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North Andover ousts Somerville in hockey playoffs

Posted by Marcia Dick  February 29, 2012 10:04 AM

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North Andover junior Jake Silk scored three goals and recorded two assists, powering the Scarlet Knights to a dominating 7-0 victory over the Somerville Highlanders in Tuesday’s MIAA Division 2 North playoff opener last night in Watertown.

With the loss, Somerville finished 11-9-1. North Andover improved to 15-4-4.

The Highlanders started the second period down just two goals, but the Scarlet Hawks' combination of speed and strength proved too much to handle. North Andover went up, 3-0, just over a minute into the period, when Silk fired at Somerville goalie Timothy Megnia. 

Megnia deflected the shot, but Silk’s second-line teammate Dan Rivet corralled the rebound and scored before Megnia could reposition.

The Highlanders soon after had their best scoring opportunity, when Kyle Higgins controlled the puck in his defensive zone and fed to a wide-open Dan Camara in the neutral zone.

Camara took off for the goal on a breakaway, firing from just outside the crease. But Scarlet Knight goalie Joel Daccord sprawled to his left, picking the shot out of the air with his glove.

“The goalie made a great save,” said Somerville coach Chuck Allen. “It would’ve been nice. It would’ve been a 3-1 game, maybe change it around a little bit.”

After Camara’s shot, Silk went back to work, grabbing a puck along the boards and breaking back toward the middle of the Somerville zone. Silk ripped a shot from between the circles, and the puck bounced off Megnia and in for a 4-0 lead midway through the second. Rivet assisted on the play.

North Andover senior Ryan Sweeney scored a shorthanded goal with 6:12 left, and Silk completed his hat trick two minutes later, fighting through traffic for a tip-in goal and a 6-0 lead. Silk capped the night with a pass to freshman Alex Martino, who wristed in the Scarlet Knights’ seventh goal and handed Silk his second assist.

“He’s one of our best forwards,” said North Andover coach Peter Marfione of Silk. “He’s a very good player. He’s smart. Everyone sees the offense he does, but he’s very good in our zone as well.”

Despite the seven-goal deficit entering the third, the Highlanders didn’t back down. Though they got off just three shots (out of 12 total), they held the Scarlet Knights to just 11 shots (out of 44 total), none of which went in. They also played a penalty-free third.

“Somerville should be proud of the way they ended,” Allen said. “They lost in class.”

Silk’s first goal of the night came just 1:36 into the first, when a shot by sophomore Jack Carroll deflected to him and Silk put it away. The Scarlet Knights went up, 2-0, when senior Rick O’Connor skated up from behind the Highlander goal line, fired once at Megnia (37 saves), grabbed the rebound, and scored at 7:51.

“Somerville worked real hard,” Marfione said. “I think we’re just a little bit deeper than they are.”

With the loss, five Somerville seniors played their final hockey game: Thomas Lambert (who dove in front of a North Andover power-play shot in the first), William Calhoun, Joshua Weiand, Brett Defarias and captain Charles O’Leary.

“These kids, they’ll be proud later on in life of what they accomplished two years in a row, making it to the state tournament,” Allen said. “You want to win, but I’ll be proud of them for just the way they acted, for the leadership, and how great people they are.”

Allen said that with 17 non-seniors on the roster, next year’s team should benefit from the depth and experience gained this season. He also said the seniors’ reactions to the end of their high school careers should drive home how much the team means.

“This is the last time they’re putting that sweater on,” Allen said. “There are a lot of sad faces, a lot of emotion.”

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