High School: Mark Vercellini
February, 21, 2013
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com
FALMOUTH, Mass. -- It took only 26 seconds for Arlington Catholic to find its margin of victory Thursday in its Cape Cod Classic consolation game against Super 8 hopeful Duxbury.
It took a 45-minute defensive effort for the Cougars to claim a 1-0 win.
"We made it difficult to get through the neutral zone and took away the slot," Cougars head coach Dan Shine said. "I think, overall, we played a nice game defensively as a unit."
AC (11-6-4) immediately took to the offensive, scoring just 26 seconds in. Zach Blanch cashed in on the centering feed from Ryan Tierney, with Mark Vercellini credited with the second helper.
"From Mark [Vercellini] chipping it up, to the quick pass [from Tierney], there was no hesitation. It was an unselfish play," Blanch said.
Duxbury (14-3-5) was caught flat-footed for parts of the first and were outshot, 8-2.
However, the Dragons pushed the issue in the second, putting 13 shots on AC goaltender John Richard (20 saves), including some key scoring chances.
"We had our chances in that second period," Duxbury head coach John Blake said. "We hit a post, had a puck trickle through the crease, rebounds were there. For one reason or another, they weren't going to go in tonight."
The Dragons had trouble gaining speed through the neutral zone in the third, with AC clogging up the middle of the ice sheet.
Duxbury was unable to pull netminder Chris Johnson (17 saves) for much of the final minute, after Cougars center Steven Kehoe won an offensive zone faceoff.
"Kehoe, he was unreal," Blanch said. "Okie [Brendon O'Connell] won it do the boards, Kehoe tied it up and I stayed high. It worked out exactly like Coach drew it up."
Duxbury could look back at Thursday's performance as a missed opportunity, with Saturday's Super 8 selection meeting looming.
Yet, Blake said postgame that it was the last thing on the team's mind heading into action.
"It's something we really didn't discuss. We took a one-game-at-a-time approach. That was our mentality. We just wanted to come down here and win our last game of the season."
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