Cushing Academy – 3
Lawrence Academy – 3
Cushing Tie Tournament Opener, Advance With Shootout Win
The Penguins began their title defense of the Groton School / Lawrence Academy Holiday Hockey Tournament in a hotly contested affair with rival and co-host Lawrence Academy. In the new tournament format, the winner would earn a spot in the semi-finals.
After a scoreless opening period, the Penguins would strike first when Brendan O'Donnell '20 (Hull, MA) picked up the puck from Connor Wood '20 (St. Albans, VT) on a 3-on-2 rush and made a perfect pass to Nick Cafarelli '20 (Middleton, MA), who was driving to the far post for the easy tap in. The tenacious play of Jake Hewitt '21 (Ashburnham, MA) would result in the game's second goal when he eluded the Spartan defenders and banged away in front. Max Dorrington '20 (North Reading, MA) and Bryce Montgomery '21 (Bowie, MD) recorded assists on the goal, which gave the Penguins a little breathing room. A minute later the home team cut the lead in half and were looking for the equalizer, while on a power play, late in the second period. However, Cushing defenseman Brad Zona '19 (Auburn, MA) had other ideas. He made a great neutral zone read, jumped on a loose puck, and found himself on a breakaway. He pulled it to his backhand and put it upstairs for the shorty, making it 3-1 Penguins. The Spartans, who had four power play opportunities in the game (the Penguins didn't have any), scored with the man up to make it a one goal game heading into the third period. Early in the third LA would tie the game, and despite Cushing getting opportunities to win it late in regulation, the contest would head to overtime.
The Penguins outshot the Spartans 6-1 in the exciting five minute OT period. The back-check of the night, courtesy of the speedy Jake Hewitt, thwarted the Spartans best opportunity, and despite the Penguins swarming the Lawrence net front with multiple quality chances for the win, the game ended in a tie. The game is recorded as a tie for the season record.
For tournament purposes, a shootout was necessary to determine a winner. Joe Sharib '19 (Natick, MA) stood tall saving three of the four shots he faced in the shootout. Sharib was outstanding all night; he also made 35 saves in the game. Cushing netted three goals (Wood, N. Cafarelli, and Hewitt) in the shootout to earn the victory and now advance to play Dexter Southfield School in the semi-final. The game is scheduled for Saturday Dec. 15th at 6pm at Lawrence Academy.
Season Record: 3-2-1