As the seconds ticked off the clock at Gallo Ice Arena in the 38th Canal Cup, Sandwich boys’ hockey coach Jordan Mohre was trying to quell the Blue Knights bench like a cowboy steadying a chute fighter.
“Hold it! Hold it,” he yelled from the back bench until the clock finally read zero.
And as the horn sounded the Blue Knights flooded the ice, equipment carelessly tossed aside in jubilance, packing the boards along the south end of the rink in front of their Blue Knight faithful.
“For [the kids in] that room to win this cup and bring it back, I know it means a lot to them,” Mohre said. “They put in a tremendous amount of work this past offseason and we set this as one of our goals. It’s nice to get out and accomplish it.”
The eruption of emotion had been building over the last two years as the Bourne Canalmen staked their claim to the coveted cup and came to a head on Saturday, February 1, with Sandwich scoring a 2-0 win over their Cape Cod Canal neighbors.
Sophomore defenseman Drew MacKinnon drew first blood with roughly six minutes left in the first period while freshman Colin McIver added the insurance goal on a power play in the second period. Junior captain Mike Barrasso assisted on both goals while senior goalie Carson Schemenaur stopped all 20 shots he faced. For his efforts, the netminder earned MVP honors.
“Playing in the third period, up 2-0... it’s just awesome,” Schemenaur said. “The clock definitely moves slow in those situation. I think [losing the last two years to Bourne] definitely gave us that push.”
With the win, the Blue Knights improved to 23-14-1 in the all-time series.
“Regardless of the shot total, I think Carson made a few saves towards the end that really sealed it for us,” Mohre said.
From the opening puck drop, Sandwich touted three lines that played with an aggressive mindset. They attempted 40 shots on net in the game, never recording fewer than 13 in a period, and regularly possessed the puck in the Canalmen’s end and create traffic in front of the net. That was the approach Mohre wanted to deploy heading into the game, knowing Bourne boasts a standout goalie in senior Kyle McGuire.
“We knew they had a good goalie. We knew they weren’t going to quit,” Mohre said. “Against McGuire you have to have guys setting screens. You can’t let him see the puck.”
Despite regularly playing in their own end, Canalmen head coach Frank Carpenito was comfortable with the high number of shots attempted by Sandwich.
“I thought we did a good job defensively keeping everything outside. I wasn’t worried about how many shots we gave up because Kyle is going to stop them. If he can see it, he can stop it,” Carpenito said.
McGuire was named the Canalmen MVP for the game, stopping 38 of 40 shots on goal.
MacKinnon’s tally sliced through traffic in front of McGuire and ended high stick-side to break the scoreless tie. With both teams riding high given the fanfare of the day, getting an early goal was key for the Knights.
“To see one fall in early allows everyone to settle in because we were a little nervous coming out to start,” Mohre said. “Playing ahead is definitely better than playing behind.”
Sandwich struck again in the second the period, this time special teams playing a key role. Using a similar formula of crowding the crease from their first goal, Barrasso fed McIver—fresh off his first career varsity goal earlier in the week—and the freshman lit the lamp from the point. The goal gave Sandwich a 2-0 lead with 9:18 left before the second intermission.
Down, but not out, the Canalmen fought to get themselves back in the game. They appeared to do just that with 6:40 left in the frame. About to go on the power play, Bourne crashed the net and thought it had cut the Knights’ lead in half, but the referees had other thoughts — waving the goal off, citing a whistle being blown before the puck crossed the line.
“The referee told me the [goalie] had control of the puck, but we could see from the bench it was rolling around and loose,” Carpenito said. “But we can’t dwell on one play. Obviously [in the referee’s] eyes it didn’t go in. We talked all week about managing the highs and lows of this game. That was one of the points where we had to manage.”
The Canalmen failed to convert on the ensuing power play and went scoreless in the third period, despite pulling McGuire in favor of an extra skate with roughly 1:30 left in the game.
Somerset-Berkley 4, Bourne 1
The hosts didn’t get on the board until less than three minutes remained in the game, as the Blue Raiders recorded the regular season sweep of their South Coast Conference counterparts.
Hosting S-B on Wednesday, February 5, at Gallo Ice Arena, Bourne fell behind 4-0 in the third period before senior Morgan Hopwood recorded a tally with 2:23 to play.
Sophomore Tyler Evans set up Hopwood’s score on a power play. Senior goalie Kam Sassone saw time in net, spelling McGuire in the game.
Bourne (6-10-1, 5-5-1 SCC) will meet Dartmouth in a non-league game that will be played at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence on Sunday, February 9.