Boston, MA – Wednesday was hockey night at Walter Brown Arena as the Warriors of Brookline HS took on the Panthers of Plymouth South in the Travis Roy Foundation Jr Beanpot charity game. This game proved to be rather one-sided as Brookline handled the Panthers 7-2 behind a two-goal effort from sophomore forward Grayson Badger and senior captain Colin Finnegan. Badger finished the game with two goals and two assists for four points, and proved that he was the best player on the ice in this contest. At the start of the first period it was all Brookline: they were keeping pucks deep and applying great pressure to maintain possession in the offensive zone. The Warriors struck first as a nice pass out of the corner from sophomore forward Caleb Weldon to sophomore forward Owen Erdman led to a quick wrister in the slot and resulted in a 1-0 Warriors lead three minutes in. Just a few minutes later it was junior defenseman Ellis Vish with a cross-ice pass to Finnegan who buried it for a 2-0 Brookline lead with still over 8 minutes to go. In a matter of seconds the Warriors could have extended their lead by one more but Badger’s shot hit the post to keep it a 2-0 game. The Plymouth defense did improve as the game went on, but the offensive firepower from Brookline was just too much to handle and the Panthers just couldn’t get clears out of the zone.
At the start of the second period, Plymouth was looking much better than they had in the first, but it was still no match for Badger who split the defense in front of the net and put on a nice deke move to beat the goalie five hole for a 3-0 Brookline lead. Plymouth started showing some offensive capabilities when senior forward Thomas Nolan broke in alone, yet senior Gil Markman turned away the shot for the Warriors. The teams later took matching penalties to make it a 4 on 4 and Vish took the puck down low and walked it right in for a backhand shot under the pad of the Plymouth goalie for a 4-0 Brookline lead. However, Plymouth struck right back for their first goal of the game coming from senior defender Chase Sacco. After two, the score was 4-1, with Brookline firmly in charge.
After some good back and forth play in the final frame, there were just under nine minutes to play when junior forward Chris Colbert scored off of a rebound through a diving Markman in front to make it 4-2 to make the game a little more interesting. Shortly after that it was Badger again who put the game away on a breakaway, beating the goalie five hole to extend the Brookline lead 5-2. Minutes later, Plymouth South was called for two penalties resulting in a 5-on-3. On the power-play, it was Finnegan again scoring his second on a wrister that just slipped through: 6-2 Warriors. With 2:40 left to play, freshman forward Marcus Paes who pulled off a nifty toe drag move on a Plymouth defender before going top shelf to finish off this game by a final score of 7-2.
- F Grayson Badger, Brookline
- F Colin Finnegan, Brookline
- F Casey Donovan, Plymouth South
Badger showed tonight why he was the best player on the ice and one of the top candidates in D2 hockey for the @MassNZ Mr. Hockey Award. He played hard and was ready to compete on every single shift, and he plays a big role on this team offensively, he rarely came off the ice. There is still more upside left for him to tap into, but his game is continuing to trend in the right direction. Finnegan had a good game as well. He plays on that top line with Badger, and is key in setting up plays and controlling the ice. The two of them have great chemistry and they will be a duo to watch as the playoffs get started in the coming days.
Junior forward Casey Donovan was clearly the best player on this Plymouth South team. Although his team was down for most of this game, he showed good grit and compete level and was going hard every shift. He continued to put shots on net and was not afraid to fire it from anywhere, you never know what can happen if you do.