Boston High School: Jimmy Connors

SCITUATE, Mass. – Marshfield’s victory in Saturday’s Chowda Cup Championship game bore multifold benefits.

First and foremost, of course, was the hardware. The Rams ran through Scituate before besting No. 7 Catholic Memorial, 11-10, in overtime to claim the Cup. Second, and perhaps more importantly, there was the matter of proof in the quality of Marshfield’s opponent in the final. After an up-and-down 2012, the Rams are off to a 5-0 start and have now claimed a win against a Top 10 opponent.

[+] EnlargePat Burchill
Scott Barboza/ESPNBoston.comMarshfield goaltender Pat Burchill made 12 saves, including seven in the second quarter, to help the Rams to an 11-10 victory over Catholic Memorial in the Chowda Cup championship.
Marshfield again found success on Saturday behind a patient, balanced possession game, bolstered by Mike Carbone’s four-goal game. Carbone also tallied the overtime game-winner.

Robbie Keuther also added a four-point game (2 G, 2 A) while goaltender Pat Burchill collected 12 saves to keep the Knights (4-2) at bay. Meanwhile, tournament MVP Joe Parnell tallied two goals and was a demon on faceoffs, winning 17 of 26 draws.

The team battled to a 5-5 tie at the half, in large part due to Burchill’s seven saves in the second quarter.

“If Pat [Burchill] wasn’t such a strong goalie, that game would’ve been over fast,” Carbone added.

After CM sophomore attack Tyler Bogart notched his third goal of the game for a 7-6 lead, Marshfield strung together three straight tallies to open the fourth quarter on goals by Jack Shaw, Parnell and Carbone.

CM rallied to score the next three to force overtime. The Knights did so with goals by Zach O’Brien (2 G, 1 A), Bogart (his fourth) and Kevin Bletzer (2 G, 2 A) in the final three minutes, eight seconds of regulation. Bletzer tied the game with just 36 seconds remaining.

Carbone tallied the game-winner after a controversial possession call, when referees awarded the ball to Marshfield on a footrace to the end line. Following the call, Tim Colleta strafed down the middle of the field and found a cutting Carbone for the dramatic win.

DOING THE DIRTY WORK
It’s not often that face-off men get their due, but Parnell was handsomely rewarded for his efforts in the tournament, taking home the championship plaque.

After a dominating performance against Scituate, Parnell again owned the draws. He was at his best against CM in the fourth quarter, winning six of the seven faceoffs he took.

“The face-off X is an absolute battle,” Rams head coach Jake Jones said. “I wouldn’t have anybody but Joe [Parnell] in there, scrapping it up. He’s doing a great job with the faceoffs and he’s being extremely smart with the ball.”

When describing his success this weekend, Parnell doffed his cap to his brother, Kenny Parnell, who was waiting at the wings.

“I started off with the clamp and he was wrist-breaking, so then I went with the jump and it ended up working,” Parnell said of Saturday’s matchup. “My little brother did a great job getting in on the wing, and he helped me win a lot of those.”

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
With Cohasset taking a convincing 14-3 win over host Scituate in the consolation game, another successful tournament wrapped up with the naming of the All-Tournament Team.

Here’s a look at the list:

Catholic Memorial – Kevin Bletzer, Tyler Bogart, Kameron Gingras, Scott Spangenberg.

Cohasset – Jack Conte, John Mills, Tommy Ryan,

Marshfield – Pat Burchill, Mike Carbone, Jimmy Connors, Joe Parnell, Jack Shaw.

Scituate – Tucker Ciessau, Jake Reynolds.

D1 South: Marshfield 6, Hingham 3

March, 13, 2013
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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.

MOMENTUM SHIFT
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.”

SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON
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.”

D1 South: Marshfield 5, Archbishop Williams 1

March, 11, 2013
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BOURNE, Mass. - Marshfield head coach Dan Connolly has been seen around Gallo Ice Arena frequently of late, even when his Rams were not on the ice. Whatever Coach Connolly is doing - scouting, taking a break from his team, watching great state playoff hockey - it is working.

No.5 Marshfield came out of the gates with their pads on fire and posted three tallies on 17 shots on goal on their way to a 5-1 rout over top-seeded Archbishop Williams (13-6-4) in the Division 1 semifinals.

Mike Carbone and Matt Burchill each posted a goal and an assist to help the Rams (19-6) advance to the Division 1 finals on Tuesday against No.2 seeded Hingham, who were 8-1 winners over Barnstable on the other side of the bracket.

Jimmy Connors, Liam Manning, and Burchill were credited with the first period goals, with Connors and Manning scoring only 32 seconds apart within 7:19 of regulation.

