NORTH ANDOVER – BC High got off on the right foot in the Super 8 tournament as they took advantage of their power play opportunities to defeat Hingham 4-2 in a penalty-filled game (16 total) at Merrimack College’s Lawler Arena.
“I told the guys we’re not going to talk about that,” said Hingham head coach Tony Messina whose team drew ten penalties. “We wanted a tie or a win in this game. With our bracket we are going to have a tough couple of games [moving forward].”
The first period served as a feeling process for both sides, with no goals being scored despite five power play opportunities.
A late first period penalty gave BC High a man-advantage to start the second period and when Hingham’s Jake Hanlon picked up an elbowing penalty eleven seconds in, the Eagles found themselves with a two-man advantage.
“In this tournament everyone is pretty even,” said BC High coach John Flaherty. “Every time you get a man advantage you almost have to capitalize and fortunately for us today we did.”
After working the puck around the zone, Matt Sullivan found Tom Besinger on the right side and the sophomore roofed home his shot for a 1-0 lead.
“I knew that he dropped his blocker to the ice when we got in close,” said Besinger. “So we knew we had to go high with the shots.”
With a skater still in the box, the Harbormen responded when Ryan Linehan forced a turnover and popped it home just twenty-two seconds later, tying the game at one.
The man-up advantage would pay off for the Eagles once again as Brian Furey put them back on top at the 4:52 mark of the second when he flicked home a shot from the point.
Once again the Harbormen would not be deterred as they had an answer just thirty-seconds later thanks to Patrick Mannion who took advantage of Eagles goalie Patrick Cronin who was out of position after trying to play a puck off to his right.
Mannion came behind the net and popped around the open left side with a wraparound shot that tied the game at two, where it would stay heading into the third period.
Hingham’s John Carlson was called for a hook 2:28 into the third and the Eagles struck twenty-seven seconds later as Besinger picked up his second power play goal of the game.
Hingham would get their own power play chances down the stretch, and in the final minute they were capable of clearing goalie John Grenier (15 saves) from the crease for a 6-on-4 attack.
The Eagles defenders stood up to the challenge and a blocked-shot by Furey pushed the puck up the ice where Sullivan was able to collect it and skate in for the empty netter.
“Our job was basically to try and block some shots and that’s what we did,” said Flaherty. “It’s a part of the game that we take pride in and we know that we have to block shots against good teams."
The Eagles will face off against another familiar foe in top-seeded Malden Catholic on Tuesday night.
BC High defeats Hingham, 4-2, behind three Eagle power play goals. Hingham had a power play to closeout the game, but Matt Sullivan tacked on the empty goal to seal the victory for the Eagles. The Eagles move on to face Malden Catholic this Tuesday, while Hingham will take on St. John's of Shrewsbury, also on Tuesday.
Hingham vs. BC High, third period
14:49 3rd period: Hingham 2, BC High 4 -- Matt Sullivan skates the puck up ice and taps home the empty net goal.
2:55 3rd period: Hingham 2, BC High 3 -- Tom Besinger gets the feed from Ben Dimaio near the Eagle blueline. Besinger outskates Hingham through the neutral zone and Eagle offensive end, and wrists one past Hingham goaltender John Grenier. The Eagle tally came on a power play, their third power play goal of the game.
Hingham vs. BC High, second period
BC High 2, Hingham 2 after two periods of play. Penalty-ridden game so far, with 11 penalties between the two teams.
5:22 2nd period: Hingham 2, BC High 2 -- Patrick Mannion knots the game at two apiece as he tucks a wraparound under the leg of Eagle netminder Peter Cronin. The goal was assisted by Ryan Linehan and Matt Hughes.
4:52 2nd period: Hingham 1, BC High 2 -- Brian Furey buries an unassisted slap shot from the blue line. The goal came on an Eagle powerplay. 4:52 into the second, 2-1 Eagles with the lead.
1:05 2nd period: Hingham 1, BC High 1 -- Ryan Linehan intercepts a pass in the BC High defensive end, nets an unassisted, shorthanded goal just 22 seconds after the Eagles get on the board.
0:43 2nd period: Hingham 0, BC High 1 -- Tom Besinger wrists one top shelf on a 5-on-3 power play opportunity for the Eagles, assisted by Matt Sullivan and Brian Furey.
Hingham vs. BC High, first period
Shots on goal: Hingham 12, BC High 8
We are live from Lawler Arena on the campus of Merrimack College for a first round of Super 8 hockey. All eight teams will be in action, with No. 4 Hingham facing off against No.5 BC High starting things off at noon. We will be providing updates here throughout the day, so stay tuned for what is sure to be an intense day of hockey action.
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