Haverhill, MA – It was a battle for regional pride amongst two D2 Cape Ann League rivals as Masconomet took on Triton tonight at the Haverhill Valley Forum. Both teams come into tonight’s action with five wins and this would go a long way to determining who has the inside track for success within the CAL. It was a packed house with two big cheering sections – there were no seats to be found anywhere and the glass was lined with parents.
This was a wide-open game to start with both teams creating chances at each end. Both squads have good team speed, are opportunistic to create turnovers and there were some big hits to punctuate the action as well. The scoring opened with a nice power play conversion 10 minutes in by Masco junior forward Logan Campbell who used a Triton defenseman as a screen and fired a wrister that the goalie never saw. 1-0 was our score after 1.
In the second period, Masco continued to keep the pressure on. With another power play opportunity at hand they struck again when Campbell fed senior captain Shawn Callahan at the point and his high riser found its way in to make it 2-0 Chieftans. For the remainder of the period both teams were flying, attempting to win races to loose pucks and create odd-man chances. The defense for both teams was very good as they each got sticks in shooting lanes and prevented breakaway chances on the backcheck.
The final stanza was the last chance for the Vikings to do some pillaging. Unfortunately the Chieftans seized yet another opportunity and banged home a third goal six minutes in when senior forward Jason Schueler drifted into the slot and took a nice bump pass from Aaron Zenus to make it 3-0. About two minutes later the Chieftans struck again when Callahan fed Campbell in the slot for his second of the evening: 4-0 Masco with six minutes left in the frame. At that point, to the Vikings credit, they turned up the intensity and got Masco on their heels in the final five minutes. With roughly two minutes to go senior defenseman and assistant captain Connor Kohan took a shot from the point that hit something out front and deflected just under the bar to make it 4-1. The Vikings pulled the goalie to establish more pressure, but it was not enough to complete the comeback. 4-1 Final.
- F Logan Campbell, Masconomet (2G, 2A)
- F Shawn Callahan, Masconomet (G, A)
- D Connor Kohan, Triton (G)
We were greatly intrigued by this matchup, both because of its league implications but also because it represented two five-win teams going head to head. Both squads should be contenders come playoff time given their depth, balance and ferocious ability to attack their opponents. These have to be two of the better skating teams in D2 and two of the most aggressive on the forecheck. Masconomet is one of the best teams we’ve seen all season in the neutral zone and Triton just kept coming after you with wave after wave of quick F1s. This was a fun game to watch because each team put in hard work on each shift, there were minimal whistles and the stands were jammed 10 minutes prior to puck drop.
For Triton it’s hard to look past the brother tandem of D Connor Kohan and F Cael Kohan. Connor has great size and he can jump up in the rush without hesitation and put pressure on the opposition. He also knows how to use his size to knock the puck loose, especially along the boards. Cael isn’t quite as big but he is a fluid skater who can open up his hips and use his edges to turn sharply. He can accelerate effectively and he gets right in your face on the forecheck forcing you to wrap the puck around as opposed to confronting him. Also intriguing was junior forward Ryan Lindholm who refused to take no for an answer: going right into the teeth of a big Masconomet D and looking to make plays down by three and four goals late in the third.
For Masconomet, Logan Campbell was a force all night long. He was big, physical and sent the opposition flying when delivering hits. He has the right idea offensively as well, he surveyed the zone in order to find weak points and he knows how to take advantage of soft spots in coverage and hide behind the D before he shoots. Senior Shawn Callahan is listed as a F/D and we saw him primarily play from the back end and scored his goal on a point shot that the goalie never saw. His acceleration ability is very good and he is able to pivot smoothly and make authoritative stops to catch forecheckers off-balance. Don’t sleep on senior Jason Schueler either: he has a great frame, a long reach and he skates hard in all four directions. There is nothing subtle about his game: he plays the body, skates with authority and puts pressure on the puck carrier, or goaltender, whichever comes first.