Kent downs Brunswick for Large School Crown
Greenwich, CT-Two supremely talented teams took the ice today at Hartong Rink in Greenwich. Kent was able to outlast Brunswick and take home the Large school title behind stellar games from a couple Kent players. Outstanding goaltending from Aidan Hopewell, and a pair of goals from senior forward Cole Watson were the difference.
The first period began with a frantic pace. Both teams’ missions were to come out fast and strong, and both accomplished just that. Brunswick found themselves on the power play just two minutes in but weren’t able to sustain much pressure. Kent got off the PK and began to generate some steam and put pucks on Brunswick’s Jr goalie Brendan Holahan. With 12:42 remaining in the first Holahan and company were able to stifle and chaotic play and somehow keep the score knotted at 0-0. Brendan Holahan was Brunswick’s best player early in this game as Kent got things going in their favor. With 6:40 remaining in the first Kent went on the PP and showed off some serious skill from that unit. The Kent players were able to zip the puck around cleanly and create really high quality opportunities. Kent’s pressure lead to another Brunswick penalty and a 5 on 3. Holahan was outstanding on this 5 on 3, seeing pucks through traffic and competing like crazy to keep pucks out.
The second period started out similarly to the second half of the first. High pace, chances at both ends, and outstanding goaltending. Kent put their foot on the gas and started to generate sustained offense and that lead to a beautiful catch and shoot goal from Kent’s Cole Watson. Watson is a big kid with a quick, heavy snap shot. Kent kept the pressure on and Brendan Holahan stood tall, even taking things into his own hands and coming out to the top of the circle to send a puck back up ice for what would’ve been a clear breakaway. Brunswick began sustaining pressure and putting a good amount of pucks on Aidan Hopewell who was stoic, confident and on his game from the start. Hopewell made an unreal save stopping a grade A chance from the slot, Kent was able to corral the rebound and dart up ice in transition and bury one to make it 2-0. Brunswick found themselves on the power play and again Hopewell was outstanding, Brunswick had their top PP unit generating chances from everywhere. Burdett, St. Louis, Farmer, all the guys Brunswick wants with the puck, were getting shots through traffic and Hopewell played everything perfectly. Kent and Hopewell went into the third with a 2-0 lead.
To begin the third, Brunswick was without Yale commit, Eli Friedman with an apparent wrist injury. That certainly took away some firepower but Brunswick was relentless on pucks. Aidan Hopewell, again, came up huge on an early flurry from the Bruins. Brunswick’s pressure resulted in a couple penalties taken by Kent players. With Brunswick on the 5 on 3, they were able to zip it around and create chances. Kent got one man out of the box but it wasn’t enough as Senior D, Middlebury commit, John Burdett snuck a long range bomb through Hopewell, five hole. Kent took matters back into their hands after this and wouldn’t give in. Senior forward Cole Watson buried his second of the day on a quick pass from below the goal line. Watson sent one short side shelf over Holahan’s shoulder. Brunswick was able to get one back to make it 4-2 but it was too little, too late. Hopewell, Watson and the boys from Kent School are your large school champs.
1st star Aidan Hopewell, Kent
2nd star Cole Watson, Kent
3rd star Dante Palombo, Kent
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images