Belmont Hill School at The Rivers School; February 8, 2020.
Weston, Massachusetts-In a tale of two games, Belmont Hill and Rivers each scored four unanswered goals to earn a point each during a matinee in Weston. Belmont Hill tallied the first four markers all in the first period behind two goals from junior blueliner Tyler Rubin. Rivers answered with four of their own, split between the final two frames behind two goals and an assist from Yale commit Phillip Tresca.
Rivers came flat in the first and Belmont Hill wasted no time as Rubin collected a pretty seam pass from is defense partner Thomas Goguen and showed a nice touch and quick release by snapping it past a late arriving Rivers netminder. The visitors doubled the lead as they had Rivers running around in their own end before junior Ryan McGuire threw a puck blindly from the half wall that found the back of the net. Two minutes later, Charlestown native and bruising defenseman William Killoran showed great retrieval ability and sent a stretch pass to a streaking Belmont Hill forward that eventually ended up on the tape of freshmen James Fisher who found a hole and tucked it home with a low, accurate shot. Rubin rounded out the scoring for Belmont Hill showing a nice finishing touch on a bad pinch by Rivers and lead to a quick transition and 4-0 lead after one period.
The Rivers comeback started two minutes into the middle stanza on the back of Tresca as he found a soft spot and pounced on a loose puck to close the gap to 4-1 The momentum and ice tilted in Rivers favor after the goal and third star Matt Cormier did what he does best, create havoc and establish a net front presence, tipping in shot from the point on the power play to cut the Belmont Hill in half and into the second intermission. Rivers continued their push to start the third as Tresca used his speed and bullied his way past the Belmont Hill defense to create a quick 2-on-1 and slide a puck to junior Ryan Bell who collected and fired an absolute snipe from the top of the circle to pull the home team within a goal, 4-3. The comeback was complete with just over five to play in regulation as Cormier drove hard to the net occupying the Belmont Hill defense, allowing Tresca to swoop in and fire one home into an open cage and tie the game at four. The final minutes and overtime saw both teams with good chances, but a few timely saves sent both teams home with a point. Final: Belmont Hill 4 Rivers 4
First: Phillip Tresca (Rivers)
Second:: Tyler Rubin (Belmont Hill)
Third: Matt Cormier (Rivers)
TTPA: Thomas Goguen (Belmont Hill)
NZ Notes: For Rivers; their youth shows at times, but head coach Shawn McEachern challenged his troops during an early timeout and first intermission and they responded in a big way. Tresca answered the bell as expected and provided leadership in the comeback. Impressive games from Cormier and senior rearguard Pat Lawn who helped shutdown Belmont Hill through the final two periods with speed and physicality. Cormier is not flashy but he played with pace and allowed a little more room for Tresca to do his thing. For Belmont Hill; Goguen and Rubin were really good early helping Belmont Hill get an early jump on the scoreboard. Goguen showed great vision and awareness with several tape-to-tape passes, including Rubin’s first goal. The Princeton commit was active and loves to jump into the rush or find a hole from the point while showing a nice finishing touch. The fast start was impressive and looked like it might be a rout, but the urgency dipped in the second and some of the third before a late push. Belmont Hill has a couple of impressive freshmen to match Rivers with Fisher (goal) and defenseman Matt Biotti. Biotti is big and long and showed good skating ability and decision making. Still has plenty of time to grow into his frame.
Photo Credit: Dan Hikling/Hickling Im