Boston High School: Rourke Flynn

Recap: No. 7 Walpole 11, Norwood 10

April, 27, 2013

WALPOLE, Mass. -– Friday afternoon’s showdown was full of clutch hitting and timely defensive plays -- as any Walpole-Norwood matchup should be. Walpole took an 8-1 lead after three innings, watched Norwood (5-3) tie the game one inning later, and in the bottom of the ninth Johnny Adams drove in the winning run to seal an 11-10 victory for the Rebels (9-1).

Adams was 0-for-5 going into his last at-bat, but was able to put all that behind him with the game on the line. With a base knock up the middle, he drove in the winning run, doing just what his coach told him to do.

“He’s the man we’d want up every time, I don’t care if he’s 0-for-10," Walpole coach Bill Tompkins said. "[I told him] just take it up the middle, don’t try to do more than you can, just take it up the middle."

Adam’s game-winning single was just one of several big-hits in what was a spirited offensive affair. Walpole scored three runs in the first inning, then added five more in the third inning -— four of which came via a grand slam to left field by rightfielder Matt Bender.

"He just jumped on a fastball and got all of it...the reason why Matt got that hit and the other kid got a home run is that the balls are up," Tompkins said. "Not good location, and that’s what happens when you leave the ball up."

All the momentum was in Walpole’s dugout at that point, but Norwood refused to quit. The Mustangs put seven runs on the board to come back from what originally appeared to be an unanswerable deficit.

“We’re a real good team, we’re gonna’ be there when it’s all said and done," Norwood coach Kevin Igoe said. "Give [Walpole] credit too, when we came back they stole the momentum; we’ve got to step on their neck when we’ve got them. They’re too good a team to let them go."

Nearly all of Norwood’s lineup got involved in the rally: Anthony Perriello legged out an RBI-triple early in the inning, Mark Saulnier ripped a double to drive Perriello in, while Tyler Gover drove in a run on a base hit and Rourke Flynn drove in two of his own on a double to bring the score to 8-6.

Flynn scored on the next play when two Norwood runners came around on a wild play, tying the game at eight.

“That’s a very typical Walpole-Norwood game,” Tompkins said. “A lot of comebacks—give Norwood credit, they were down 8-1 and they didn’t quit. They bounced back for that big seven-spot in the fourth inning.”

In the bottom of the sixth, Walpole catcher Rick Ordway (4-for-4, RBI) smashed an RBI double to left field to give the Rebels a 9-8 lead. Norwood, on cue, came back once again, tying the game on a two-run homer by Saulnier in the seventh.

Walpole managed to tack on two runs to win the game. In the eighth, following a single, Ordway came around to score on a triple by designated hitter Jim Smith.

“Some big hits in that eighth inning, [Ordway] got his fourth hit of the game, right after a double play too. He didn’t give up,” Tompkins said.

In the bottom of the ninth, Walpole’s Mike Rando got on base on what appeared to be a controversial call by the homeplate umpire on a pop-up inbetween first base and right field. Rando reached base, and eventually came around to score the winning run on Adams’ RBI single. Tompkins appreciated the win and effort from his players, but emphasized that they should not get ahead of themselves.

“It’s a nice boost, but it’s still midway through the season," Tompkins said. "We talked about win or lose, this wasn’t gonna be the end of the season, there’s still a lot of baseball to play. We’re 9-1, and we haven’t played an A-game yet. We hung in there, we didn’t give up, just like Norwood didn’t give up, and we came back and go the W. Good win, but it’s just one win.”

D1 South: Hingham 5, Norwood 4

March, 4, 2013
BOURNE, Mass. -- For one fleeting second everything stopped.

With Norwood down one and the clock winding under 30 seconds, a freak bounce put the puck in John Galvin’s wheelhouse and Hingham goalie John Grenier completely out of position. Galvin whiffed on the shot and Hingham held on to win a wild 5-4 Division 1 South quarterfinal yesterday at Gallo Arena.

“They played a great game, with intensity and fired up,” Hingham coach Tony Messina said of the Mustangs. “For some reason we didn’t. I told them we have to work the whole first period. They came back every single time. They weren’t very hard shots but they got through. It’s tough to explain.”

