Clippers Silence Sandwich, Earn Tourney Spot
By: Rich Maclone
Despite having their top defenseman unavailable for duty, thanks to an injury, the Falmouth High School boys’ ice hockey team was able to put forth a masterful defensive effort as they dominated an Atlantic Coast League matchup with Sandwich High School at the Falmouth Ice Arena on Wednesday night, downing the Blue Knights by a 3-1 score. For the second game in a row, the Clippers got a pair of goals from its third line and the FHS defense, playing without Justin Taylor, allowed a grand total of just 10 shots on net as the Clippers improved to 8-6-2 with the win.
FHS wrapped up a spot in the state tournament with the win over the Knights. The team improved to 7-2-1 overall in the Atlantic Coast League and can finish no worse than second place. With the top two finisher in the league having automatic bids, FHS has now punched its ticket and is playing for both an improved seed in the tournament and possibly a share of the ACL title. Marshfield is 7-1-1 in the ACL with three league games left to play. If FHS can win out, and get some help along the line, they could tie MHS for first at the end of the season.
The story against Sandwich was the five FHS defensemen who shared the ice throughout the evening as Cody Murray, Zack Zaino, Travis Howe, Joe Meloni and Trevor Theroux kept the puck out of harms way all evening long. Brandon Moore made nine saves in the net and enjoyed watching his blue liners clear the puck to the corners and up the wings all night long, frustrating the Blue Knights at just about every turn. In both the first and third periods the Knights were able to muster just two shots on goal. SHS also had three power plays in the game and did not put a shot on goal during any of them.
Sophomore Matt Kinchla put the Clippers on the board at the 13:01 mark of the first period to break the scoreless tie by tipping a shot from the blue line by Murray. Chris Perry threw a pass off the boards to Murray at the blue line who let a shot fly at waist level. On the way Kinchla was able to redirect the puck and it knuckled under Pat Farrington (22 saves) to make it a 1-0 game.
FHS got two more within a 30-second span in the second period to open up a comfortable lead. At the 2:39 mark Meloni punched the puck out of his end, up the right wing boards for Perry, who broke it out quickly up the wing on a 2-on-1 with P.J. Moore riding down the slot. Perry waited until the right moment and centered a nice feed for Moore, who sniped a shot over Farrington’s stick-side shoulder to make it a 2-0 game. The goal was the third of the year for the assistant captain.
With Sandwich still reeling, the Clippers’ top line added another one just a half-minute later. Cyrus Wickersham cycled the puck with Durham Ghelfi down low before feeding a streaking Nick Lineaweaver. The sophomore ripped a one-timer by Farrington to make it 3-0 and force SHS Head Coach Jordan Mohre to use his only timeout to settle down his troops. The goal was Lineaweaver’s sixth of the season.
Sandwich would get one back before the end of the period. Dan Branzetti was in the right place at the right time as a cross by his linemate, Steve Lessard, off the left wing boards to the far post, ricocheted off a Falmouth stick and right onto his blade. Branzetti popped the puck into the wide-open far side to make it 3-1.
After that, though, it was all Falmouth again. FHS dominated the third period, which got a bit chippy, and finished the game off by killing a Sandwich power play. SHS pulled Farrington for a sixth attacker against the four FHS defenders and Moore, but again the Clippers’ penalty kill did not surrender a shot and came close on two occasions to filling the empty net.
Next up for Falmouth is a trip to Tony Kent Arena in Yarmouth tomorrow night as the Clippers look to avenge a 4-3 loss to Dennis-Yarmouth from a few weeks back. Then, on Monday, Falmouth has another chance to right a previous wrong when they head to Bridgewater to take on the Trojans of Bridgewater-Raynham High.
Leave a Reply
In order to comment you need to be logged in.