Boston High School: Myles Cohen

D2 North: Beverly 5, Lincoln-Sudbury 1

March, 4, 2014
Mar 4
BILLERICA, Mass. – Beverly means business.

After giving up a goal less than a minute in the Panthers rolled for the final 44 and beat Lincoln-Sudbury, 5-1, at the Chelmsford Forum in the second Division 2 North semifinal.

The win moves the Panthers into Monday's sectional final against Tewksbury at Tsongas Center.

“We talked about kids keeping their composure,” Beverly coach Bob Gilligan said. “You got plenty of hockey, you can the way these kids can skate, and once you hem them in forechecking-wise they were getting tired. You keep that kind of pressure on you start to wear these kids down.”

Myles Cohen roofed one over Beverly's Tim Birarelli to give the Warriors the first lead but that was as positive as the night would be for the MVC/DCL 2 champions.

Brendan Boyle answered four minutes later to tie the game for Beverly. Fifteen seconds later Kevin Lally knuckled a shot between the legs of Lincoln goalie Derek Ashe to put the Panthers ahead.

“We didn't panic at all,” Lally said. “We just kept playing our game and it worked out good for us.”

Despite not scoring a goal, junior defenseman Nick Albano stole the show offensively for the Panthers. Albano assisted on all five Beverly goals, including three primary assists, and played a key role in his own zone as well.

“I didn't think I had five,” Albano said. “Just trying to get the puck to the net and win this game [and] go play Tewksbury.”

Connor Irving netted Beverly's third and fourth goals as the Panthers' depth showed itself and worked the Warrior defense hard. Irving epitomized Beverly's speed as he pressed forward on the forecheck and backcheked with speed as well.

“He works, he angles well, he's got that stick on the ice,” Gilligan said. “He's tough to play against because that kid, transition wise, burns you. He takes away areas of the ice just with his skating ability and [keeping his] stick down. He knows how to angle and cut the center of the ice out.”

For L-S, the result was the end of a quality season that included a game at Fenway Park and winning its first outright league title in 22 years.

The future though is bright for coach Tom Pare and Co. The Warriors return Ashe as well as the entire top two lines.

“I couldn't be happier for the seniors,” Pare said. “I think they had a great career; they had a lot of success here. I wish we could have gone out in a more competitive game as far as the scoreboard is concerned. I couldn't thank the guys enough in my first year here.”

IN A PINCH, CALL LEATHERSICH: Midway through the first period Beverly's Jesse MacLaughlin lost a skate blade. The resulting fiasco in fixing the skate meant someone had to fill on the top line with Ryan Santo and Connor Irving.

Insert Ted Leathersich.

The junior stepped up the moment with a two-point game. Leathersich assisted on Irving's first goal and iced the game with a foal in the third period.

“We play a lot together in practice, we mix up lines a lot,” Leathersich said. “It's pretty easy to play with Connor and [Ryan] Santo because they tend to get the puck to you and get open. I guess it was little luck too and they were in the right spot.”

Gilligan said he was proud of Leathersich for stepping into the opportunity.

“Teddy filled a big void,” Gilligan said. “It's huge coming off the bench like that. He played a good game.”

FORECHECK & DEFENSE: The Panthers outshot L-S, 35-19, and gummed up the Warriors with a suffocating forecheck. Beverly's speed across all lines allowed the Panthers to drive the net hard, and with regularity.

“It's a large zone so we had Timmy direct the puck into the corner, and then we had our breakouts setup,” Albano said. “They were only doing a one-man [forecheck] so we're pretty good with that. Go d-to-d and go right up. It worked well for us.”

On the other end, Beverly made it a chore for the Warriors to push the puck up and establish a cycle on offense. When L-S was able to gain the blue line they were kept outside the dots and above the circles for the bulk of the game.

“I think our forecheck is definitely one of our biggest assets,” Leathersich said. “Teams can't keep up with it because defenses have no time to react.”

Pare said he's team poor performance on the offensive end was a combination of a lack of confidence and Beverly's never ending pressure.

“Against Winthrop, we had two goals that were just basically in the blue paint, being hungry,” Pare said. “Tonight it was a combination of them not letting us get to that area and us not crashing the net when we needed to.”

EXORCISING THE DEMON: After being bounced from the tournament in the first round the last two years this year's Beverly has put together two victorious, but very different performances to put themselves a game away from Causeway Street.

For several players, Friday's hair-raising shootout win over Danvers — the squad that eliminated them last year — was like getting the proverbial monkey off their back.

