Boston High School: Matt Burchill

Our MIAA boys' hockey All-State Team

March, 28, 2013
3/28/13
9:11
PM ET
FIRST LINE
All-StateF - Liam Coughlin, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Finished third among all Division 1 players in scoring, while leading the Knights back to the Super 8 for the first time since 2009-10. The South Boston native put up 28-20-48 totals, tied for first among Catholic Conference scorers this season.

All-StateF - Ara Nazarian, Soph., Malden Catholic
ESPN Boston’s Mr. Hockey award winner this season, Nazarian had 26-22-48 totals for the regular season, along with nine goals and five assists during the Super 8 tournament for the three-time defending champions. The Boxford resident and center is the first underclassman to win the Mr. Hockey award.

All-StateF – Brian Pinho, Sr., St. John’s Prep
The Providence College commit led the Eagles to a No. 1 seed in this year’s Super 8 tournament. The North Andover resident compiled 12-24-36 totals this season and, in January, was ranked No. 117 among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings.

All-StateD – Casey Fitzgerald, Soph., Malden Catholic
The North Reading resident earned his second Super 8 title with the Lancers, playing on all defensive units and is one of two players making a second-straight appearance on our All-State team. The Boston College commit had 5-17-22 totals on the season and recently was accepted in the United States National Team Development Program’s U-17 team.

All-StateD – Matt Foley, Sr., Springfield Cathedral
The two-way blue-liner finished third on the Panthers in scoring with 10-16-26 totals this year while leading them to another Super 8 apperance. A Longmeadow resident, the captain is deciding among prep schools for next year, as well as offers to play in college.

All-StateG – Peter Cronin, Sr., BC High
The only repeating First-Team All-Stater this year, Cronin finished in the top five among Division 1 netminders in both goals against average (1.40) and save percentage (94.6) while starting all 23 of the Eagles’ games. He is currently considering colleges among playing opportunities at the prep school and junior levels.

SECOND LINE
All-StateF – Tom Besinger, Jr., BC High
The Eagles’ top center and captain was force to reckon with in the circle, in addition to leading the Eagles with 35 points (10 goals and a team-best 25 assists).
All-StateF – Cam Owens, Sr., Wilmington
Finished his high school career with back-to-back Division 2 state championships. Owens racked up 30 points, playing alongside All-State honorable mention Brendan McDonough. Owens is currently weighing prep and junior options for next year.
All-StateF – Nolan Vesey, Sr., Austin Prep
The senior captain led the Cougars back to the Super 8 for the first time since the 2009-10 season and all the way to a finals appearance at the Garden. Vesey led AP in goals (18) and points (31) while kicking in 13 assists.
All-StateD – Nick Gorski, Sr., Central Catholic
A player who head coach Mike Jankowski repeatedly called his “most improved player” since freshman year, the Raiders captain played on all units, leading Central to another Super 8 appearance.
All-StateD – Jack Williams, Sr. Springfield Cathedral
A major component to perhaps the state’s best blue-line core, Williams did a little bit of everything for the Panthers, including playing forward on power-play units. The Suffield, Conn. resident tallied four goals and 19 assists for 23 points. He is currently weighing his playing options for next season.

All-StateG – Colin Soucy, Jr., Central Catholic
The break-out star of this year’s Super 8 tournament, Soucy nearly delivered the Raiders to a quarterfinal-round upset of No. 1 seed St. John’s Prep in his first year as Central’s starting netminder.

