Holderness, NH -On Wednesday afternoon, the #2 Holderness School Bulls hosted St. Paul’s in a Lake’s Region battle. Right-catching Blake Truchon got the start for the Pelicans in the net and Ryan Nolan for the Bulls.
The Bulls had early pressure in the first period, but the Pelicans soon evened out the play with some quality shots. Holderness had a great chance as Luke Pazzia intercepted a breakout pass and went in alone. Truchon gobbled the high shot up with his glove to keep the score at 0-0. However, with just under six minutes left, Pavit Mehra snapped a pass across the Royal Road to Aaron VanWie who snapped the puck on the net. Caden Wells banged home the rebound to open the scoring. Truchon made a huge stop pushing across his crease with three minutes left as the Bulls carried play but the Pelicans hung around. Then Michael O’Brien picked up speed with the puck drove past a Bull’s defender, and appeared to jam it home. However, it was not a goal, but O’Brien kept playing and popped the rebound home to tie the game at 1-1 with 2:40 left in the first. That is how the frame handed with a shot advantage to Holderness, and no penalties were called.
The second period saw the Bulls come out flying. Just 37 seconds into the frame, Mehra snapped the puck under the crossbar after a nice keep at the offensive blue line by Colin Butters. Holderness kept coming and added a third goal with 10:14 left by Kaden Freelove. The Bulls earned a power play, which St. Paul’s killed off, and then another where St. Paul’s Tommy Humphreys made a smart stick play, flew up ice, and had to be taken down to even the teams up. They played 4v4, and St. Paul’s took advantage of the extra ice as Anderson Kilbourne scored after playing give and go and give with Matt Vohra. The score was 3-2 with 2:10 left in the second. That’s how it ended up setting up an interesting final frame or more.
Any element of interest was stomped out early by the Bulls. Ten seconds in and off the opening faceoff, Mehra tapped a puck home on a nice cross-crease feed from Wells. One minute and 10 seconds later, Jake Boulanger sauced a Royal Road pass across the zone to Tanner Petalas to make it 5-2 Holderness. St. Paul’s used their timeout. With 8:12 left, Holderness’ defenseman Will Rob snapped a shot into the top of the cage through traffic to make it 6-2 Bulls. With 4:37 left, 2008 Carter Corbett popped a goal home for the Pelicans to make it 6-3. With 4:01 left, Holderness responded with a tough angle rebound score by Aaron VanWie from Mehra and Wells to make it 7-3. That was the Final as Holderness continued their march toward a high seed in the Elite 8 Tournament as they moved to 10-0.
First: Pavit Mehra (Holderness)
Second: Caden Wells (Holderness)
Third: Colin Butters (Holderness)
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images