Avon, CT-The #3 seed Belmont Hill School headed two hours southwest to #2 Avon Old Farms Winged Beavers for an Elite 8 NE Prep semi-final matchup.
The first period was fast paced and Belmont Hill had a slight advantage in chances and puck possession. Jack Houser had a great chance in the first minute off a face off win by Charlie Cave (Brown Lacrosse) Avon had a terrific chance with about seven minutes left as Notre Dame commit and NHL Prospect Brennan Ali made a drop pass to Penn St. commit Matt Dimarsico who was all alone with time. Scopa was up to the task with one of a few great glove saves in the first. With 1:20 left, Houser flew in the zone, up the wall and carried through contact behind the net, he shook loose and found Cave open in front for the score. 1-0 Belmont Hill after the first in a well played period by both teams.
Belmont Hill scored quickly in the second. Yale commit Ronan O’Donnell made a quick deke in tight to bury a James Fisher rebound. 2006 Teddy Stiga started the play with a clever move and pass. The goal ignited the Winged Beavers as they picked up their intensity and pace. With 11:36 left, Dimarsico finished a breakaway chance on a great passing play from Ali and Brendan Fennell. Avon had two power play chances in the period but the Belmont Hill penalty-kill shut the door. The Winged Beavers still had not taken a penalty and carried play in the second. The score was 2-1 Belmont Hill going into the third period.
Belmont Hill came out buzzing to start the third period. Callaghan had to make three great stops early in the frame. Avon withstood the push and tied the game with 9:29 left. Charlie Gollob fired a wrister five hole to tie the game. Joe Connor who played all afternoon with skill and snarl made a tough play in the neutral zone to set up the score. Belmont Hill responded as Northeastern commit and NHL Prospect, James Fisher took a pass on the rush from Stiga and ripped one home to take back the lead. Avon Old Farms went on the power play with 2:45 left. They had some good looks and just missed a couple tap-in passes as they tried to tie the game. With Callaghan out of the net, Houser blocked a shot at his blue line, won a puck battle and secured the empty netter and the game for Belmont Hill with just under a minute left. Final score was 4-2 as the #3 seed moves on. Both teams played great hockey and NZ enjoyed the game a ton.
The loss dropped Avon Old Farms to 23-4 and ended their splendid season. Belmont Hill moved to 21-2-3 and awaits the result of the Salisbury at Kimball Union game being played at 5:00. Belmont Hill will host the Elite 8 Final in Belmont, MA against Salisbury.
First: James Fisher, Belmont Hill
Second: Sam Scopa, Belmont Hill
Third: Ronan O’Donnell, Belmont Hill
Photo Credit: Silver Fox