this team for a very long time," Andrews said. "This was something I really wanted to do. I hang out with most of these guys all the time. It wasn't really a sports thing for me but more about being with my friends. It's a joy playing with all of them again and being apart of this team."

Turnblom felt he also needed to shore up his team's defensive play. New addition Sean Hallice, who spent the last couple of seasons playing juniors before opting out and joining Shrewsbury this season, has been nothing short of spectacular. Not only can the senior shadow an opposing club's top offensive threat, but has also proven to be a valuable commodity offensively, registering six goals and seven assists. He, along with Dillon, Cole Vincequere and Cole Ambach have given the Colonials' defense some much-needed depth. In addition, their ability to transition the puck swiftly up ice to the forwards has been well-received.

"Between our offense and defense it gives you a good feeling of confidence in all of our lines," Hallice said. "You quickly realize that if I screw up or someone else screws up we all have each other's backs."

Said Jack Quinlivan, "The defense has been very good at getting the puck up to forwards quickly. We constantly try to suck the life out of teams with our speed. If teams can't stay with us they eventually wear down."

There are some pessimists who are quick to point out that the majority of Shrewsbury's schedule offers little challenge. Even though the Colonials traditionally play in the most-competitive Division 3 conference (the Quinn) in Central Mass., there are some weaknesses this year. Hudson, Marlborough and Auburn, all of whom have enjoyed success in the past, are in rebuilding modes and not expected to contend this year. Therefore, Shrewsbury will rely heavily on its upcoming confrontations against conference foe Wachusett (twice), St. John's, Groton-Dunstable and Longmeadow to prepare them for what lies ahead.

"You cannot take anyone lightly no matter who we play," Dillon said. "You have to treat every team the same and be ready to play every game."

Wachusett has been a thorn in the Colonials' sides the past few seasons. The Mountaineers, who fell to eventual state champ Westfield in last year's state semifinal, have not lost to Shrewsbury in three years. They look to keep that trend going when the two clubs square off next Saturday.

"We realize it will be a difficult task to try and stop a team that is averaging nearly eight goals a game," Wachusett coach Matt Lane said. "They have something like 10 different players who have already scored multiple goals. We know it'll take a strong defensive effort and outstanding goaltending on our part to stay in the game with them."

Should the Colonials stumble a bit during the season, it still appears likely they will have sewn up a playoff spot by month's end. When this does occur, don't expect them to rest on their laurels.

The team's first priority is to be the No. 1 seed in next month's Central Mass. tournament and begin, what they hope, is a solid postseason run that will carry them to Boston this time around.

"We know we have a good team," Ambach said. "But we can't go out there thinking we are best team because we all know what happened last year. We are always looking for ways to improve. We just need to keep things on an even keel throughout the entire season and not get too far ahead of ourselves."

Hockey teams kick off season at Regan Summitt

December, 9, 2013
12/09/13
1:42
AM ET
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. -- It is never easy replacing a legend, but that is the task which has been handed down to first-year St. John's (Shrewsbury) coach Mike Mead.

Mead's Pioneers, along with many of the state's other top-echelon programs, took part in Sunday's Fifth Annual Garrett Regan Hockey Summit at New England Sports Center. The event is named after the former 26-year Hingham High coach and Massachusetts State Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame inductee who passed away in June 2008.

Mead, who was appointed to the position last September, takes over for Brian Murphy, who stood behind the St. John's bench for 29 seasons, posting an overall record of 392-217-63, including a pair of Division 1 state titles (1999, 2004) and a handful of Super 8 appearances.

Mead is no stranger to St. John's. He served as an assistant under Murphy for 16 years, leaving in 2007 to spend more time with his family. He is also head of the Math Department at the school.

"Brian is a great friend and was a great mentor," said Mead. "He kind of broke me in. When this opportunity happened I jumped at it. My kids are little older now so everything sort fell into the right place at the right time for me."

Mead exudes the fact that the Pioneers have a plethora of depth, including a freshman team with 25 members. "We have a lot of kids who came back and tried out," he said. "We have good numbers and good depth. I don't really know the kids yet so with our tryouts I did things by grade. I didn't do it with returning players. We did juniors and seniors one day and freshman and sophomores the next. What I have seen so far I have been pleasantly surprised."

St. John's will, again, be paced by senior defensemen Bryan Nelson (23 points last season), Connor McCann, senior forward Kevin Butler and senior goaltender Mario Pizzeri.