“After two years straight after losing in the first round I think we can now just play our game and put that stuff behind us, and just keep our fans on our side and keep playing the way we're playing,” Albano said. “I don't think any team can skate with us or shut us down offensively, and I know we have the goaltending and defense to shut any team down as well.”

The last time Beverly won a playoff game was in 2011, when the Panthers advanced to the North semifinals.

Who eliminated them? Tewksbury.

Recap: No. 25 Lincoln-Sudbury 3, Tewksbury 3

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. -- At the start, it appeared Lincoln-Sudbury was poised to make it a long evening for Merrimack Valley/Dual County rival Tewksbury.

The Warriors scored twice in the opening minute and 12 seconds, making it look easy both times.

But someone forgot to remind L-S there was still 43:48 left to be played. During that time, the Warriors leveled out offensively and the Redmen turned up their play – enough so, to earn a 3-3 tie Wednesday night at New England Sports Center.

"Obviously we had a great start," L-S head coach Tom Pare said. "It goes to show you that if you don't play an entire 45 minutes it's not going to happen. Credit Tewksbury because they out-worked most of the second period and most of the third period. It's not a bad tie because Tewksbury is a good program that is well-coached. It's a team that we respect and we always seem to be battling them for the league title.

“We knew they were gunning for us because we beat them up at their place.”

The Redmen (10-2-2, 5-2-1), who lost to L-S, 3-1, on Jan. 15, returned to their form late in the opening period and maintained the rest of the way.

But it didn't start out that way. Eric Holden, off the opening face off, raced into Tewksbury's zone all alone and beat goaltender Kyle Paquette just 15 seconds in.

Perhaps a bit in shock over the early tally, the Redmen seemed a bit off-kilter. Less than a minute later, L-S stormed up ice on a odd-man rush. Myles Cohen drew the defense over to him and promptly delivered a cross-ice pass to Drew Baker. The sophomore forward, standing alone in front of Paquette, sent a shot just under the crossbar to give the Warriors a 2-0 advantage.

From there, however, Tewksbury started to work its patented in-your-face defensive style as they held the Warriors to just one more shot for the remainder of the period. At 6:44, after a few earlier attempts by the Redmen had just missed their mark, junior forward Colin Quinn, standing inside the blue line, rang a shot off the post and into the net, putting Tewksbury on the board.

"The first eight minutes for us were completely uncharacteristic," said Redmen head coach Derek Doherty. "In a big game like this it didn't seem like we were prepared. We were but we just didn't execute properly in those opening eight minutes. Early on we told our guys that they needed to play better defensively. Everyone is going forward and it left our goalie wide open. Kyle has done a great job for us in net all year long and plays very focused. But we cannot leave him out on an island by himself the way we did early on."

Following Quinn's marker, it appeared as though the Redmen had weathered the early onslaught and were now back to playing the style they are known for. Only 1:38 into the middle period, Tewksbury knotted things at 2-2. Jack Cash, a senior, broke free down along the right side and beat Derek Ashe (20 saves) with a hard wrist shot. But the Warriors (9-1-4, 7-1-1), whose offense was left vacant for nearly 14 minutes, found itself again. At 3:37 of the frame, Matt Jacobs gave L-S the lead back after grabbing a fat rebound in front and pushing it past Paquette (12 saves).

From that point moving forward, the Warriors were doing everything possible to shore up their defensive play and keep the Redmen from getting any quality looks at Ashe. For a while the strategy was working. Tewksbury had to scratch and claw to gain space inside the offensive zone. With less than five minutes to go in the period, the Warriors got careless with the puck inside their own zone. Tewksbury intercepted the puck which set up Quinn's second goal of the night, as he knocked home a rebound off of Ashe's chest following an initial shot by Ryan Petti.

"It would've been better had we won the game," said Quinn of his two goals and now has seven for the season. "I think we had a lot of chances on their goalie but just couldn't get the bounces. We hit a lot of posts and crossbars. We normally don't start well as a team and have to fight coming from behind. When we got behind tonight it was nothing really different for us. We just had to fight back like we normally do."

Tewksbury controlled much of the third period, by keeping the action inside the L-S end. The Warriors offense was struggling, helt do just one shot over the first 13 minutes in the frame. But they managed to initiate late flurry, putting three consecutive shots on Paquette within a span of 5 seconds. However, the junior netminder, who entered having posted three consecutive shutouts, was able to fend off the sudden offensive explosion and secure the tie.

"Our kids played well but we've got to learn to go for the jugular when it is there," Pare said. "It was one of those things where our kids got complacent after those first two goals. Needless to say we got woken up pretty quickly by them."