Boston High School: Will Decost
March, 13, 2013
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com
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.
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.”
March, 11, 2013
By Brian Fabry | ESPNBoston.com
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.