NORTH ANDOVER -- Hingham sophomore Sam D’Antuono scored the first three Super 8 goals of his young career on Tuesday night -- including the game winner in overtime -- providing all of the offense in a 3-2 win over St. John’s of Shrewsbury.
“He’s had a great year for us,” Hingham coach Tony Messina said. “That whole line has had a very good year. He has a good knack for the net so it was great to see him get three in that game.”
After giving Hingham a 2-1 lead late in the third period -- only to have the Pioneers’ Jay Duquette hammer a loose puck past Harbormen netminder John Grenier 29 seconds later -- D’Antuono put the finishing touch on a pass from Matt Brazel just 1:19 into overtime.
“Defenseman threw it down in the corner, Braz picked it up, made a nice backhand pass, and I was wide open in front,” D’Antuono said. “Just one-timed it five-hole.”
The Harbormen (17-5-2) dominated in the faceoff circle, particularly in the Pioneers zone, which lead to a 30-13 shot advantage and no shortage of quality chances. Mario Pizzeri was stellar in net for St. John’s with 27 saves.
“We worked on faceoffs the last couple of days because we felt like we lost too many in the game on Sunday (against BC High),” Messina said. “What we say to the guys is that if you can win a faceoff in their zone you have an extra 30 or 40 seconds of offense…the offensive zone faceoffs are big.”
D’Antuono broke a scoreless tie with a power-play goal early in the second period. With time winding down on Hunter Burdick’s elbowing minor and the Harbormen yet to test Pizzeri on the man-advantage, D’Antuono picked up a loose puck near the bottom of the right circle and fired it past Pizzeri on the far side at 3:54.
Connor Bertram pulled the Pioneers even just over four minutes later. Chris Adams carried the puck over the Harbormen blue-line on a two-on-one break and dished it to Bertram. Hingham netminder John Grenier came shooting out of his crease to challenge and Bertram made a quick move to his backhand and slid the puck into an empty net to tie it, 1-1.
“It’s tough when somebody has to lose in one of these tournaments but that’s the nature of the beast,” Pioneers coach Brian Murphy said. “I don’t think we controlled as much as we should have but give them credit. They’re big and strong, they move it out pretty quickly and they come at you hard.”
Hingham learned the hard way Sunday that taking too many penalties can be a teams’ undoing in the Super 8 tournament, and they entered the second round determined not to let time spent in the box keep them out of the win column again.
After giving up three power-play goals on 10 penalties against BC High, the Harbormen were only shorthanded once against St. John’s, allowing no shots on a slashing minor to Nolan Driscol in the first period.
“We knew it was a discipline issue we needed to correct,” Messina said. “But the guys know, I mean that’s how they play right there, a good hard game, only a few penalties.”
1:19: Hingham 3, St. Johns (S) 2 -- Sam D'Antuono caps a special day with the game-winner in overtime to give him a hat trick and more importantly give the Harbormen a big win. Matt Brazel picks up his third assist and James Gordon grabs a helper as well.
15:00: Hingham 2, St. John's (S) 2 -- The third period saw the first ten minutes go by without a goal, but the teams exchanged late goals, putting us into a 12-minute, sudden-death overtime.
10:58: Hingham 2, St. John's (S) 2 -- The Pioneers strike right back with Jay Duquette punching one home to even things up. Nick Rutigliano and Kevin Emmerling pick up assists on the play.
10:30: Hingham 2, St. John's (S) 1 -- Sam D'Antuono with a beautiful redirect of a Nolan Driscoll shot for his second goal of the game. Brazell picks up another assist along with Driscoll.
15:00: Hingham 1, St. John's (S) 1 -- The teams enter the second intermission deadlocked at one. Hingham holding a 17-10 advantage in shots and St. John's goalie Mario Pizzeri has had to make some big saves to keep this game knotted up.
8:29: Hingham 1, St. John's (S) 1 -- Chris Adams took the puck in on a two-on-one break, slid it over to Connor Bertram on the right side of the slot and Bertram got goalie John Grenier to commit, allowing him to backhand the puck into the open net to tie the game up.
3:54: Hingham 1, St. John's (S) 0 -- Hingham sophomore Sam D'Antuono snapped a shot from the right circle that beat Mario Pizzeri high for the first goal of the game. It was a power play goal with assists from Ryan Linehan and Matt Brazel.
15:00: Hingham 0, St. Johns (Shrewsbury) 0 -- A fairly even first period of play ends with no scoring. The Harbormen picked up the only penalty of the period, but were able to kill it with no major threats. Hingham outshot St. John's 8-6 in the period. The six shots by the Pioneers bests the five total shots against Malden Catholic on Sunday.
The puck is about to drop on second round play in the Super 8 tournament. Two games on tap tonight featuring the teams from Bracket 1. The Harbormen of Hingham in the home whites and the Pioneers of St. John's in their road reds. Check back for live updates throughout the night.
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