Arlington vs. Xaverian. Super 8 Elimination Game
Billerica, MA-The Xaverian Hawks and Arlington Spy Ponders played a wild Super 8 elimination game tonight at the Chelmsford Forum. After squandering a 4-1 lead in the third period, senior Michael Pitochelli (Walpole, MA) fired a rocket top corner with 53.8 seconds left to give the Hawks a 5-4 win and stay alive in Super 8 play. The loss eliminates Arlington who had another great season.
The game started late after glass was shattered in warm ups. Some plywood and a new sheet of ice and we were off. Once the puck was dropped, the pace was frantic and teams went up and down and traded chances. Arlington struck first on a senior Will Jennings tap-in on a nice pass from Brendan Pigott 7:01 into the period. Arlington missed a golden chance on a 2 on 1 soon after. Soon, Xaverian started to gain some momentum. They finally broke through on the power play with 1:35 left as junior Eric Wainright (West Roxbury, MA) potted one from Matt Joyce (Dorchester, MA) who faked a shot, got the D down and slid it across. Matty Ryan added a secondary assist. The action-packed period ended 1-1 but not before Arlington goalie Nate Brennan was called for a delay of game penalty for knocking the net off. Seemed early for that call. Xaverian would have 1:01 left on the PP.
The second period was a wild one that worked well for the Hawks. Matty Ryan (Milton, MA) scored quickly on the carry over power play on a nice feed from Josh Barton (Weymouth, MA) from behind the net. Teams traded chances. Lots of scrums after the whistle. Missed calls by the officials and choppy play on both sides defined the frame. Xaverian carried most of the play through the chaos and struck again with 3:04 left when Robbie Bartletta (Walpole, MA) scored on a nice feed from Matty Ryan. Ryan Pomposelli (Needham, MA) also picked up an assist. Then came the killer as Arlington went on the power play with 12 seconds left. During the play with a delay call coming, the Xaverian goalie appeared to knock the net off intentionally to get a whistle. There was no call. Arlington started the 5-4 power play instead of 5-3. Right after the faceoff, Josh Barton took a pass in his end and went the length of the ice in about three seconds to fire a goal home literally at the buzzer for the SHG. 4-1 Xaverian at the break.
Arlington, however, was not done. They changed goalies as Max Perkell entered the game. Just 29 seconds into the third, the Spy Ponders scored as Brendan Jones picked up an Anthony Messuri rebound, rounded the net after and stuffed it home for the power play score. Soon after, Arlington scored again as Andrew Malatesta made a pretty, high, drop-pass to Will Jennings who wristed home his second gal. Xaverian 4-Arlington 3 with 10:48 to go. Messuri tied the game with just over six minutes left and now it was 4-4. Teams played fast and up and down until Pitochelli took a cross ice pass off the wall and wristed it home top-corner for the game winner. Arlington had some great chances and Xaverian goalie James Herring (Natick, MA) was up to the task when it mattered most to earn his team the win.
Xaverian will play Hingham at Gallo Arena in Bourne Monday at 6:30 PM
1stMatty Ryan (Xaverian)
2ndJosh Barton (Xaverian)
3rdWill Jennings (Arlington)
NZ’s Take: This game was full of obvious momentum swings and both teams deserved to win the game. The officiating was awful. We think the kids worked through it but they deserved better. It settled into a great contest but that crew should not do any more games. They had zero feel for the game and the pace was too much for them. In the game, Xaverian’s top line and PP came through. Barletta is tough and tricky and a late 2002. Matty Ryan was awesome all night. He lurks and waits to strike. Barton’s pass on Ryan’s PP goal was creative as he slid it between the post and goalie from behind the net amidst a scrum. He is a top Mass HS player for sure. We liked Wainright’s speed and ability to attack the net. Andrew Barton (Weymouth, MA) showed a good stick on the penalty kill. Matt Joyce played a solid, tough two-way game. Pomposelli is always around the puck. For Arlington; Will Jennings is a goal scorer. He picked up two tonight but his skating keeps getting better. Lots of upside. Brendan Jones was a factor beyond the goal. Just seemed to be around positive plays. Liked his game tonight a lot. Joe Scheschareg played with a strong stick and all 200 feet. Andrew Malatesta made plays at pace and is a player with speed, strength, grit and vision. Has some way to go but he improved this year. Dominic Laiosa is a smaller, athletic, sophomore DMan to watch. Too light to help a lot yet. Messuri played with pace and was good on the point on the power play. He can shoot it from the blue but he also made some really crisp long and short breakout passes.