Eagles open with power show
NORTH ANDOVER - BC High took advantage of its power-play opportunities Sunday, opening Super 8 play by beating Hingham, 4-2, in a penalty-filled game at Merrimack’s Lawler Arena.
“I told the guys we’re not going to talk about that,’’ said Hingham coach Tony Messina, whose team was called for 10 penalties. “We wanted a tie or a win in this game. With our bracket, we are going to have a tough couple of games [moving forward].’’
A late first-period penalty against Hingham gave BC High a man advantage to start the second period of a scoreless game, and when Hingham’s Jake Hanlon picked up an elbowing penalty 11 seconds in, the Eagles found themselves two men up.
“In this tournament everyone is pretty even,’’ said BC High coach John Flaherty. “Every time you get a man advantage, you almost have to capitalize, and fortunately for us today we did.’’
After working the puck around the zone, Matt Sullivan found Tom Besinger on the right side, and the sophomore roofed home his shot for a 1-0 lead.
“I knew that he dropped his blocker to the ice when we got in close,’’ said Besinger. “So we knew we had to go high with the shots.’’
The Harbormen responded when Ryan Linehan forced a turnover and scored just 22 seconds later, tying the game at 1 on a shorthanded goal.
Brian Furey put the Eagles back on top at 4:52 of the second period when he flicked home a shot from the point for another power-play goal.
Hingham had an answer 30 seconds later, thanks to Patrick Mannion, who took advantage of Eagles goalie Peter Cronin, out of position after trying to play a puck to his right.
Mannion came behind the net and popped around the open left side with a wraparound shot that tied the game at 2, which is where it would stay heading into the third period.
Hingham’s John Carlson was called for hooking 2:28 into the third period and the Eagles struck 27 seconds later as Besinger picked up his second power-play goal of the game.
Hingham had a late power-play opportunity, and in the final minute brought goalie John Grenier (15 saves) to the bench for a 6-on-4 attack.
The Eagles’ defenders stood up to the challenge, and a blocked shot by Furey pushed the puck up the ice, where Sullivan collected it and skated in for the empty-netter.
“Our job was basically to try and block some shots, and that’s what we did,’’ said Flaherty. “It’s a part of the game that we take pride in and we know that we have to block shots against good teams.’’
The Eagles face top-seeded Malden Catholic on Tuesday night.