Large School Quarterfinal: #8 Berkshire at #1 Brunswick

Westchester, CT– Brunswick versus Berkshire got off to a sluggish start with both teams getting pucks below the opposing goal line and changing. Neither team seemed willing to take a chance, nor did either want to make the first mistake. About six minutes of this feeling out process went by and the game opened up. Both teams loosened up and went to work.

As the pace quickened after the first few minutes, Brunswick saw a golden opportunity come on a breakaway which was stopped by Cole O’Donnell. Both goalies made some good, calm saves early to keep the game even. Brunswick out chanced Berkshire early and had them on their heels for a majority of the first period. The first powerplay of the game went to Brunswick at the 11 minute mark. Brunswick possessed the puck and zipped it around, generating quality chances but again O’Donnell was up to the task. With one minute remaining in the period Brunswick again had multiple opportunities which were generated by their point play. Lucas St. Louis was a center piece of that strong blue line.

The second period opened with a really quick pace. The physicality was ratcheted up on both sides. Players were willing to take hits and make plus from the start of this frame. Berkshire got on the board first with Tanner Marsh burying a slick five hole goal on Brunswick goalie Brendan Holahan. This goal lit a flame under Brunswick and they jumped all over Berkshire quickly after this. An excellent response from a young team. After some back and forth play, James Shannon was able to find a loose puck and punch it home to tie it for Brunswick. Was a really chaotic play and he did an excellent jump staying out of the fray and finding the net. This equalizing goal gave Brunswick a jolt and they had Berkshire pinned in their zone for a couple minutes. This dominating play lead to a Brunswick power play in which the slick, calm St. Louis was able rip a snapper off the bar and in, through layered screens, to take a 2-1 lead. Berkshire battled back and remained poised while they fought to even things up. Middlebury commit Ben Boren found himself driving down the left wing, drove his shoulders to the net, got underneath his defender and buried his own rebound. Really impressive and determined play from him throughout the entire game, but this goal was outstanding. Brunswick wasn’t happy with just playing the period out and heading to the locker room with a tie. With 34 tics remaining off a shot from the right side point, Jake Minella redirected a puck that was about waist high for a beautiful goal to take the lead.

While the second period saw the loosest play and the most goals, the third period had the most exciting hockey. With Brunswick up 3-2 and arguably controlling majority of the play, Berkshire took chances. Three minutes into the third period Berkshire saw an opportunity and seized it. A long five hole shot put the game even and Brunswick back on their heels for a couple shifts. With the game tied, Brunswick had a couple penalties called on them late in the game. Berkshire generated a few quality chances but noting to sustain pressure and rattle Brunswick’s young group. A penalty was called against Berkshire with 1:34 left. Lucas St. Louis led his PP group onto the ice and they didn’t leave until they had the lead. After multiple chances from the point, Brunswick was able to tuck a loose puck home. Really impressive, high energy, high paced hockey from both of these teams.

1st star Lucas St. Louis, Brunswick

2nd star James Shannon, Brunswick

3rd star Ben Boren, Berkshire

Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images