Haverhill, MA – We made the drive up to the North Shore to watch a D1 vs D2 matchup with the Clippers of Newburyport taking the short ride down 495 to oppose the Chieftans of Masconomet. We anticipated seeing some wide-open hockey with great game flow and that’s exactly what we got tonight.
The first period featured neither team wasting any time: both squads were throwing haymakers from the opening puck drop. It was end-to-end action for the full 15 minutes and both teams were hustling to every loose puck. There was plenty of physicality to boot as neither team took kindly to extra stickhandling in the offensive zone. As the period progressed Newburyport slowly began to tip the scales which culminated in a power play chance with under three minutes to go. They cashed in with a minute and change left when junior forward Ryan Archer fed sophomore Jon Groth from south of the goal line right into the slot where he one-timed it home. 1-0 Clippers after 1.
In the second it was more of the same as Newburyport weathered an early push by Masco and then took advantage of a turnover. In a scramble in Masco’s D zone the puck was poked into the middle where senior Newburyport senior captain Ben Reynolds jumped on it and spun around to ladle it home: 2-0 Clippers. From there, Masco made another strong push but freshman goalie Jaime Brooks was there at every turn: stopping breakaways and 2-on-1 chances with a serene calmness about him. Without him, this game could easily be tied or in jeopardy for the Clippers. 2-0 was our score entering the third.
In the final stanza, Masco came out like a house on fire. The Clippers turned away a few shots to start the period, but the Chieftans finally cashed in six minutes in. Junior defenseman Trevor Currier put a shot on goal that produced a juicy rebound and senior forward Jason Schueler was there to snap it far side and cut the lead in half: 2-1. The crowd jumped to life and you could immediately feel the momentum shift in the building. Just a minute later Masco struck again off a pretty give-and-go play where senior defenseman Matt Elliott sprang sophomore forward Joshua Brann but charged hard to the net as Brann took it wide and Elliott finished off a nice feed at the net mouth to tie the game up. The joint was jumping and Masco fed off that energy for the balance of the period. It would stay that way until the buzzer sounded which meant one thing: 4-on-4 OT, a new novelty for MIAA hockey this season.
In the OT, the play was completely wide open and each team was attempting to stretch the ice. Unsurprisingly, the game ended on a breakaway attempt, but not how you’d expect. At his defensive blue line, Masco senior forward Kirby Glynn picked off a pass and spied lean speedster Peyton DeFeo with nothing but open ice ahead. He found him with a quick pass and DeFeo was all alone, but stuffed off a terrific splitsville save by Brooks. Glynn was not to be denied however, and followed up the rebound and lifted it over the goalie’s pad – for which he was mobbed in the corner by his teammates and the student section and parents went ballistic.
- F Kirby Glynn, Masconomet (GWG in OT)
- F Peyton DeFeo, Masconomet (A)
- G Jaime Brooks, Newburyport
This was a really exciting game to watch, it’s a testament to what Mass HS hockey is all about. It was a 7:10 game and the sizable parking lot at Haverhill Valley Forum was full 10 minutes before game time. The fan sections were filled from wall to wall and there were more people watching from behind the glass at the far end near the doors. Granted, the home team didn’t have much to cheer for initially, but the traveling Clipper contingent made plenty of noise as they went up 2-0 after two periods of play. There is no doubt that the players fed off the home crowd to spur them on to tie the game up. You could feel the tension and frustration release after that first goal was scored and they went on to win it from there. Hockey is as much a game of momentum as any other sport, if not more. Mo is a good friend to have, if you get to know him.
For Newburyport, Ben Reynolds had a goal and assist tonight and he let loose a couple of howitzers from the dots, he was good tonight but a few of his teammates stuck out to us. Junior defender Owen Spence is a player that prep teams should be keeping an eye on. He was the best skater on the ice tonight because of his quick feet, great acceleration ability and flawless turns behind the net. At times he almost looked bored tonight because everything was so routine: he’s been there done that. Junior forward Colin Richmond doesn’t have much size but he was terrific covering the middle of the ice. His economy of movement when he skates is very good and he is stronger on his stick than he looks. Don’t sleep on the effort by freshman Jaime Brooks tonight: he had shutout stuff early in this one with the types of saves he made. Difficult saves he made look routine at times because he was always in great position at the top of the paint.
For Masconomet, Kai Roberto continues to impress. The freshman is undersized (as most freshmen are) but he is crafty and quick. He made a great play here by lulling a defenseman into a false sense of safety and then blew by him to the outside to the defender’s bewilderment. Junior Logan Campbell also continues to impress: he just finds ways to impact every game offensively. He has size, vision, hand-eye coordination and a great stick in traffic; just a fun player to watch. New on our radar is senior Peyton DeFeo who was shot out of a cannon all night. Newburyport had no answer for his speed off the edge and his ability to gain speed off the crossover was deadly when he crossed the blue line. At one point the game plan was simply get the puck to him in space and watch him take off.