It was a night full of firsts at Gallo Ice Arena on Wednesday, January 6.
The Canalmen were playing their first game of the season, and more than half of the squad was playing in their first varsity game. Two different Canalmen netted their first varsity goals, and sophomore goalie Paul Case made his first varsity start.
The Purple and White did not earn their first win of the year, nor did they take their first loss. Instead they earned their first draw, rallying in the third period to tie Old Rochester by a 2-2 score in an exciting opener to the 2021 season.
Ty Kelley’s first goal as a Canalman came on the power play at 9:55 of the third period and knotted the score for Bourne, which drew even despite being outshot 44-21 for the night. Kelley’s goal was an easy tap-in on the far post thanks to a brilliant blind pass by Max Civilinski, who sped to a pass from Tyler Evans and sent a no-look feed through the crease to Kelley, who finished the play.
“He made a great play there, and Ty finished it off,” head coach Frank Carpenito said. “That was both of their first goals (at varsity). We’re going to have a lot of those this year.”
Nine of the 12 forwards who dressed for BHS were either freshmen or 8th graders, as were four of the six defensemen that saw the ice.
It was not the first time on varsity ice for sophomore goalie Paul Case, but it was the first time he had started a game. It did not look that way.
Case stopped 42 of the 44 Old Rochester shots he saw and kept the Canalmen in the contest late in the second period and early in the third when it looked like ORR might pull away. BHS, which enjoyed six power plays in the game and did not take a penalty itself, scored early to give Case a cushion, but then the Bulldogs took control and dominated for the last five minutes of the first period, all of the second, and about half of the third. Case stayed calm in net and made stop after stop, with just a one-minute stretch that did not go well for him.
Case made a number of big saves in the second, including two in succession with 7:10 left on the clock in the middle frame to keep his team ahead 1-0. Old Rochester broke through, though, just 26 seconds later when Harrison Hughes was able to muscle in a weakside rebound following a big save by the BHS goalie on a shot off the left wing wall at 8:16.
Exactly one minute later the Bulldogs took the lead, 2-1. It was the first real mistake that Case had made all night as he was tardy getting down on a shot from the top of the left circle by Ben Austin. The low snapper beat the goalie through the five-hole to put Old Rochester ahead.
Like all good goalies, Case did not let that one get to him. Showing a short memory, he bounced back and made several more huge stops, which allowed the Canalmen to fight back later to tie the score on the gorgeous play from Civilinski to Kelley.
“From day one (Case) really stepped up. He was playing hard and he just kept getting better (in the preseason) and today he just put it in another gear, and we saw what we have,” Carpenito said.
In the first period, Bourne took advantage of a major power play called against the Bulldogs midway through the opening stanza to stake itself to a lead. For the second time in as many shifts BHS top centerman Tyler Evans was denied on a break-in by ORR keeper Tom Galavotti, who dove headfirst out of the crease to stop the shooter from getting off a quality bid.
Galavotti made the initial save, but did not control the puck. Charging up the right wing, Civilinski was in position to hammer home the rebound, which had trickled out to the edge of the painted ice. Civilinski’s tap-home gave BHS a 1-0 lead at the 9:49 mark of the first period of the season.
With one game under its belt, the young BHS squad is back in action tomorrow at home against Somerset Berkley at 7 PM. S-B opened up its season on Monday with a 14-1 win against Wareham/Carver.