The Cushing Varsity “B” Boys’ Hockey Penguins skated back onto the ice this afternoon in pursuit of their second straight Rust Cup Championship. The team would play a hard fought, emotional, and physical game against the Knights of Salisbury School and came away victorious.
After losing to the Knights earlier in the season, the Penguins were determined to pull out a different result in their final game of the season. They were not going to lose on their home ice and came out playing hard, although this hard play resulted in several penalties. The Penguin penalty killers were forced into action early and often and the team found themselves hemmed into their own zone due to the penalties, several turnovers, and a consistent push from the Knights. Luckily for Cushing, goalie Ben Speyer ’20 was once again sharp between the pipes and he controlled his rebounds while making 14 first period saves to keep the Penguins fighting. Despite the play from Speyer, Salisbury did take the 1-0 lead about halfway through the first on a rebound not cleared promptly from in front of the net. The Penguins needed a spark and it was forward Garrett Young ’19 who provided it for them. Young collected a rebound in front of the Salisbury net and finished top shelf on the Knights’ goaltender to tie the game at 1-1 with two minutes left in the first period. Assists on the goal went to forward Trevor Hada ’20 and defenseman Shane McElhaney ’22. With momentum turning from the spark of the Young goal, the crowd up on their feet and cheering, and the energy on the bench, the next shift of Josh Beese ’19, Brendan Dougherty ’20, and Seasmus Cummings ’22 scored another. Beese collected a rebound left out in front by the Salisbury goalie and pushed it home just 40 seconds after the Young goal to put the Penguins ahead for the first time in the game. Assists on the Beese goal were credited to Dougherty and Cummings. The teams would skate to the locker rooms for the first intermission with the Penguins up 2-1 despite being outshot 15-5 by the visiting Knights.
The remaining two periods were an emotional and physical affair between the teams with spectacular saves by Speyer and the Salisbury goalie. The Penguins D-unit of Adam Canfield ’19, Brian Lemay ’21, McElhaney, Luke Kowalka ’20, Aidan Gorman ’22, and Matt McFadden ’22 did an excellent job of clearing rebounds and breaking the puck out of the zone. Speyer continued to stand tall between the pipes making a stellar 38 saves on the afternoon. The combination of forwards Nick White ’19 and Trevor Hada ’20 meant a lot of minutes logged, passing lanes clogged, and shots to the net blocked. Forward Josh Levesque ’20 was called upon on the penalty kill and he performed admirably.
As the final buzzer sounded, the Penguins had fought off the Salisbury pressure and emerged victorious to keep the Rust Cup home where it belongs in the Iorio Arena. It was a grinding effort from the team with many highs and lows throughout, but it was a total team effort. Goalie Speyer was unanimously named Rust Cup Tournament MVP by his teammates for his top-notch performances over two games. Speyer would see close to 70 shots and give up only a single goal. The Penguins finished the year at 13-4-2 and made memories to last a lifetime!
39 School Street Ashburnham, Massachusetts 01430 978-827-7000 email@example.com
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.