Best of the Rest – Honorable Mention
Forwards
Tyler Bird, Jr., St. John’s Prep
Tommy Bishop, Sr., Chelmsford
Matt Brazel, Jr., Hingham
Brian Brooks, Jr., Canton
Mike Carbone, Sr., Marshfield
Bobo Carpenter, Soph., Austin Prep
A.J. Couto, Sr., Danvers
Ben Cox, Sr., Medfield
Peter Crinella, Soph., Springfield Cathedral
Cam Curley, Sr., Franklin
Sam D’Antuono, Jr., Hingham
Jordan Dow, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
Josh Edwards, Sr., Blue Hills
Brendan Greene, Jr., Winchester
C.J. Grinnell, Sr., Burlington
Marc Happy, Jr., Wachusett
Lloyd Hayes, Jr., Central Catholic
Kevin Hock, Frosh., Catholic Memorial
Mike Iovanna, Sr., Malden Catholic
Andrew Irving, Sr., Beverly
Connor Irving, Jr., Beverly
Ryan Jones, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy
Jack Kilty, Sr., Medway
Pat Kramer, Soph., BC High
Tom Koopman, Jr., Marblehead
Matt Kustra, Sr., Natick
Brendan McDounough, Jr., Wilmington
Anthony Lespasio, Sr., Bedford
Jack O’Hear, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Derek Petti, Sr., Tewksbury
Eddie Pratt, Sr., Xaverian
Nolan Redler, Jr., Winchester
Tyler Sifferlen, Jr., Malden Catholic
Mike Sorenti, Jr., Archbishop Williams
Sean Spohr, Sr., Westfield
Max Turcotte, Sr., Holliston
Max Willman, Sr., Barnstable

Defense
Matt Burchill, Sr., Marshfield
Derek Butler, Jr., Natick
John Carlson, Jr., Hingham
Adam Crowley, Jr., Burlington
Nick Edwards, Jr., Blue Hills
Sean Heelan, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Kurt Leavitt, Sr., Canton
Bryan Nelson, Soph., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Nick Rolli, Jr., Malden Catholic
Ryan Shea, Frosh, BC High
Sam Topham, Sr., BC High

Goaltenders
Tim Birarelli, Soph., Beverly
Alex Buckley, Sr., Newburyport
Brandon Collett, Frosh., Catholic Memorial
Jordan Davis, Sr., Norwood
Derek DeCastro, Sr., Burlington
Drew Foley, Jr., Wilmington
Nolan Greene, Jr., North Quincy
Elijah Harris, Soph., Austin Prep
John Liquori, Jr., Springfield Cathedral
Al Lynch, Jr., Framingham
Evan Morelli, Sr., Reading
James Offner, Soph., Winchester
Nick Russo, Sr., Waltham
Jimmy Tierney, Soph., Oliver Ames

D1 boys final: Burlington 4, Marshfield 2

March, 18, 2013
3/18/13
2:08
AM ET


BOSTON – The biggest difference between Burlington High School and Marshfield in Sunday's Division I state championship game? A second-period stretch of hockey that lasted three minutes and 19 seconds.

Burlington scored three goals in that span, which turned a tie game into a three-goal advantage. It was too much for Marshfield to overcome, as the Red Devils went on to post a 4-2 victory and win the Division I title for the second consecutive season.

“That was definitely the difference,” Marshfield coach Dan Connolly said. “We got away from the way we wanted to play. We were too aggressive on the forecheck. We made a couple bad pinches that led to odd-man rushes and they capitalized. Give credit to them. They forced us into that.”

Senior forward Sean Murphy gave Burlington a 2-1 lead at 6:11 of the second, and then made it a 3-1 contest at 8:44. Senior J.P. Scola added a goal a 9:40 of the second that put the Red Devils up 4-1. Murphy's second goal came during a Burlington power play – one of two power-play goals the Red Devils scored in the game.

“I thought we were lucky to be 1-1 because I thought we were back on our heels and playing a little passive in the first period,” Burlington coach Bob Conceison said. “We changed our tactics a little bit. We played a little bit more aggressively and started taking the body more. Then once we got that goal to make it 2-1, the other two seemed to come fast. That was the key to the game.”

Burlington's Joe Berardi opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period and also collected two assists in the victory, which came in Burlington's fourth appearance in the Division I state final. The Red Devils completed their season with a 14-6-5 record.

Burlington, which had to replace seven seniors from last year's team, received a 27-save performance from senior goaltender Derek DeCastro.

“He's a great goaltender,” Connolly said. “He didn't give us a lot of net to shoot at. He knows how to win big games. He proved that last year.”

Marshfield hadn't allowed a power-play goal in the postseason until the championship game.

