In the final game before exams, the Cushing Varsity Boys’ Hockey Penguins played host to the Hill School (PA) at Iorio Arena. The hard-working Rams skated away with a 3-2 overtime victory.
A slow start proved costly as Cushing had trouble connecting on tape to tape passes, which made it difficult to clear the puck out of their own end. The Rams took advantage of the momentum and would strike first when they won a face-off, then put it post and in. The second half of the first period was much more indicative of how the Penguins can play as they fore-checked well and sustained offensive pressure for long stretches of time. They would tie it up on a counter attack when Shane Zarcone '20 (Huntington, NY) took the puck down the left side boards and found Brendan O'Donnell '20 (Hull, MA) flying down the right wing and cutting to the net all alone. O'Donnell turned the goalie inside out on a picturesque finish. The teams headed into the first intermission knotted up at one apiece.
Hill would re-gain the lead in the second period on what would be the only goal scored in the middle frame. Just 21 seconds into the third period with the Penguins on a power play, Nick Cafarelli '20 (Middleton, MA) took a breakout pass from Pat Keegan '19 (Billerica, MA) and sped down the right wing before rifling it short side, top right, to tie the game at two. It would remain tied through the end of the third period and would need overtime to decide a winner. Midway through the overtime period, the Hill School took advantage of a long shift by the Penguins and a fortuitous bounce to get the victory. Despite the final score, the Penguins outshot the Rams 33-26 and were unable to solve the Rams goalie for more than two goals.
The Penguins now prepare for the Lawrence/Groton Academy Holiday Hockey Tournament as they look to defend their title from last season when they took down Culver Academy in the championship game. The Penguins open against co-host and rival Lawrence Academy on Friday, Dec.14th with the opening face-off is scheduled for 7pm.
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Cushing Academy exists for students and develops curious, creative, and confident learners and leaders. Founded in 1865, Cushing is a co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9-12 and PG. Our students, who come from over 30 states and 30 countries, excel in our outstanding academic, art, and athletic offerings. We welcome you to visit our community and beautiful 162-acre campus in Ashburnham, Mass., just one hour from Boston, to experience all that Cushing has to offer.