Sandwich Wins 2nd Annual Jeff Hates Memorial Tournament
By: Dan Crowley
The 2nd Annual Jeff Hayes Memorial Tournament Championship once again belongs to Sandwich (12-6-2) and they won it in much the same way as they did last year.
“It’s only right that we win this tournament,” Coach Jordan Mohre said. “We felt the energy and the momentum. I think Jeff provided us with a push.”
Four very good hockey teams took the Gallo Ice Arena ice Monday and Tuesday, celebrating the memory of the Sandwich High School senior hockey player who lost his battle with cancer six years ago. The same teams that came to the Cape last year returned with Oliver Ames, Lowell Catholic and North Reading joining the Blue Knights for plenty of exciting competition.
Tuesday consolation game between Lowell Catholic and North Reading ended in a 3-3 tie, eventually going to a shootout, in which Lowell Catholic came out on top. In the championship round Sandwich and Oliver Ames took the ice and fought to a 2-2 tie that a five-minute overtime period could not resolve. Again it fell to a shootout to determine a winner and for the second year in a row, the Blue Knights skated away with the championship trophy.
Oliver Ames held the upper hand in the first period with Sandwich fighting to keep the Tigers away from the net. Ryan Oldfield was between the pipes for the Knights making eight first-period saves to hold OA scoreless.
In the second period, Sandwich turned the tables and went after Tigers’ goalie Jimmy Tierney. The second shot of a power play, 2:44 into the second period, led to the Knights breaking the scoreless tie when Maverick Hauck popped in the rebound of a Jon Cassista shot.
The Tigers came at Oldfield forcing the SHS goalie to the ice where he made two stops. OA then took advantage of a Sandwich penalty and tied the game midway through the period.
Oldfield denied the Tigers on a breakaway and then with 16 seconds left in the stanza, Cassista raced the length of the ice, chasing down a missed pass by the Tigers. He caught up with the puck deep in the OA zone and fired a hard pass out to Drew Buckland, who was racing down the slot. In a bang-bang play Buckland drilled the Cassista pass into the net for a 2-1 SHS lead.
Midway through the third period the Tigers landed the equalizer with a shot through traffic that slipped through the crowd and past the screened Sandwich goalie.
Oldfield held off OA late in the third stopping a breakaway sending the game into overtime.
Sandwich was on fire for the full five minute OT. Hauck, Cassista, John Glynn, Buckland, Josh Noonan, Dan O’Brien and more hammered away at the OA net with 11 shots, only to be denied. The defense kept the puck inside the OA zone and did not allow the Tigers a single shot on goal in overtime.
In the shootout, tied at 2-2 each team had five chances to score. Oldfield stopped the first three Tiger shots, while at the other end Buckland scored. OA then evened the shootout at 1-1. Max Kent then took the puck at center ice and skated in on Tierney and beat the OA goalie with a high shot giving the Knights a 2-1 lead. The Tigers had one more chance. The championship came down to one shot, but OA had to get the puck past Oldfield and that wasn’t happening.
Officially the game is recorded as a tie, however it is considered a 3-2 SHS victory for the tournament.
Noonan, Cassista and Buckland were named to the All Tournament team, with Buckland also named Most Outstanding Player.
“It was a great tournament with some very good teams,” Mohre said. “I think that anyone that came to watch over the past two days saw some great hockey. I couldn’t be more proud or excited for our guys. They did a great job.”
Freshman Matt Brooks put the frosting on the cake Monday night with his first varsity goal in a 3-1 opening round victory by the Blue Knights over North Reading.
Sandwich controlled most of the first period keeping the action inside the Hornets’ blue line. The Knights kept it hot for North Reading’s goalie Keith Linnane as they piled up a dozen first-period shots. It took just over four minutes before Sandwich got to Linnane. A hard shot from just to the left of the slot slipped out of the grasp of Linnane to his left. Kyle Brubaker was waiting and from just outside the crease popped in the first Blue Knight goal of the night.
Nick Kennedy was between the pipes for Sandwich and among his four first-period saves was a 1-on-1 stop that he made late in the period. With only seconds left, Brubaker and Max Kent took a page out of the textbook and closed in on Linnane. Having slipped the defense, Brubaker charged hard from the left side forcing Linnane to commit. Closing just as hard from the right was Max Kent. Once Brubaker saw he had Linnane moving toward him, he rifled the puck across to Kent, who one-timed it into the open side of the net giving SHS a 2-0 lead at the end of one period of play.
North Reading picked it up in the second period, doing a nice job shutting the Knights down on an early power play. With five minutes left the Hornets got on the scoreboard when Sean McGreal lined up a shot from the point through a host of players that found its way past everyone, including Kennedy. With 1:04 left in the second Brooks gave the Knights some breathing room when he jumped on a rebound just to the left of Linnane and tucked it home.
Kennedy held back North Reading in the final period making three quality saves down the stretch.
John Glynn, Kent, Brubaker, Dan O’Brien, Koby Byrne and Jon Cassista all ended the night credited with assists.
Sandwich outshot the Hornets 30-17.
Cassista scored in each of the three periods Friday night and Ryan Oldfield made the lead stand making 15 saves in goal as the Knights posted a 3-0 victory over Plymouth North. Sandwich outshot the Eagles 31-15.
O’Brien and John Clancy assisted on the first-period goal, with Kent and Josh Noonan earning assists on the second and third tallies.
The Knights travel to Nantucket today to wrap up the regular season. The MIAA will announce the hockey seedings and brackets tomorrow, with preliminary round action beginning Monday.
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