Senior forward Michael Carbone and junior defenseman Matt Burchill collected the Marshfield goals. Carbone's goal made it a 1-1 game in the first period, and Burchill made it 4-2 with 42 seconds left in the second.

The momentum created by Burchill's goal didn't seem to carry over to the final period, however.

“We played a gutsy third period,” Conceison said. “We got in the passing lanes, blocked some shots. We did the little things you have to do to win a game like this.”

Marshfield goaltender Connor Lemieux stopped 13 shots.

The Rams, who won the Division I title in 2011, finished with a 20-7-0 record. Severn players on this year's Marshfield team also skated for the Rams in 2011.

“It was a good hockey game,” Connolly said. “They played a little bit smarter system-wise. Someone has to lose in a championship game, and tonight it was us. It's sad for the seniors.”

MIAA championship hockey picks

March, 16, 2013
3/16/13
9:55
PM ET
GIRLS’ DIVISION 2
No. 1 Duxbury (21-1-2) vs. No. 2 Falmouth (19-1-2), 11 a.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Duxbury – F Hannah Murphy, F Marissa Fichter, F Jane Dudley, F Meredith Wright, F Julia Nolan, D Ally Hammel, D Payton Donato, G Rachel Myette; Falmouth – F Alexa Scribner, F Rachel Moore, F Madison Haberl, F Kelly Ferreira, D Hannah Ghelfi, D Alexx Good, G Madison Scavotto.

Breakdown: It is perhaps the most predictable of all of Sunday’s matchups and the most anticipated. The Dragons and Clippers renew a burgeoning rivalry, intensified by last year’s duel at the Garden and invigorated by the fact that either team’s lone loss of the season was handed to them by the other. Duxbury has been playing lockdown defense throughout the playoffs and haven’t allowed a goal in more than six games, including the regular season. The Clippers’ young corps will look to get over the hump, building on a bittersweet experience on the Bruins’ home ice sheet one year ago.

X-factor: Scavotto. As dominant as Duxbury’s defense has been in front of and including Myette, the Clippers are capable of the same. And their sophomore netminder is a big reason why. She could steal one.

Pick: Duxbury, 1-0.

GIRLS’ DIVISION 1
No. 4 St. Mary’s of Lynn (18-3-4) vs. No. 7 Arlington Catholic (17-4-2), 9 a.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: St. Mary’s – F Alison Butler, F Kaleigh Finigan, F Gabby Crugnale, F Madison Molea, D Tatiana Doucette, D Amanda Donahoe, G Lauren Skinnion; AC – F Adrieanna Rossini, F Jess Piracini, F Duggan Delano, F Hayle Rudin, D Melissa Richard, G Megan Messuri.

Breakdown: The Catholic Central rivals meet for the second straight year on championship Sunday and, like their Div. 2 counterparts, also split their season series at a game apiece. Behind the benches, both the Spatans’ Frank Pagliuca and the Cougars’ Maggie Taverna have done work worthy of Coach of the Year honors. St. Mary’s has the feel of a team of destiny, neither a short bench nor nagging injuries all season long have kept the Spartans from returning to the biggest stage, all while dispatching No. 1 Woburn in the process.

X-factor: Rossini. You’d be hard pressed to find a young player in recent memory who has scored more clutch playoff goals than the AC sophomore.

Pick: St. Mary’s, 3-2.

BOYS’ DIVISION 3
Swampscott (19-5-0) vs. Westfield (18-3-2), 3:30 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Swampscott – F Corey Carmody, F Noah Maercklein, F Nunzio Morretti, D Chris Carman, D Trevor Massey; Westfield – F Sean Spohr, F Mike Santinello, F Anthony Cagliostro, F Adam Collier, F Neil Parrow, D Nate Barnes.

Breakdown: The Big Blue took down defending D3 finalist and South sectional champion Medway (thanks to an OT goal from Maercklein) to advance to the program’s first title game appearance. Westfield returns to the Garden ice after a one-year hiatus after taking a scorched-earth policy to Western Mass. competition, while averaging more than 5.5 goals per game.