Mead is also counting on senior forward Chris Adams and junior forward Dan Barlock to make their presence felt.

"We'll try to be aggressive on the forecheck and having two men on the puck," Mead said. "The biggest thing for us will be on offense. I feel we are a strong defensive team. I'm going to need some of our seniors to put the puck into the net."

Lancers quest for four: Malden Catholic began its quest for a fourth consecutive Super 8 crown, taking on Springfield Cathedral, another Super 8 qualifier from a year ago.

The Lancers controlled the opening frame, building a 4-1 lead before the Panthers rallied for three unanswered tallies to earn a 4-4 tie in the 2-period scrimmage.

By most people's observations, MC is the prohibitive favorite to claim another Super 8 crown again this season.

Despite the losses of two of their most prolific players (Casey Fitzgerald and Mike Iovanna, who combined for 56 points a year ago), there is still plenty of talent to carry the Lancers again this season. Junior forward Ara Nazarian (26 goals, 24 assists) leads the way. Senior forward Tyler Sifferlen, junior forward Austin Goldstein, sophomore forwards Matt Filipe and Jake Witkowski along with defensemen John McLean, Nick Rolli are solid. As of now, Alex Reissis appears to be the front-runner between the pipes replacing departed Connor Maloney.

"We lost some major contributors but we have a good bunch of younger kids who have come in that should fill those spots fine," MC head coach John McLean said. "The issue is you cannot replace a Casey Fitzgerald (who joined the United States National Team Development Program). He was a special player but the guys that are going to play need to step up.

“As far as our expectations I just worry about the next game. We don't think about the Super 8. Right now we're rolling everyone and everyone is getting to play. When we work we're good and when we don't want to work then we're just average. All that matters is winning the last game of the year. Last year was a long learning curve for us. Hopefully our leaders this year will step it up and take us to the Garden again. We have a lot of good, young strong players. It's just a matter of them gaining the confidence to play at this level."

Against Springfield Cathedral, Sifferlen netted a pair of goals, with Goldstein and Rolli accounting for one apiece.

"I think we have a good group of young core guys on this team," said Nazarian, a UNH commit. "We have good leadership from our older guys. It's a good mix of young and older guys. I think things are looking good so far. There is one goal here and that's to win the whole thing. That is our mindset. We won last year so we know every team we play is going to give us their best so we need to give it our best every game. This is a whole new season so we're just focusing on winning it again and not look back on last year."

Raiders on the rebound: Having reached the third round of last year's Super 8 before falling to St. John's Prep, Central Catholic remains hopeful for another stab at the big dance. Raiders head coach Mike Jankowski is a main reason as to why this program has emerged as a driving force statewide.

With Central everything begins from the net outward. Senior goaltender Colin Soucy, arguably the best high school netminder in the state, will be relied on heavily to get the Raiders back into Super 8 contention.

"We've had a lot of success of late," Jankowski said. "The culture has changed here and we are getting kids coming back from juniors and prep schools and believing in this program and high school. We want kids to enjoy their high school experience here. The schedule we play keeps is very competitive and it keeps our kids engaged and maintains them playing at a high-level. There's nothing like high school hockey in terms of the relationships and friendships the kids build. It's an awesome brotherhood that all teams should experience."

For years, Central often flew under the radar, constantly being overshadowed by other programs. But due to their recent success, that is no longer the case. Jankowski wishes it was not like that but when you win consistently, you now have a target on your back.

"Now, instead of coming in as a dark horse which we like to ride, there is a new expectation level which has been set here but I think we're ready for it," he said. "Colin is back and what he did for us, especially at the end of last year, was remarkable. For the kids to have that confidence in him at his position just gives us that added advantage. The goalie position where it makes a difference in a team's won-loss record. Colin is just a great example of being a great character kid."

Panthers on the prowl: With the loss of two key contributors last year, Springfield Cathedral will be looking to its youthfulness to help them make a return visit to the Super 8. Gone are defenseman Matt Foley and forwards Artie Potter and Dominic Blad. But who returns should play a key role in the Panthers postseason hopes. It all starts with goalie John Liquori. The team's lone senior, Liquori played himself into a top-level talent a year ago. Forwards Peter Crinella (a Holy Cross commit), Johnny Leonard, D.J. Petruzzelli, Cole Foster, Zac Prattson and Riley Prattson will give Cathedral the ammo it needs on offense.

