Watkins Championship Game
Ashburnham, MA-Dexter and Lawrence did battle for the Edward Watkins Championship at 3:30 at Cushing Academy. Dexter has beaten Lawrence earlier at the Groton-Lawrence Holiday Tournament 3-1. This shaped up to be a grudge match of sorts.
The game started with terrific pace and Lawrence controlling play. Tomas Pientka got his first ever start in the net for Lawrence and 2004 Dylan Silverstein took his regular spot between the pipes for Dexter. 2001 Lawrence forward Conor Lovett looked dangerous early as he created a couple early chances. Silverstein was up to the task until Lawrence scored on the power play. UNH commit David Sacco scored on a pretty pass from Kyle Furey. Damien Carfagna picked up the secondary assist. He was good all weekend, very athletic. The rest of the period saw several penalties called. Teams played 4-3, 4-4, 5-4; most of the the rest of the way. Lawrence took the 1-0 lead into the locker room.
The second period started with a Lawrence penalty followed by three more and a misconduct. Lawrence, however, would score a short-handed tally on an “own goal” credited to Riley Duran to take a 2-0 lead. Dexter finally broke through on one power play as 2003 Matt Fusco muscled a one-timer by Pientka to make it 2-1. Lawrence spent more time killing off penalties and Dexter dominated play. However, fresh from the penalty box, Kyle Furey fired home a loose puck with 10.7 seconds left with an assist to 2003 Anthony Cafarelli. The period was a weird one as Dexter dominated but Lawrence led 3-1 after two frames as they caught a bounce and played a gritty, opportunistic hockey.
Lawrence started the final frame with a goal 14 seconds in. Riley Duran fired home a laser assisted by Sacco to give the LA a 4-1 lead. Things became even worse for Dexter as Conor Lovett tipped home a Carfagna shot to make it 5-1 with 10: 38 left. Chants of “warm up the bus” could be heard in the purple stands at Iorio. However, Dexter started to respond. BU commit Doug Grimes tipped a John Fusco shot home to make it 5-2 with about nine minutes to go. Secondary assist to Culin Wilson. Then with 2:02 left and the Dexter goalie out, Patrick Morrissey wristed a shot home to make it 5-3 Lawrence. Lawrence then took a penalty and Dexter played 6-4. They immediately scored as Sacred Heart commit Aidan Connolly won a draw cleanly back and Matt Copponi dragged it around the crowd and fired a wicked shot home. It was now 5-4 with 1:12 remaining. The “warm up the bus” chants stopped and all of a sudden a comeback looked possible. Lawrence blocked shots, chipped pucks out and finished the job to win the championship.
This was Dexter’s first loss and they had lots of pressure on Lawrence. LA bended but did not break, played opportunistic hockey and earned junior Slovakian Tomas Pientka the win in his first ever start. Great team win Lawrence as everyone contributed.
First: Tomas Pientka (LA)
Second: Kyle Furey (LA)
Third: Damien Carfagna (LA)
TTPA: John Riggins (LA)
NZ Notes: See PLPG on Twitter as well as upcoming ranking of Top 40 players on the Main NZ Site.
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images