Scoring goals has been a concern for the Falmouth High School boys’ ice hockey team of late, but the Clippers did just enough of it to survive a scare on Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday night, February 17.
Senior Stone Devlin continued his climb toward 100 career points with two goals and an assist to lead the Clippers to a 3-1 victory. Devlin scored goals in the first and third periods to lead the way, and the FHS defense had a strong showing. Devlin now has 97 career points (51 goals, 46 assists) with at least two games remaining.
The defense held MV to just 11 shots on goal. Sophomore keeper Jack Braga was close to a shutout before the Vineyarders scored with just under three minutes left in the game, making things a little more interesting than Falmouth wanted. Liam Marek had the goal for MV.
Devlin salted the game away in the final minute for FHS, though. The senior’s second goal of the game, with just 57 seconds to play, made it 3-1.
Devlin cashed in a shot at 11:55 of the first to put the team ahead for good. Connor Hennigan, who had one of his best games to date on the Falmouth blueline, assisted on the goal, as did Harry Hennessy.
After a dominant second period that netted no goals, FHS went up 2-0 early in the third on a goal from senior Max McDonald. Hennessy and Devlin assisted on that one. Kyle Souza assisted on Devlin’s insurance goal late in the third.
FHS will play its final regular season game on Friday, February 19, at 5 PM. The Clippers will host Weymouth. After that the team will begin the Cape and Islands League Tournament next week as the top seed in the Atlantic bracket. It will face either Nauset or Barnstable, depending on which finishes in last place.
Barnstable 2, Falmouth 0
A chance for the Clippers to guarantee themselves sole possession of the Cape and Islands League regular season championship, as well as the top seed in the upcoming league tournament, was upended by rival Barnstable on Monday at the Falmouth Ice Arena. Visiting BHS made the most of a couple of breaks that went its way and scored a 2-0 win over the Clippers.
Falmouth will share the regular season title with Sandwich. Both teams finished league play at 4-1-1. Barnstable moved into the third spot in the league standings and is hoping to hold onto that for the playoffs.
Barnstable scored just nine seconds into the second period after a scoreless first to take the lead. Right off the draw Colby Pearsall got in behind the Falmouth defense and was able to beat Jack Braga (11 saves) with a nifty move to give his team the lead.
Barnstable added a bookend second-period goal at the 13:07 mark. Pearsall flung the puck off the back wall to the front, where it went right to Dillon Huntington’s blade. The center chipped it in and the visitors had a huge insurance goal to their credit heading into the third.
In the third period the Clippers had some chances and held BHS to just three shots on goal, but could not find a way to get one past Conor Higgins, who recorded his second straight shutout for Barnstable. McDonald had the best chance midway through the third on a clean two-on-one break with Devlin. McDonald head-faked a pass to the slot and ripped one toward the near side corner, but Higgins was able to get a piece of the puck with his shoulder to preserve his shutout.
Falmouth got the goalie out with 2:30 left to play and kept BHS hemmed in nearly the whole time. Barnstable packed its defense in tight and blocked numerous attempts, keeping Higgins pretty clean before the final horn that ended the game.
Falmouth 5, Milton 4
You could not count the levels of crazy that the third period between Falmouth and Milton reached leading up to Harry Hennessy’s game-winning goal with 19 seconds to play on Saturday. The Clippers scored a goal early in the third and then added an insurance score with 5:17 remaining to make it 4-2. With Falmouth dominating the period to that point, it looked like it was over.
That was far from the truth.
Milton changed the game’s complexion by scoring on a rebound at the 10:50 mark when Owen McHugh banged the puck off of Jack Braga’s right-leg pad from the doorstep, then popped the rebound up and over that same pad to make it 4-3. When Milton took a penalty with 2:13 to play, it looked like it would be the end of the visitors’ chances, but Milton scored a miracle goal with an empty net at 14:25 on a rebound to make it 4-4.
At that point a disappointing draw seemed inevitable. But the strange affair was not over.
Falmouth, still on the power play, won the faceoff that followed and went on the attack. Chris Shanahan went deep into the right wing corner and flung the puck back to the far point for Kyle Souza. The junior flung it in the general direction of the net, but a Milton stick put the puck on its side and it bounced toward the slot.
Hennessy had his stick on the ice and waved the blade at the rolling puck, redirecting it toward the net. The Milton keeper was slow getting down and watched in horror as the pellet slipped between his legs and over the goal line to give Falmouth a 5-4 lead at 14:41.
“It would have been a shame not to win that game. We really played well at times, and then things got scary, but even when they tied it, I said on the bench, ‘It’s not over,’” FHS head coach Paul Moore said.
Almost lost in the complexity of the end was a standout game by FHS seniors Devlin and McDonald. McDonald scored a pair of highlight reel goals in the second period to tie the score. Each was set up by Devlin.
Devlin then scored two in the third to put FHS up 4-2. On the first the MHS goalie was hung out to dry by his defense. He gambled and came way out of his net, diving to try to poke the puck away. Devlin went around him and deposited the puck behind him. At 9:43 Devlin walked in off the wall and sniped one home for his second score.