Hingham set the tone early.

Sam D’Antuono scored 3:07 to put the Harbormen up early. D’Antuono and his linemate, Matt Brazel, combined for six points on the afternoon.

Norwood answered late in the period with goals from Dan Wiseman and Jack Sheehan to go up 2-1 after 15 minutes.

D’Antuono scored 28 seconds into the second period to tie it, and Hingham continued to control much of the possession, but Norwood was able to capitalize on their chances. Mike Roy scored midway through the second to tie it.

Brazel scored 73 seconds later to put Hingham up 3-2.

“They’re go-to guys, it’s obvious,” Messina said of D’Antuono and Brazel. “That line was out there the all the time.”

Justin Ryder buried a rebound at the 5:53 of the third to put Hingham ahead to give Hingham its third lead of the game. Norwood’s Jordan Davis stepped up between the pipes, turning aside 26 shots, but the Hingham attack was too much.

Luke McInnis tipped a shot in with just under two minutes to go. Sheehan scored 27 seconds later with an extra attacker on the ice, which led to the frantic final minute, but it wasn’t enough.

“We hung tough, kept plugging away,” Norwood coach Bill Clifford said. “If John gets that one at the end we’re tied at five.

“I told them to keep their heads up. They’re champs in my book. They won their league, and went down swinging.”

When asked about transitioning to the South tournament after the loss against Central Catholic, Messina smiled and said “What loss to Central?”

Messina said that his squad has taken a water-under-the-bridge attitude to the game and is full committed to winning D1 South and the state title.

“I think they probably think about it every day, but we tried to refocus the next day,” Messina said. “We’ve have had two games in this tournament so far so I’m hoping they’ve refocused and forgotten about that game.”

After Hingham won a defensive zone faceoff with nine seconds left, one of the Harbormen pinned the puck to the boards and killed the final seconds. In the ensuing scramble Norwood’s Rourke Flynn was dropped from a hit from behind.

Flynn took exception to the hit and after some pushing and shoving he, and Hingham’s John Carlson, dropped the gloves and started fighting while a fracas involving at least half a dozen players broke out that took over a minute to bring under control.

Flynn was assessed a game misconduct retroactively while Carlson was not assessed any penalty.

Recap: Framingham 5, No. 18 Norwood 1

February, 4, 2013
HYDE PARK, Mass. -- There is nothing worse for a team that is battling to get back into a game than to give away a power play, let alone more than one.

Twice in the third period of Monday’s Bay State Conference game at Bajko Rink, and both times while momentum was on its side, Norwood took retaliation penalties. Both times Framingham (11-6-0, 11-2-0) took advantage of the extra skater to turn an evenly played one-goal game into a comfortable win.

The Flyers went 2-for-3 on the power play and sophomore forward Drew McKinnon tallied two goals and an assist as Framingham earned a tournament berth with a 5-1 win in a BSC crossover game against the Mustangs (9-3-2, 8-2-2).

Heading into the third period, Norwood trailed 2-1, but the Mustangs stormed out of the locker room intent on finding an equalizing goal. After managing only 10 shots in the opening two periods, Norwood racked up 16 in the third. Its good play was wasted when goalie Jordan Davis was called for a slash after a collision in the crease.

Freshman forward Jamie Brigham made Norwood pay. He latched onto a rebound of a McKinnon and found the back of the net to make it 3-1. The Mustangs continued to dominate the play in the third, but with 4:10 remaining, John Galvin headed to the penalty box. Twenty seconds later, the Flyers had another goal on a deflected shot by sophomore Ryder Lessing and the game was effectively over.

McKinnon added an empty net goal as the final buzzer sounded to make the score final, 5-1.

“We’ve been getting stupid penalties all year and it finally bit us. They’re not even good penalties,” said Norwood head coach Bill Clifford, who was visibly frustrated with his team’s performance. “That’s been the story of the whole season. We don’t play three periods of hockey; it’s going to catch up to you sooner or later and it caught up to us tonight.”