Defense will be a work in progress, but Bryce Peritz, Jordan Tetreault and Cam Griffin return.

Also make note on freshman goaltender Keith Petruzzelli over the next couple of years.

"We've got babies but they're all good," Panthers coach Brian Foley said. "Our first two lines are going to score goals. We had a great first week of practice and you noticed how much they improved in just one week. It'll be fun over time to see how these guys mature this year. I think this will be our most-offensive team that we've had ever. All of those kids did a lot of work on their strength and speed during the off-season. I also think our defense and goaltending will be outstanding as well."

BC High movin’ on: With the loss of all-everything goaltender Peter Cronin, all is not lost at BC High. Brandon Payzant, a sophomore, was Cronin's understudy a year ago and by the looks of things, he appears to be a quick learner after playing solid between the pipes today against St. Mary's of Lynn.

"Brandon was with us last year as a freshman," Eagles coach John Flaherty said. "Obviously he had a great kid to watch and learn from. Peter was great working with Brandon so he now has a year of experience under his belt in practice and being around these guys. Now he is able to get some game experience. He's a good athlete and someone who will be able to step in and carry the load for us. We are also carrying eight defense (spearheaded by Sam Topham) where we hope to find the right combinations in order to keep the puck out of our zone."

On offense, BC High will count on Patrick Kramer (25 points), Steve DeForge, Chris LaLiberte, Tim Larocque, Jake Lemanski and Connor Noonan to work the puck into opposing team's defensive zones.

"We have a lot of experience back," Flaherty added. "It is just now we need guys to play bigger roles for us. Overall we are returning seven defensemen, 11 forwards and one goaltender and most of them have been around for a few years and it is our hope this is the year they blossom."

Hawks a sleeper?: Don't rule out Xaverian as a potential candidate to do some big things this season. Reaching the Division 1 South quarterfinals last season, the Hawks should be a better unit this year in spite of the departures of Eddie Pratt (17 goals last year) and defenseman Mike Brennan. They are led by forwards Antonio Marini (35 points last year), Tim Sweeney (24 points) and Jake Farrell (14). Defensively, Rick Smith and Ryan Walsh will be keys in shutting down opposing offenses.

Shot in the arm for SMH: After spending last season at Brewster Academy, St. Mary's of Lynn head coach Mark Lee was overjoyed learning that goalie Bailey MacBurnie was returning for his senior year.

Two years ago, as a sophomore, MacBurnie secured a 1.38 goals-against-average in helping the Spartans earn a No. 2 seeding in the Super 8 Tournament. With him back in the crease, expect St. Mary's to make another solid postseason run.

"Bailey can certainly be a difference maker for us," Lee said. "I think with this team we are putting a lot of kids in a position to allow them to gain great experience because overall we are a young team. I think we'll get better as the season goes."

With another year under their respective belts, you can look for forwards Jordan Manthorne and Jon Powers, the only two players to reach double digits in scoring last season, to lead to carry this club offensively.

Burlington moves on from repeat: Defending back-to-back Division 1 state champion Burlington will count on its defense to help the Red Devils in their quest for a third state title.

"So far I'm happy with our progress even though it has only been a couple of days," said Burlington head coach and recently-inducted Mass. State Coaches Association Hall of Famer Bob Conceison. "We have a strong defense and some forward that are young so it will be a work in progress to get our offense going. This is kind of a similar team to last year in that our offense started to come together at the end of the year. It's going to take a while for our offense to gel. We lost some firepower on offense last year (losing C.J. Grinnell and Joe Bernardi) but our defense is back."

The Red Devils also lost goalie Derek DeCastro to graduation and hope to fill the void with senior Mike Guleserian.

The Hall calls: Longtime Hudson head coach Mike Nanartowich will be inducted into the Mass. State Coaches Hall of Fame in May, along with Murphy, Waltham head coach John Maguire and Stoughton front man Dan Mark. Two years removed from his Division 3 state championship triumph over Medway, Nanartowich, now in his 24th season, regards Shrewsbury as the favorite in Central Mass. this year.

The Colonials return a front line of Dan and Jack Quinlivan along with David Belbin. Last season the trio combined to score 125 points. However, never never rule out the possibility for the Hawks at making a serious charge by season's end.

