Latin Academy made it five city titles in a row as the Dragons defeated East Boston, 6-1, in the City League hockey championship at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena.
Yesterday’s contest marked the fifth consecutive year Latin Academy and East Boston squared off in the title game, with the Dragons taking each of those match-ups. At 5-11-1, the Dragons had an up and down season, making the City Championship title even more meaningful for their team.
‘‘It is nice,’’ said coach Bob McCormick. ‘‘The guys think about this game in particular throughout the whole season. It’s nice to play a team that played up really well at Fenway, so we expected a tough game.’’
The Jets were only able to dress eight skaters, making fatigue a factor in their performance. However, East Boston (4-15) came out strong putting early pressure on Dragon goaltender Shane Finn, but sharp saves from the junior kept the Jets from lighting the lamp.
‘‘We played dump and chase to keep the puck moving, keep the puck down in their zone,’’ said McCormick. ‘‘You have a short bench over there, but I’ll say this much, East Boston played with a lot of heart. So hats off to them.’’
Junior Daniel Moran opened the scoring for the Dragons, sniping a wrist shot past East Boston netminder Sean O’Halloran at 3:08 in the first. Latin Academy followed that up with a second goal just 32 seconds later when Mark Guerard took a nifty pass from Daniel O’Connell and slipped the puck to the back of the net.
Nicholas Mastrogiacomo made it 3-0 with an unassisted play at 8:51. He gained possession in the neutral zone, and then dumped the puck into the offensive end. Without a teammate streaking to pick up the puck, Mastrogiacomo followed his own dump in and regained possession. He wristed a shot from the left corner that soared past O’Halloran into the upper right corner of the net. The Dragons took the 3-0 lead into the first intermission.
Latin Academy came out pressuring to open the second period. They netted their fourth goal, at 2:59 when Paul O’Keefe bounced the puck in for the goal. Again, the Dragons scored two in a short span as Kevin Sweeney roofed the wrist shot 1:30 after O’Keefe’s goal, giving Latin Academy a 5-0 lead.
Frustration began to show for East Boston midway through the second period, as the game got chippy.
‘‘It was emotions,’’ McCormick said. ‘‘You have a state championship on the line, you have seniors our there. For some of them, this is the last time they are going to lace them up. It’s nice to see kids playing with emotions.’’
They took three quick penalties, giving Latin Academy the 2-man advantage. Despite the shorthanded situation, East Boston’s Patrick Sullivan took his frustration out in the form of speed, skating end to end with the puck, dekeing out a Dragon defender and netting the Jets’ first goal of the game with a wrist shot Finn had no chance of saving. Latin Academy led 5-1 at the second intermission.
Strong defense from O’Halloran and his East Boston teammates kept the Dragons off the board for most of the first 10 minutes of the third period, but it wasn’t enough as Moran netted his second goal of the game at 9:51, giving Latin Academy the 6-1 lead.
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