Framingham started the game slowly and junior goalie made two great stops to rob Rourke Flynn within the opening five minutes. The Flyers picked up steam in the final minutes of the first and, just 16 seconds before the end of the period, McKinnon found himself alone in front to fire the team into the lead.

Flyers head coach Paul Spear wanted other players to step up on offense and was impressed by the play of his young forward.

He said, “In the locker room before the game, I told the guys that someone else has to show up on the score sheet besides our top one or two guys. As soon as Drew scored the first goal of the game for us, I thought, ‘Ok, this is good for us.’ He had a great game.”

Norwood tied the game in the second despite only mustering four shots in the period. Framingham failed to clear the puck and it was played off the boards by captain Tyler Gover to a wide-open Galvin in the slot. Lynch had no chance as the junior picked the top corner.

The Flyers took back the lead 9:04 into the second period on a mistake by normally reliable defenseman Dan Wiseman. The Norwood assistant captain tried to ice the puck but it hit a teammate and fell directly into the path of Framingham’s captain Aaron Acorn. The senior made no mistake and gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead heading into the final period.

Both coaches used the same word to describe how Norwood played the final 15 minutes.

“It was desperation,” said Clifford, whose team was on the Watch List for inclusion in the Super 8 tournament, but has now lost two games in a row.

Spear was grateful that he was able to call on his junior captain to protect the net during Norwood’s onslaught. This was especially true in the final two minutes when three Flyers wound up in the box

“They wanted to catch up and they were playing a little bit desperate,” he remarked. “They were playing really hard and that’s when we count on Al to make some big saves. We missed a few coverages out front, there were a couple of deflected pucks that Al [Lynch] got a hold of, but that’s why he’s good.”

The win moves Framingham into a very slim half-game lead over Braintree atop the Bay State’s Carey division (the Wamps play again on Wednesday).

Most importantly for Spear, it gets the Flyers back into the Division 1 state tournament.

He said, “The last two years we had tournament [caliber] teams, but this year we got enough wins. It’s really a nice feeling to know that our season won’t end at February vacation.”

Recap: No. 3 Hingham 4, No. 16 Norwood 1

December, 13, 2012
HINGHAM, Mass. – No. 3 Hingham boys’ hockey entered Wednesday’s season opener against No. 16 Norwood as if they were trying to shoot through the Great Wall of China.

The wall that stood in their way at Pilgrim Skating Rink was Mustangs senior netminder Jordan Davis. While the ESPN Boston preseason second-team All-State goaltender did his best to keep it a scoreless game, the barrage he faced made it a mere inevitability that one shot would break through.

Although the Harbormen outshot Norwood 10-1 in the first period, Davis kept it goose eggs on the scoreboard. That wouldn’t last, however, as Hingham opened up in the second period and into the third in a convincing 4-1 win over the Mustangs.

"We knew their defense was a little young, a little inexperienced, and we were trying to get the puck deep every time and shots just naturally come with that,” Harbormen head coach Tony Messina said. “We knew [Davis] was a great goalie and he proved it tonight. You need traffic in front, tips rebounds, those kind of things, it took us a while to break the seal."

Hingham (1-0-0) broke the stalemate with 9:12 to play in the second period as Sam D’Antuono snuck into the Mustangs’ zone on a short-handed breakaway. He beat Davis (39 saves) on the backhand to give the Harbormen a 1-0 lead. D’Antuono finished with a two-point game, adding an assist to Justin Ryder’s goal, Hingham’s last.

Defenseman John Carlson also had a two-point night for the Harbormen, ripping a slapshot into the back of the net at 12:54 of the third period. Carlson added the second helper on Ryder’s tally,

Patrick Colpoys netted the Harbormen’s third goal, a power-play tally with assists from Luke MacInnis and Corbin Robichaud.

John Galvin broke up John Grenier’s shutout bid for Norwood (0-1-0) with 7:56 to play, collecting a loose puck in the slot and beating Grenier stickside. Jack Sheehan and Rourke Flynn picked up assists on the play.

Hingham’s torrid start, controlling play for long stretches of time in Norwood’s defensive zone, might be attributed to a lesson learned by the Harbormen in some of their preseason performances.

