Falmouth Boys’ 1st Win A Wild One
By: Rich Maclone
It might be Christmastime, but Wednesday night had all the makings of a Mardi Gras party for the Falmouth High School boys’ ice hockey team. The Clippers’ 6-2 win had enough going on to keep anyone interested.
Try this on for size. Falmouth had a goaltender stand on his head. Want more? How about a shorthanded goal? What about three shorthanded goals?
Is your interest piqued? What would you say if those three shorthanded goals were all empty-netters that were scored in record time?
Oh, and it was also Falmouth’s first win of the season. Yes, there was enough happening to fill up a float and drive it down Bourbon Street.
Head Coach Buddy Ferreira said that when it broke down to nuts and bolts, though, it was keeper Brandon Moore who stole the show. Moore made 28 saves in the victory, including 13 in the third period when the gassed Clippers did all they could to hold onto a slim lead as Plymouth South tried to rally but fell short in the end, 6-2. Falmouth is now 1-1-1 overall.
“Brandon Moore stole the game for us in the third period. That’s what we’ve been looking for. He played great, and he made some very difficult saves. They had back-to-back power plays (in the final minutes) and he did exactly what we were hoping he’d do,” Ferreira said.
The Clippers would have received coal in their stockings if the referees were playing Santa Claus. FHS was cited for being naughty on seven different occasions in the game, including four penalties in the third period, but FHS killed all but one of the South power plays, with Moore playing the backbone role. Defensemen Travis Howe, Joe Meloni, Zack Zaino and Justin Taylor all did a good job in the game as well.
FHS struck first as senior winger P.J. Moore netted his first varsity goal on a rebound in front. He pounded in a rebound of a Connor McCarthy goal at the 10:23 mark for a 1-0 lead but then, 20 seconds later, South struck back to tie the score.
Falmouth would gain the lead back midway through the second. Sophomore Durham Ghelfi got himself his first career goal as well, scoring on a nice shot from along the boards. Meloni and Matt Kinchla assisted on the play as Kinchla sent the puck low for Ghelfi, who fired it back up to Meloni for a shot. The carom went to the wall, where Ghelfi let it rip.
McCarthy put the Clippers ahead 3-1 early in the third with his first varsity goal (he had five assists last year). Howe let a bomb rip from the point and McCarthy collected the rebound and buried it immediately at the 1:55 mark.
Things got a bit hairy from there. With the refs doling out penalties with regularity, FHS found itself in penalty kill mode for a large portion of the stanza. Ferreira said senior captain Andrew Kelly was huge during this time, doing a fantastic job of leading the forecheck and keeping South from mounting many threats.
The home team went into scramble mode late, pulling the keeper while on the power play in the final minutes and got their second of the night with just 1:08 left to play. A turnover in the neutral zone by the FHS PK unit allowed the Panthers to break in and score a transition goal that made it 3-2.
That’s when the real excitement began.
It would be difficult to determine with 100 percent certainty what the record is for three consecutive goals by an FHS team, or any team in the state for that matter, but it is hard to believe that any Clippers’ squad has ever gotten three in as short a time span as the Clippers did at the end of the game. With the South keeper pulled for an extra attacker, FHS buried three empty-netters in just 11.8 seconds. Kelly got the first one, with 14.5 seconds to play, as he let one fly from his end of the ice. Off the ensuing draw, the puck found Taylor, who zipped one down the ice that stopped the clock with 5.8 left to play. Then, with 2.7 seconds to go, Zaino had the puck on his stick and let one fly that lit the lamp.
“I’ve never seen that before,” Ferreira said. “That wasn’t a 6-2 hockey game; that was a 3-2 game.”
FHS heads back into action on Monday night at the Milbury Tournament in Walpole against the host team at 6:10 PM at Iorio Arena in Walpole off Route 1.
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