X-factor: Swampscott freshman goaltender Tristan Bradley. The first-year backstop has been a key element to the Big Blue’s success, maintaining a 91.5 save percentage through the season.

Pick: Swampscott, 5-4.

BOYS’ DIVISION 2
Wilmington (20-3-2) vs. Franklin (17-7-2), 1:30 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Wilmington – F Cam Owens, F Brendan McDonough, F Jake Rogers, F Dylan DiNatale, D Brian Pickett, D Cam Collins, G Drew Foley; Franklin – F Cam Curley, F Dennis Pisani, F Aidan Isberg, F Troy Donahue, D Kyle Powers, D Kyle Filbert, G Devon Maloof.

Breakdown: The third of six rematches on the day, after the Wildcats claimed a 3-2 victory over Franklin a year ago on championship Sunday, propelled by a hat trick from Owens. The Panthers will be looking to avoid their third straight fruitless trip to the Garden, having dropped title tilts with Wilmington and Tewksbury. The Wildcats, who had Super 8 aspirations until late in the season, are eying their second straight title.

X-factor: McDonough. He’s been the break-out performer of the tournament and provides a great complement to Owens on Wilmington’s top line.

Pick: Wilmington, 3-2.

BOYS’ DIVISION 1
Burlington (13-6-5) vs. Marshfield (20-6-0), 8:15 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Burlington – F C.J. Grinnell, F Joe Berardi, F Joey Scali, D Adam Crowley, D Sean Costa, G Derek DeCastro; Marshfield – F Mike Carbone, F Pat Burchill, F Joe Admirand, F Pat Shea, D Matt Burchill, D Trevor Salmon.

Breakdown: While this isn’t another rematch, these teams are no strangers to this stage, with the Red Devils and Rams representing as the last two Div. 1 state champions. Both teams were near .500 squads through the first month of the season, and closed their regular-season slates with momentum they’ve carried over into the playoffs. Both these teams can skate with the best of them, but they also pay attention to the little things in the defensive zone as well.

X-factor: Crowley. I’d expect a defensive struggle in this one and so I’m going with the Red Devils’ blue-liner who always makes his presence felt.

Pick: Burlington, 3-1.

BOYS’ DIVISION 1A – SUPER 8
No. 4 Austin Prep (16-1-6) vs. No. 7 Malden Catholic (15-6-3), 6 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: AP – F Nolan Vesey, F Bobby Carpenter, F Frankie Candelino, F George Sennott, F Eric MacAdams, D Andrew Cross, D J.J. Layton, G Elijah Harris; MC – F Ara Nazarian, F Mike Iovanna, F Tyler Sifferlen, F Pat Wrenn, F Austin Goldstein, D Casey Fitzgerald, D Nick Rolli, G Connor Maloney.

Breakdown: AP, while short on years, is not short on talent. I think we all knew coming into this season that they were capable of reaching this stage, but it might have been a question of when. The Cougars earned their way to Sunday after dispatching town rival Reading and then No. 1 seed St. John’s Prep in Wednesday’s semifinal. It seems like years ago since there was a time when the Lancers were in jeopardy of missing the tournament all together, but they’ve played the best hockey in the state during the last month.

X-factor: Nazarian. It’s his tournament, the rest of us are just living in it.

Pick: Malden Catholic, 4-2.

D1 South: Marshfield 6, Hingham 3

March, 13, 2013
3/13/13
4:25
AM ET


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
3/11/13
1:14
AM ET


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. -- 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.

A record day at South of Boston Shootout

February, 24, 2011
2/24/11
1:41
AM ET


BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- It was the perfect time for a milestone.

As Bridgewater-Raynham captain and forward Anthony Hardy slid the puck from the blue line toward the open Coyle-Cassidy net, the Trojans could finally breathe a sigh of relief. While tallying his 21st goal of the season and his second of the night, Hardy not only netted an empty-net goal capping off B-R’s 3-1 win Wednesday at the Bridgewater Ice Arena, it also tied the program record for goals in a season.

