The Cushing Varsity “B” Boys’ Hockey team dominated Phillips Exeter Academy for long stretches of the game Wednesday, but it was not enough and the Penguins fell 5-2 to the Big Red.
The Penguins took an early 1-0 lead on home ice with a goal from Brendan Dougherty ’20. Dougherty was set up by the hustle of Garret Young ’19 and Shane McElhaney ’22. The lead was then extended to 2-0 on a big goal from Trevor Hada ’20 with the assist going to Nick White ’19. As the first period drew to a close, Exeter struck with less than a minute to play and closed the gap to 2-1 heading into the first intermission.
The second period was the Penguins dominating play and holding the puck in the offensive zone. Despite the play domination they were unable to capitalize on any scoring opportunities to try to further extend their lead. Exeter sniffed out an opportunity to knot the score up before the end of the period and executed perfectly to do so. Headed into the second intermission it was a 2-2 stalemate.
Coming out of the locker room to start the third period the Penguins were looking for ways to solve their scoring drought. Despite outshooting Exeter, Cushing was unable to put another one past the Exeter goaltender. Several Cushing turnovers were costly as Exeter jumped all over the puck and stuffed two past Cushing’s goalie to take a 4-2 lead. With their backs against the wall, Cushing pulled their goaltender for the final two minutes and pressed hard to get pucks to the net and get themselves tied up on the scoreboard. They were unable to get a goal and Exeter added an empty net goal to bring the final to a 5-2 victory for Exeter.
The Penguins gave a great effort and outshot Exeter 45-15, although it was not visible on the scoreboard as the Exeter goalie was a difficult puzzle to solve. The team understands their effort was top notch and they will work on fine tuning their execution for their upcoming games.
Next up for the boys will be a Saturday afternoon road game at Avon Old Farms School. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:30pm.
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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.