"It was very unexpected to get up 3-0 that quick and I thought our kids played great. We were all over them with a lot of energy and out-beating them to pucks and played real well," said Connolly. "The key was keeping [Mike] Jessman and [Mike] Sorrenti outside, as they are two very, very talented players. Try to keep them to the perimeter as much as we could."

The Rams defense worked out Connolly's plans to perfection as the speed and depth of the offense outshot Archies, 17-4, in the first 15 minutes of play.

Connors sent the pro-Marshfield crowd into a frenzy at 6:47 of the first as he was fed out in front of a scrum from Pat Burchill with Will Decost also getting an assist on the first goal of the game. Manning decided to do things himself as he took the puck left-to-right across the crease for the unassisted tally only 32 seconds later on the next Marshfield shift down the ice for the 2-0 lead.

Burchill finished off the first period onslaught on the power-play one second before Kyle Leonard's boarding penalty expired off a 5-on-3 opportunity to give Marshfield plenty of room with a 3-0 lead at 12:08 of the first.

Marshfield came out sluggish in the second period but couldn't be blamed much with a 3-0 lead. The defense was on their heels with numerous turnovers in the neutral zone within the first five minutes of play and Jake Romano finally figured out Connor Lemieux at 4:03 of the second to cut the deficit to 3-1.

The Archies' goal, however, did not hand momentum back to the top-seeded Archies but only woke up the speed of the Marshfield skaters and showcased their depth. Third-liners Colin MacDonald and David Cataldo paired up on a goal to get back the three-goal cushion at 10:47 of the second stanza.

MacDonald worked the blue line to keep the puck in the Marshfield zone and was able to find Cataldo low in the right slot. Cataldo pulled the trigger and found daylight between the crossbar and pads of Joe Vinay in net on the near side top corner for a picturesque odd-angle goal and a 4-1 Marshfield lead.

"I thought they took it to us in the first five or six [minutes] of the second, but then we started settling back in and playing the way we wanted to play," said Connolly.

Not often you can talk about an assist being the play of the game, but Burchill pulled it off early in the third period. The junior defenseman dropped behind the right post with two defenders draped over him and flipped a backhand pass out in front of the crease between a defender's legs and Carbone sniped it for the 5-1 lead.

"That was a great goal as I was just playing in the slot waiting for it, I was hollering his name, and he picked his head up and hit me...it was perfect," said Carbone, a senior forward who is looking for his second trip to the TD Garden after the Rams won the Division 1 title in 2011 when he was a sophomore. "It's hard playing with the lead cause they are coming hard at us and to keep up the intensity - it is hard to do that and when you think the game is already over but its 45 minutes in every game."

While Archies featured a more aggressive style coming into the semifinals, the Rams now move on to face No. 2 Hingham, who features four strong lines, just as much speed as the Rams and obviously can match their depth. The two South Shore foes faced off in the final game of the regular season with the Harbormen hanging a 10-1 loss on the Rams. Connolly is obviously hoping for a better fate.

"We are obviously hoping for a different outcome, but as long as we stay playing like we have in the tournament I think it will be a great game," said Connolly.



BOURNE, Mass. –- Even though Marshfield went into the first intermission down one goal, Rams head coach Dan Connolly wasn’t discouraged.

And he didn’t worry either when his team fell behind by two goals.

“I thought we played well and we carried the play,” Connolly said. “They just capitalized on both their chances.”

Then, as though a switch had been turned on, the Rams took off. After falling behind second seed Barnstable 2-0 midway through the second period of Friday night’s Division 1 South semifinal at John Gallo Arena, No. 3 seed Marshfield rallied to score three goals in three and a half minutes and pull out a 3-2 comeback win over the Raiders.

“The attitude in the locker room after the first period, they were a little down,” Connolly said. “But we told them they played well, there was nothing to be ashamed of. We just had to keep playing the way we were and they were going to go in eventually.”

Barnstable (14-4-4) took a 1-0 lead with 9:04 remaining in the first when Zach Wells redirected a Will Toffey point shot.

The Raiders were also able to neutralize the Rams’ team speed through the first period, playing a 1-2-2 defensive trap.

“They kind of played that trap on us and we knew if we skated to them and we manipulated one guy to come over, there would be another guy open,” Rams junior forward Chris Perry said. “And that’s what happened.”

Toffey helped Barnstable to a 2-0 lead in the second, stripping a Marshfield defender with a persistent forecheck and then walking into the slot and letting off a wrist shot at the 8:56 mark.

The Rams (17-3-5) began their comeback 11 seconds later, straight off the ensuing faceoff. Joe Admirand raced up the left wing boards and slid a cross-ice pass to Jon Fraser, who buried the one-timer.