The Trojans advance to face Marshfield in the championship game of the South of Boston Shootout, giving Hardy one more chance to break the record. But he was simply happy to come away with a win.

“They’re a huge rival,” Hardy said. “When we see them on the schedule, we want to go out and get it.”

Neither team could find the back of the net in a tightly checked first period. However, B-R (13-4-1) got things started quickly in the second period, when 48 seconds in Pat McNamara’s blast from the blue line found its way through a crowd and past Warriors netminder Seth Lavigne (25 saves).

C-C (9-8-2) countered less than two minutes later with Nick Cambria burying a wrister assisted by Mike Jessman and Ryan Jones.

The momentum shifted back once again in the Trojans’ favor as Hardy scored his first of the game with assists from Ted Buckley and Adam McGrath.

“Buckley hit it out front and the goalie wasn’t in position,” Hardy said, “it came out to me and I just shot it.”

The Warriors comeback fell short in the third period, partially because they spent a good portion of the period short-handed. C-C had three successful penalty kills in the period, but the Warriors were unable to beat Trojans goaltender Craig Pantano, who finished with 18 saves.

“We’ve got to get a rabbit’s foot in our pocket at some point,” Warriors head coach Dave Borges said. “We’re getting shots to the net, but not getting them through. We’re having a difficult time finishing.

“We need to get those mucking goals. We need more plumbers out there.”

CONNORS IS MR. 100 FOR MARSHFIELD


Hardy wasn’t the only player setting records during the second day of the Shootout.

No. 21 Marsfield advanced to the championship game, beating 17th-ranked Xaverian, 4-2, thanks to a hat trick from senior forward Ryan Connors. While posting a four-point game, Connors also eclipsed the 100-point plateau for his high school career — although he was unaware of the milestone.

“Coach [Dan Connolly] came in, gave me the puck and said it was my hundredth,” Connors said.

Despite having no prior knowledge that he was on the cusp of the century mark, Connors left his imprint on the game.

Marshfield (13-3-5) went to the first intermission with a 1-0 lead Connors’ on first goal of the game.

The Hawks (9-8-2) tied the game, 1-1, on Joe Bina’s second-period goal. The puck deflected of a Rams defender’s skate into the net with assists from Ryan Hall and Ricky Smith.

Chris Perry restored Marshfield’s lead 6:46 into the second period on a goal assisted by Connors and Matt Entwhistle. The Hawks returned serve to tie the game once more, 2-2, on Billy Hildebrand’s tally.

Then, it was time again for Connors to take the center stage. He potted the game-winner 5:17 into the third period, gathering a loose rebound in the slot and burying into the open net. Matt Burchill and Chris Perry each picked up their second assists of the game on the play.

Connors completed the hat trick, netting an empty-netter with 30 seconds remaining.

“The last time, they tied us with a minute and 35 seconds left,” Connors said, “so it felt good to beat them.”

Rams head coach Dan Connolly found more to like in Connors’ play.

“He’s really starting to find the back of the net for us, which is good,” Connolly said. “He’s a good offensive player He’s got great speed and he showed that tonight on our second goal.”

PANTHERS READY TO POUNCE


Late-season tournaments, like the South of Boston, provide teams a final tune-up before postseason play.

If Franklin’s play during the Shootout has been any indication, they could be a very tough out in Division 2 South come March. The Panthers challenged Xaverian in a physical battle before falling, 2-1, to the Hawks on Monday. They followed up that performance with a 3-2 win over Old Colony League champion Barnstable (12-3-4).

“It’s our third year coming down here and it’s because of the competition,” Franklin head coach Chris Spillane said.

There are still a couple things Spillane would like to see the Panthers (13-4-2) tighten up in their final regular-season tilt against Oliver Ames on Thursday.

“We had a little let down tonight and I think both teams were a little bit off their games,” Spillane added. “We were just lucky to get a couple bounces and come out with the win.”

The meeting will be the third time the Hockomock League rivals have met.

Oliver Ames (8-8-4) punched their ticket to the Division 2 South tournament with a 4-3 win over St. Peter Marian in the early action on Wednesday.

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