Boston High School: Kevin Morris

Recap: No. 5 Hingham 12, No. 4 Needham 11 (OT)

April, 7, 2012

HINGHAM, Mass. -- It has become something of a tradition over the years that when Needham and Hingham match up in an early season lacrosse game, it ends up becoming an instant classic.

[+] EnlargeHingham vs. Needham
Bruce Lerch for ESPNBoston.comNo. 5 Hingham endured No. 4 Needham's late charge to come away with a 12-11 overtime win Saturday morning.
Since 2005, the Rockets and the Harbormen have met once a year with all but one of those contests was decided by three goals or less. Four of them were one-goal thrillers.

History repeated itself Saturday morning at Hingham High School, as Noah Ellis fired home the game-winner at 2:35 of overtime to lift the Harbormen to a 12-11 victory over Needham.

"I think it was a battle all the way," admitted a somewhat relieved Hingham coach John Todd afterward. "I think it was a one or two goal game, back and forth, both teams holding leads and we were just lucky enough to get a look at the cage in overtime. Good early season lacrosse."

Ellis finished with three goals and an assist for the Harbormen (3-0), David Freitas had five goals and a helper, and Kevin Blair had a game high seven points on four goals and three assists.

Mark Riley paced the Rockets (0-1) with four goals and two assists, Nico Panepinto added two goals with four assists and Robbie Pisano collected a hat trick.

The Rockets (0-1) tied the game when Panepinto set up Riley for a laser to the far post with just 23 seconds remaining in regulation. The Rockets then won the faceoff for overtime, but the Hingham (3-0) defense bottled up Riley as he tried to dodge through the lane.

With possession in hand following a timeout and another stoppage, Ellis worked himself into great position and let loose with what ended up as the game-winner.

"Kevin Morris set a good pick for me on the corner and my guy was kind of sagging in a little bit so I just split him to the middle," Ellis described. "Everyone was clearing out so I had a lane right to the net."

After a penalty-filled third quarter in which 10 flags were thrown (seven against the Harbormen), Freitas scored back to back goals, the second on a diving shot while getting hacked, to give Hingham an 11-10 lead with 3:09 to play. Panepinto rung one off the crossbar in a man-up a minute later, then Riley finally forced the extra frame with his tying goal.

"Our team has a lot of poise," Blair said. "It was pretty crazy and there was a lot of confusion with the referees and all the flags and stuff but we had a run, we kept it together."

In a year where expectations are high for both squads, the importance of the triumph was not minimized at all for the Harbormen.

"Its definitely big," Todd admitted. "We always battle these guys, every year it's a one or two goal game. That's why we play each other. We've got very high expectations for our kids and great respect for Needham. Having this game early in the season gives us a good benchmark of where we want to be and where we are."

Locals represented in NHL final rankings

April, 12, 2011
A year ago, local hockey fans intently waited to see whether Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin would finish the season atop the NHL Central Scouting's final rankings with the B's holding the second pick. While there might not be quite the level of attention on this year's final rankings, there are plenty of locals in the high school and prep school levels represented in this year's season-ending report.

Choate-Rosemary forward Philippe Hudon, of Quebec, remained the the top-rated local among North American skaters despite falling from the 31st rank on the midterm report. Milton Academy blue liner Rob O'Gara was the first Massachusetts-based skater on the list at No. 107, down from No. 95 on the midterm.

A new-comer to the final report was ESPN Boston's inaugural Mr. Hockey Award winner Colin Blackwell of St. John's Prep. The Eagles center is ranked 173rd after a strong Super Eight tournament showing while leading all scorers.

Mike Vecchione, captain of the Super Eight champion Malden Catholic Lancers, also climbed back onto the final rankings, after being left off the midterm, at No. 209.

Another name to watch out for is Loomis-Chaffee goaltender Stephen Michalek who's ranked fifth overall among North American goaltenders.

Northeastern defenseman Jamieson Oleksiak led the list of names with local college ties at No. 13.

Also, keep an eye on Connor Murphy of the U.S. U-18 National team. The 6-foot-3 blue liner was born in Boston and is the son of former Bruins defenseman Gord Murphy. Despite being left off the midterm rankings, Murphy has catapulted up the boards and is ranked 25th among North American skaters and eighth among defensemen.

Here's a look at the local high and prep schoolers represented on the list by ranking:

74 Philippe Hudon, Right Wing/Center. Choate-Rosemary
75 Colin Sullivan, Defenseman, Avon Old Farms
107 Rob O'Gara, Defenseman, Milton Academy
109 Stephen Miller, Left Wing, Noble and Greenough
112 Craig Wyszomirski, Defenseman, The Gunnery
127 Kevin Morris, Left Wing, Salisbury
144 Michael McKee, Defenseman, Kent School
145 Joseph Manno, Center, South Kent School
150 Jimmy Vesey, Left Wing, Belmont Hill
171 Nicholas Bligh, Center, Dexter School
173 Colin Blackwell, Center, St. John's Prep
189 Matthew Harlow, Left Wing, Noble and Greenough
191 Joe Prescott, Right Wing, St. Sebastian's
203 Jack Barre, Right Wing, Salisbury
209 Mike Vecchione, Right Wing, Malden Catholic

5 Stephen Michalek, Goalie, Loomis-Chaffee