Ed Burns Tournament: 8-seed Franklin and 5-seed Reading Victorious

Arlington, MA – MassNZ drove through the rain and sleet to Ed Burns Arena in Arlington, with a pregame stop at D’Agostinos, of course. We were on hand to watch the opener of the Ed Burns Coffee Pot Tournament as the top-seeded Hingham Harbormen took on the 8th-seeded Franklin Panthers in a big matchup for both squads. The crowd was a bit sparse but the players on the ice provided more than enough energy early in this one.

In the first period, it was a true barn burner with four goals scored in six minutes of gameplay. The opening salvo belonged to Hingham as senior big man Travis Rugg flipped a backhand pass into the slot where sophomore Aiden Rotondo was waiting to fire it home: 1-0 Harbormen. Just three minutes later they would double the lead as Rugg won a puck along the wall and sent it into the middle where a couple of players took a whack at it. The puck was sitting precariously in the crease under the goalie’s pad and last touch belonged to junior Colin Lasch: 2-0 Hingham. At this point, the Harbormen owned most of the possession and were winning most of the strength battles, but Franklin battled back and swung the momentum back to their side. Just under two minutes later, Hingham had a power play and a puck squibbed past the defender and senior Ben Paterson won the race to the puck and dished it off to senior Anthony Lampasona who buried it to cut the lead in half. Once that first goal went in, the Panthers took their game to another level and just a minute later they tied it up. Senior forward Zach Langevin won a race to the puck behind a Hingham defenseman and cruised in alone to beat the goalie cleanly: we were knotted at 2-2 which is how the period would end. Franklin was riding high and looked to carry that momentum forward into the second.

In the middle frame, the Panthers did just that: they stepped up their forecheck pressure and brought their skating legs which caused fits for Hingham’s D. Just under four minutes into the period, they would untie it as senior Dylan McEvoy beat his defenseman with speed and finished alone at the net, slipping the puck five hole to make it 3-2 Panthers. For the remainder of the period, Franklin would continue to win races and win battles along the walls which led to longer possessions and more shots on goal. That tally by McEvoy would be our only score in the period and on we went to the third.

In the final frame we returned back to barn burning pace and five total goals were scored when all was said and done. Hingham made a strong pushback early in this frame and spent more time in the attacking zone looking to tie this thing up. It was not to be as Franklin would extend their lead four minutes in. In a stellar lateral attack, Paterson cut across the zone and wired a shot past the netminder to make it 4-2. Hingham was able to get that goal right back a minute later as defender Alec Dzavik ripped a shot from the half wall cleanly past the goalie to make it 4-3. From that point on, Hingham made their strongest push of the game, looking to tie it up, but Franklin stood tall in their own zone which ultimately fed their offense. Four and a half minutes after the Harbormen scored they would reclaim a two-goal advantage. A turnover in the defensive zone led to a quick shot by McEvoy, his second of the day: 5-3 Franklin. Two minutes later they would put this one out of reach as Lampasona wired his second goal home from the point on the power play to make it 6-3. There was one more score before the clock hit triple zeros as Hingham senior forward Michael Garrity sent a laser into the back of the net top shelf from below the dot. Our final: 8-seed Franklin defeats 1-seed Hingham 6-4.

Three Stars:

  1. F Dylan McEvoy, Franklin
  2. F Anthony Lampasona, Franklin
  3. F Travis Rugg, Hingham


Game 2: Reading vs Canton

Arlington, MA – We hung around for a second game of the Ed Burns Coffee Pot Tournament as the 4th-seeded Canton Bulldogs took on the 5th-seeded Reading Rockets. The stands filled out a bit more for this game and both teams looked ready to compete pregame.

In the opening period, not much happened on the scoreboard but it was very clear what kind of game this would be based on the opening minutes. It was physical, competitive and tough to gain open ice anywhere. Both defenses were stout and limited the chances on either side. Reading relied on their forecheck to create turnovers but Canton was well disciplined. Canton was looking to fly the zone any chance they got but senior Chris Hanifan was nails in net, knocking down every shot. The momentum was evenly split between the teams but the possession favored Canton slightly after the first 15 minutes. The second period would likely dictate how this game would take shape.

In the middle frame, it was more of the same right off the bat. Both teams were strong on their sticks defensively and worked hard to stay on the right side of the puck. The physicality remained high and both teams let loose some strong body blows at both ends. Things stayed fairly even-keeled until midway through the period as Canton freshman Ryan Elrick grabbed a puck behind the net and flung it out front to senior Colin Blake who made no mistake and buried it: 1-0 Bulldogs. They were riding high off the game’s first tally, but Reading stole their shine just two minutes later as junior forward Liam Hansen stole the puck shorthanded and cruised in alone to bury it: we were all tied 1-1. That would be our score after two.

In the final frame, it was another closely fought battle between two teams unwilling to give an inch. Both teams created chances in the attacking zone but both defenses and goalies were stellar. This game had the feel that it would come down to a turnover, a lucky bounce, or a deflection of some kind and that’s exactly what happened. The star of the show was senior Cam Fahey who stole the puck at the red line, approached the net and fired a shot that trickled its way behind the goalie to give Reading a 2-1 advantage with under four minutes to go. Shortly after they scored, Canton made a push and pulled their goalie with just under a minute to go. They created a couple of quality looks in front but Reading packed the middle and secured the W. 2-1 was your final score.

Three Stars:

  1. F Cam Fahey, Reading
  2. F Liam Hansen, Reading
  3. F Colin Blake, Canton