"You still have to go out and show up for every single game," Nanartowich said. "Right now you have to give the edge to Shrewsbury because of the people that they are returning as well as Wachusett and its depth. But at this point, I just think Belbin and the Quinlivan brothers can be the most-dominant line in all of Central Mass. this year. How you take care of their speed and skill requires a lot of game planning. As for us, we will still go out and play everyone straight up like we always do."

In regards to going into the Hall of Fame, Nanartowich remains humble over the selection. He passes the credit over to the players and coaches he has worked with over the years as the reason for the honor.

"I'm going in with a bunch of great guys and guys who have won at a good level," he said. "For me, all that hard work of watching tape, going to various rinks to scout and those commitments you make in the off-season with your team has paid off in winning a state championship and now it has paid off in terms of being recognized by your peers."

Hawks longtime assistant coach Mike Correa added that the honor bestowed on Nanartowich is certainly well-deserved.

"There is probably no one who does more for his players or works harder at preparing kids, not only for the game but life lessons as well, than him," Correa said. "Winning the 2012 state championship is not the reason why he should be in the hall. It is all the dedication he has brought to all the kids who have played in this program over the years which stands out to me."

Recap: Groton-Dunstable 2, Shrewsbury 1

February, 13, 2013
2/13/13
11:47
PM ET
GROTON, Mass. -- Do not call Groton-Dunstable a finesse team. If you do, they might take offense to it.

The Crusaders would prefer you categorized them as ruthless and nasty -- a team not afraid to knock heads or sacrifice their bodies to block shots. Wednesday night, they did a little of both.

In a match up between two of the top Division 3 programs in Central Mass., the Crusaders held off Shrewsbury, 2-1, in a non-conference tilt at the Groton School Rink. In a game that went full-throttle from start to finish, Groton-Dunstable forward C. J. Kenny’s goal at 1:06 of the third period proved to be the difference. The Crusaders clamped down on the Colonials for the remainder of the period, improving their overall record to 15-1-3.

Kenny, a senior, scored the game-winner after he was able to gain control of a loose puck in front of the Shrewsbury crease and knock it past goaltender Shane Gorrie. While scoring chances were limited for both teams, it was the Crusaders defensive output that stole the show.

Groton-Dunstable's strategy in slowing an opposing foe is by applying constant pressure on anyone handling the puck. This also includes the Crusader forwards, who are expected to assist the defensemen on any rush up the ice.

Shrewsbury’s top line of Dave Belbin, Dan Quinlivan and Jack Quinlivan were all held in check throughout the evening as they failed to register a point for the first time this season. Anytime the puck was on their collective sticks, so too, was a Crusader to disrupt their lane to the net.

“Our forwards did a great job getting back, helping us and not giving them any time or space,” senior defenseman Mike Keating said. “When they don’t have time or space we can step up and get into their grill and then they can’t get shots.”

With the possibility of these two teams meeting again in the postseason, Shrewsbury realizes it needs to find a way to break free in order to set up better scoring chances or else a similar outcome might occur.

“They took a lot of time and space away from us because of their big size and reach,” said Colonials coach Steve Turnblom whose team dropped to 11-4-1. “They also did a great job in their own end blocking shots and taking areas away for our guys to shoot. They’ll be a handful for teams facing them in the playoffs. We just need to adapt to their style and be hungrier the next time.”

Almost two periods had passed before a goal was scored. With his team on the power play, Allan Haynes, a senior defenseman, put Groton-Dunstable on the board first with a shot just outside the crease at 12:19 of the second period.

But with just 50 seconds remaining in the period, the Colonials got even. Freshman Matt Dillon, standing inside the right circle, roped a shot through traffic that Crusader goalie Jason Robes never saw making it 1-1.

In the locker room during the second intermission, Turnblom preached to his club the importance of getting the next goal. Unfortunately, the Colonials failed in that quest. Instead it was Kenny who breathed new life into the Crusaders with his early final period score. For the remainder of the period, Groton-Dunstable, in its first season as a Division 3 program after winning a Division 3A state title a year ago, stepped it up on the defensive side as they continued to frustrate the Colonials any time they moved the puck over the center line.

“These are the type of games we’re going to see once we get into the tournament,” Groton-Dunstable first-year coach Phil Rowley said. “I think this was one of the hardest games our kids have played in all year if not the hardest. Our captains held a team meeting [on Tuesday] and talked about bringing the intensity level up and they brought it into this game. The senior leadership we have on this team is unbelievable.”

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