Ty Martina tied the game with 2:30 to play in the second, unleashing a slap shot from the right wing circle that appeared to be deflected by a Raider defenseman’s stick. Ryan Connors and Jimmy Connors had the assists on the play.

Perry then tallied the game-winner before the period was out. With 25 seconds remaining, Perry put back the rebound off of Ryan Connors’ shot from the off wing. Connors’ blast ricocheted off the post, but back in the direction of Perry, who then finished top shelf.

“It was a great play by my linemate Ryan Connors,” Perry said. “He was flying around everywhere. It came off the back post right to me. I was lucky.”

The Rams defense held through some tense final minutes of the third period, with Kyle Moran making seven saves.

Freshman Sean Cleary also turned in a strong performance in net for the Raiders with 23 saves.

Marshfield will face top-seeded Springfield Cathedral at Gallo on Sunday for the sectional championship. The puck drops at 4:45 p.m.

“They’re deep, they’re big and they’re fast,” Connolly said of Cathedral. “Hopefully, it’s a good one.”

PANTHERS RETURN


Top-seeded Springfield Cathedral’s been in this territory recently.

Two years ago, the Panthers lost a Super Eight play-in game and then rebounded, tearing through the Division 1 South tournament en route to the state championship.

Cathedral has followed through on that trajectory this season, advancing to the D-1 South final with a 5-0 win over No. 13 seed Duxbury during the early game at Gallo.

The Panthers (14-10-1) jumped on the board four minutes into the first with Frank Crinella one-timing Mickey Foley’s feed through the slot. Dante Christofori also picked up an assist on the play.

Christofori tallied his second point of the game, finding the back of the net 1:19 into the second period, providing Cathedral with a 2-0 lead. The Panthers ran their lead to 3-0 three minutes later with Matt Peloquin cashing in after camping out on the high slot with Griffin Foley providing the feed.

“Me and Frank have been connected all year long and Dante came on our line two weeks ago,” Mickey Foley said. “He’s really fit the spot. We had an empty spot and he’s really stepped up to the plate. He’s getting open and giving good passes. We’ve connected really well.”

Cathedral carried play through the second and Duxbury was held without a shot for the first 13 minutes despite having two power play opportunities sandwiched together midway through the period. The Panthers outshot the Dragons, 9-1, in the period.

Duxbury (9-8-8) was unable to cash in on four power play chances.

“We went into the third talking about staying out of the box,” Panthers head coach Brian Foley said. “We gave up two man-up opportunities, but we practice those situations a lot and it was nice to see the execution on the power play and the penalty kill.”

Stephen Metayer had the Panthers to a 4-0 lead in the third, exhibiting some quick hands, picking up a loose puck in the slot and letting off a wrist shot. Sean Kavanagh rounded out scoring with a power play goal with 6:15 remaining.
BOURNE, Mass. -- During the regular season, when Marshfield and Falmouth met in Atlantic Coast League play, the teams first played to a 2-2 tie before the Rams took a 5-1 league win in their second meeting.

If the two disparate results were any indication of Thursday’s Division 1 South playoff game at John Gallo Ice Arena, the later example held true to form.

The third-seeded Rams didn’t look past the young Clippers and came out blazing, outshooting Falmouth 13-3 in the first period and running out to a 4-0 lead. Marshfield didn’t look back from there, taking a handy 6-1 win.

“We talked to the kids about higher seeds getting bounced from the tournament,” Marshfield head coach Dan Connolly said. “They took that to heart. There have been four years that I’ve coached where we’ve been paired against teams that we’d played twice during the regular season, so even though you may have already played them, the third time is always the most important. That’s the one you need to win.”

Ryan Connors and Matt Burchill led the way with three-point games, with Connors picking up two goals. Ty Martina and Chris Perry each had two-point games.

Martina and Burchill traded off setting up each other’s goals to start scoring for Marshfield. The Rams followed up with two power play goals in the final four minutes of play. Jimmy Connors buried a one-timer feed from Perry and Ryan Connors. Defenseman Brennan Quackenbush followed with Marshfield’s second goal on the man advantage.

The Rams (15-3-5) continued to dominate play in the second period, outshooting the Clippers by a 10-3 margin. Ryan Connors got in the fray with a goal of his own on an assist from Burchill for a 5-0 lead.

Cody Murray put Falmouth on the board with 11:59 remaining in the third period with an unassisted power play goal.

Ryan Connors rounded out scoring with 6:36 remaining with assists from Perry and Jimmy Connors.

“We’ve got good speed, so we just want to get the puck from our own end, up the ice,” Connolly said. “We had pretty good passing throughout, and our team likes to go, go, go and we were able to do that tonight.”

Marshfield advances to meet 11th-ranked Norwood in a quarterfinal game on Saturday.

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