“The last couple scrimmages, we were coming out kind of slow in the beginning,” Hingham junior captain and center Matt Brazel said, “so we were amped up in the beginning, and try to get as many shots as possible and crash the net.”

The Harbormen’s fast start in their season opener was matched by the Harborwomen, who opened their season in the nightcap at Pilgrim against Medway/Ashland.

The Harborwomen claimed a 7-1 win, led by Jane Freda’s hat trick. Hannah Falvey (2 goals) and Rachel D’Entremont (2 assists) also had multi-point games for Hingham.

D1 Baseball: Norwood 11, Marshfield 10

June, 6, 2012
MARSHFIELD, Mass. — It’s no secret to Kevin Igoe that his Norwood baseball team likes to live on an edge a little too much this season.

Igoe has seen his team build huge leads, get a little complacent and then find a way to gut out a victory several times already. It’s enough to drive a coach mad, especially with their tournament lives hanging in the balance.

The Mustangs followed that exact script and lived to tell about it as they knocked the third-seeded Rams (17-5) out of the Div. 1 South playoff with an 11-10 thriller on Wednesday afternoon.

Sean O’Neil went 5-for-6 with two extra base hits and three RBI, Peter Kelly scored two runs, including the pivotal run in the top of the seventh, and Kenny Michael closed the door with six strikeouts in the final three innings of relief as the No. 6 Mustangs (17-5) will take on No. 15 Xaverian in the semi-finals on Thursday.

“We don’t play well with leads. I don’t know what it is,” said Igoe. “All year we have been up 8-0, 7-0, but we always seem to let the guy up. I don’t know what that says about us, but we’ve started out 2-3 and since then we are 15-2. They are confident with a relaxed intensity about them and we’ve got great senior leadership.”

Michael was called into relief for the second straight game in the tournament, and again he kept the opposing lineup at bay with the momentum clearly favoring the Rams in the final innings.

“When we have leads we don’t really settle, but I don’t know how to explain it,” said Michael, who earned the victory against New Bedford on Tuesday. “We usually see teams come back like that, but that one was a little too close for comfort.”

How They Got The Lead: The Mustangs have balance up and down the lineup and that was on display against the Rams’ left-handed starter Kevin Kwedor.

Kwedor had a tough time keeping the ball down in the zone and the Mustangs sprayed line drives all over the field. Norwood sent 12 men to the plate, and scored eight runs on six hits and two errors.

O’Neil, Anthony Perriello — who left the game in the third inning after pulling his hamstring while trying to leg out an infield single — and Nick Saulnier opened the inning with three straight off Kwedor to plate two runs.

Tom Munro was plunked with a pitch and Tyler Gover hit a ball down the line by the diving third baseman to score Saulnier for the third run of the inning. Munro and Gover moved up into scoring position after a throwing error by the left-fielder on the play.

Kwedor hit his second batter of the inning and another error in left brought in a run. O’Neil carved a 1-0 pitch just fair down the left-field line for two more runs and Perriello added another RBI single for the 8-0 lead.

In the top of the fifth, O’Neil blasted an RBI double off the school in right field for the ninth run of the game and Rourke Flynn, who came in for the injured Perriello, followed that up with another RBI double for the 10-0 lead.

How They Gave It Up: The bottom of the fifth inning looked like it would be another quick inning for the Mustangs, but the Rams exploded offensively to get right back into the game.

The Rams had nine men in a row reach safely for eight runs. Kyle Moran delivered with a two-run double and Steve Harrington hit a two-RBI single as the Rams compiled nine hits in the inning after having only four in the previous four innings.

“Every time we were in the in the huddle we were saying that we were going to break through, we were going to break through and then we did,” said Rams head coach Billy Battis. “I’m very proud of them.”

How They Got It Back: Kelly doubled to leadoff the top of the seventh and moved over to third on a single to third by O’Neil.

Flynn rolled one towards the hold between short and third, which allowed Kelly to scamper home for the winning run.

Michael came on in relief with the bases loaded, nobody out in the bottom of the seventh inning and allowed two inherited runs to cross the plate, but then he settled in nicely to get three swinging strikeouts and two Rams looking.