NE Prep Small School Tournament. #6 New Hampton at #3 Rivers
Weston, MA-In the first round of the small school playoffs, New Hampton traveled to Rivers for what turned out to be a hard-fought battle to the very end. The game was an evenly matched contest in which Rivers escaped with the victory 5-4. The first period was filled with a high pace and physicality, as both teams would create chances early. New Hampton would break the ice early in the first period when junior Isaac MacLeod (Caledonia, Ontario) buried a loose puck during a net front battle on the power play. Rivers would answer on a power play of their own when Michael McEachern (Marblehead, MA) finished off a rebound on a shot from Matt Cormier (Waltham, MA). Late in the first period, while shorthanded, Rivers senior defenseman Cade Webber (Milford, MA) made a great play to force a turnover at his own blue line. He was able to continue the play by chipping the puck to space and going in on a breakaway to capitalize, rifling a shot over the glove of the New Hampton goaltender. The period would end with Rivers leading 2-1.
In the second period, the pace would not slow down. New Hampton would tie the game 2-2 when junior forward Marcus Joughin (Tecumseh, Ontario) made a great play to find MacLeod wide open in the slot for his second of the game. New Hampton would find itself in penalty trouble in the second period, but 2002 goalie Lucas Brine (Oxshott, GBR) would keep the score tied with some timely saves. Late in the second period, Rivers would take the lead on an incredible individual effort by Yale recruit Phillip Tresca (Newton, MA). Tresca beat a New Hampton defenseman one-on-one and tucked the puck in on the backhand.
Rivers would extend the lead to 4-2 early in the third period. Ryan Bell (Waltham, MA) received the puck from his teammate on the blue line, walked the blue line and snapped a shot that beat the New Hampton goaltender with traffic in front. New Hampton would rally right back and move the score to 4-3 on a beauty goal from MacLeod. Later, a lucky bounce off of a Rivers defender which found the back of the net on the power play would continue to advance the score 4-4. With 1:44 remaining in the game, Rivers took the lead on a controversial goal that could have gone either way. Senior John Kantaros (Newton, MA) batted a puck out of mid-air into a New Hampton net that appeared to be off its mooring. With time expiring, New Hampton was able to create a quality scoring chance that would end up hitting the side of the post and Rivers would walk away with the victory.
- Cade Webber – Rivers
- Isaac MacLeod – New Hampton
- Phillip Tresca – Rivers
NZ’s Take: For Rivers; Rivers looked like the more skilled team and also looked like a disciplined and very well-coached team in a game filled with penalties and inconsistent officiating. The line with Cormier, Tresca, and McEachern played extremely well. They play fast, get to loose pucks and make it difficult for opposing teams to defend; they dominated and were relied upon heavily throughout the game. Defenseman Cade Webber looked flat-out awesome; his combined size and skating ability along with his ability to win puck battles and make plays in the offensive and defensive zones are all reasons why he will be a highly touted NHL prospect. Tony Andreozzi (Winchester, MA) looked strong as well. He is a steady two-way defenseman who has great skating ability and is very opportunistic when joining the rush. For New Hampton; Isaac MacLeod played a very strong game for New Hampton, as Rivers did not have an answer for him. He possesses great hockey sense and vision that puts his teammates in positions to make plays and has good goal scoring ability. Marcus Joughin played well for New Hampton and has great play making ability. He is a great pass
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images