Canton, MA – Neutral Zone was able to tune in to take in the Championship Game of the Catholic Central League between two well matched contenders: the Spartans of St. Mary’s Lynn and the Bishops of Archbishop Williams. This game was played in three traditional 15 minute periods and would determine who would hoist the hardware after 45 minutes of battle.
The game started with a bang right out of the gate. Just over a minute into the period, the Bishops were able to generate chances and senior forward Aidan McDonnell went behind the net to retrieve a puck which he turned and fired to an open linemate Christian Koylion who didn’t miss, depositing it upstairs: 1-0 Archies. Their bench was all fired up, but the Spartans did not allow that momentum to last for long. Just a minute and a half later junior blueline Jake Desmaris took a pass at the point and fired one through a sea of bodies and it found the back of the net: 1-1 was the score at the three minute mark. For the remainder of the period, it was evenly played with both teams splitting the possession. There were plenty of quality chances for both sides, but none of them were put home. After 15 minutes, we were deadlocked at 1.
In the second period the opening few minutes were even, but then St. Mary’s Lynn started to clamp down defensively and generate more scoring opportunities in transition. Subsequently at the six minute mark, freshman defender Harrison Kinne took a shot from the point (which may have been tipped, tough to tell) which produced a juicy rebound into the slot where a waiting senior forward Kyle LoNigro fired it home to break the tie: 2-1 Spartans. After that goal, the Spartans fed off that momentum and continued to clamp down on Grade A chances in their own zone and looked to spring their forwards up ice quickly. They were able to find success six minutes later as senior speedster Dante D’Ambrosio was able to stickhandle around a defender and tap a pass to Colby Magliozzi in full flight, just out of the penalty box. He came in off the right wing and fired home a wrister: 3-1 Spartans. That would be the score after two, and the Bishops would need a rally for a chance to tie this thing up.
In the final frame, St. Mary’s was able to slow the game down, continued to limit the opposition’s chances and own the possession at both ends. With four plus minutes left in the frame Archbishop Williams looked as though they had a sure goal but junior netminder Owen Giangrande made a terrific splitsville save to keep this a two goal advantage and that’s all the help the Spartans would need. With under three minutes to go senior captain Kyle LoNigro put a bow on this one as he found another loose puck in the slot and fired it home for his second of the night: 4-1 was the final score of this one. The Spartans would take home the CCL Cup.
- F Kyle LoNigro, St. Mary’s Lynn
- F Colby Magliozzi, St. Mary’s Lynn
- G Owen Giangrande, St. Mary’s Lynn
- St. Mary’s Lynn’s defense really won them this game: they knew their best chance of winning was an aggressive forecheck and clogging up the passing lanes. By executing both, they were able to suppress the high volume of shots that Archies normally puts on net.
- Archies on the other hand, they have a lot of size and skill, but they ran out of space and time faster than normal in this contest. They played a physical game and didn’t wilt in the face of contact, but their speedsters didn’t have enough room to operate.
- Big game for senior Kyle LoNigro: he found himself at the right place at the right time in the slot when rebounds would bounce out from the blue paint. The Spartans scored four unanswered to put this game away and LoNigro’s first tally ended up being the game winner at a pivotal moment in the 2nd period. Nice way to end his MIAA career.
- Archies bruising senior forward Aidan McDonnell played a great game at both ends tonight, using his frame to lean on the opposition. He’s strong on the puck and plays a heavy game which will suit him well wherever his next port of call ends up being.
- Can we also talk about the sick tape job for Archies’ freshman netminder Brendan Carberry, sporting the colors of the Irish flag? Love to see that creativity and swag: great stuff!