Framingham wins MHL Cup in a Shootout over Xaverian

Framingham, MA – The second half of today’s doubleheader featured two of the top teams in the state going head to head: the Hawks of Xaverian and the hometown Flyers of Framingham. This was easily the best game of the year that we have seen in MIAA play: both teams were at the peak of their power in long stretches and both teams relied on their strengths to create mismatch opportunities. But there could only be one winner and that was Framingham in a shootout. We fully expect to see both of these teams in the mix for a Super 8 berth a couple of months from now…

The stands filled in substantially following the consolation game as the local team was looking to bring home a title. The home spirits were dampened three minutes in when stud Xaverian sophomore forward Jack Silva broke in off the left wing and fired a wrister home off a stick deflection to make it 1-0 Hawks. The period was a rough and tumble display for the Hawks who threw everything at the net and hit everything that moved. By comparison, Framingham used its team speed to avoid numerous big hits and create scoring chances by winning races in the offensive end.

The Flyers started to claw back the momentum in the second frame but despite generating some quality chances they were unable to convert. They also got into penalty trouble early which led to a 5-on-3 for the Hawks – which they cashed in on quickly. They scored on both power plays, first it was sophomore D Aiden Rodriguez who walked in and fired one past the goalie then a minute later senior captain Matty Ryan shot one through traffic from the point to make it 3-0, which would be our score entering the third.

And what a third period it was. A major penalty was assessed to Xaverian captain Ryan Pomposelli for a big hit along the boards with four minutes elapsed in the period. The Flyers then went on a spree scoring three goals in three minutes all during the major power play. The home fans erupted first when slick junior defenseman Dom Leone cranked a slap shot home from the half wall to make it 3-1. Less than 30 seconds later they set up the umbrella again and Leone fed co-captain Will Trischitta who slipped one home coming off the right wing: 3-2. Two minutes later, it was Leone again who found sophomore Joe Ferrante for a 1-timer to tie the game up with nearly eight minutes to play. But things would get dicey for the Flyers after that when co-captain Jared Shimelman was assessed a major penalty with under five minutes to go and Xaverian could insert the dagger. Somehow, Framingham withstood the onslaught and heavy pressure applied by Xaverian – largely thanks to senior goalie Jake Handy.

This led to a 4-on-3 OT advantage for Xaverian also turned aside by Handy: on we went to a shootout. The first set of shooters each missed with Trischitta hitting the post at the far end of the ice for Framingham. Pomposelli was denied by Handy and at the other end assistant captain Robbie Lopez buried a really nice backhand-forehand move. That left the game up to Matty Ryan, who was once again stoned by Handy: Framingham wins 4-3.

Three Stars:

  1. G Jake Handy, Framingham
  2. D Dom Leone, Framingham
  3. D Aiden Rodriguez, Xaverian

NZ’s Take:

Without a doubt this was the game of the year thus far in Mass HS. These are two of the best teams in the state and what fans saw in this game was a lot of offensive firepower, plenty of physicality and some sleek skill with possession and speed to burn. No matter the final score of this game, expect both teams to be in good position in March when tournament time rolls around. Xaverian is a football team on skates: they are big, mean and work their tails off to win pucks. Framingham works hard and smart in order to gain an advantage, they gave up inches and pounds to Xaverian, but they were never out of the game because they found ways to slip through checks and find open patches of ice for quick shots on net.

For Xaverian, Aiden Rodriguez played a lot of meaningful minutes for a sophomore and looks right at home already despite not playing varsity last season. He is poised and athletic with even more size to add to his 6′ frame – he gathers the puck quickly and knows how to find lanes to get it on net. Once again, we keep bringing up his name, but sophomore Jack Silva is the real deal Holifield – he added a goal and an assist to his point totals tonight and it’s because of his instinctual play near the net and his ability to gracefully glide around the sheet and use his length to influence plays.

For Framingham, it’s hard not to be impressed by the work of Dom Leone, who factored into all three of the team’s goals in the third. He got himself into good scoring positions but he also surveyed the ice very well and found ways to pick apart the Xaverian D. Hard not to like what Will Trischitta brings as well: he was shot out of a cannon all game long and he wore down the defense with his tenacity and great directional skating ability to avoid checks.


Consolation Game: St. John’s Shrewsbury vs. Marshfield

Framingham, MA – This evening we made the trip out to Loring Arena to watch Marshfield take on St. John’s Shrewsbury in the consolation game of the MHL Cup.

The first period was a bit helter skelter for each team with neither really owning the possession. There was one controversial goal scored nine minutes in when Marshfield sophomore Nick Souretis poked home a rebound chance nearly at the same time the ref’s whistle blew. Understandably the St. John’s Shrewsbury brass was none too happy but regardless the first frame ended with the Rams on top 1-0.

The second period was a scoring bonanza with SJS putting up a massive five spot on the scoreboard. The first one came off a net scramble by Matt Myers followed by a put back by Brendan Doherty to give the Pioneers a lead they would not relinquish. Doherty added another 30 seconds later before Timmy Doyle of Marshfield stopped the bleeding for Marshfield: 3-2 was the score. But the Pioneers went back on the offensive and added two more: another by Myers at 11:57 and a punctuation by forward Ryan Richard at 12:08. That mercifully brought the scoring to a close with the Pioneers owning all the momentum with one frame to play.

The third period was merely academic as SJS added one more for good measure from senior Sean Clark. Final score: St. John’s Shrewsbury 6, Marshfield 2

Three Stars:

1. F Matt Myers, St. John’s Shrewsbury
2. F Brendan Doherty, St. John’s Shrewsbury
3. F Timmy Doyle, Marshfield

NZ’s Take:

There isn’t a ton to dissect about this game. While Marshfield scored early and held the lead for a stretch of the second, the SJS onslaught was simply too much to overcome. Marshfield played well early in this game but once two goals went in, the game took a different shape and the Pioneers just kept attacking.

For Marshfield, Timmy Doyle not only tallied a goal and an assist but he was blocking shots on the top PK unit – he was all over the ice tonight and put forward a great effort in this loss. Similarly, you noticed when Griffin Mudge and Charlie Kolar were on the ice. Both have creative offensive minds and good stick skill to make plays in traffic.

For St. John’s Shrewsbury, Matt Myers was a monster – he is so quick and is able to blow by defenders at this level – he will be one of the better players in the state this season simply based on his puck skills and ability to get behind the D. Also effective here were Brendan Doherty and Sean Clark – two strong seniors. They tallied up three goals between them today and it was largely due to their strength on the puck. They also knew how to get to scoring areas and hold their ground in order to pounce on mistakes and rebounds.