Sandwich Boys Hockey Wins 28th Annual Canal Cup
By: Dan Crowley
The 28th Annual Canal Cup remained in Sandwich this year as the Blue Knights skated to a 6-0 victory over the Bourne Canalmen Saturday night.
Sandwich scored twice in each of the three periods, hitting their first two in the final four minutes of the opening period. Craig Brubaker scored the first and final SHS goals with Jake McCombs, Sam Kent, Jim Fluke, and Luke McCombs each adding a goal.
“They put us behind the eight-ball right off the bat,” Coach Chuck Jancaterino said. “Playing at this level is what we need. I thought we kept going at them to the end. Now we put this behind us. Our kids have the best attitude and a lot of heart. We need to get ready for Westwood, Blue Hills, and the state tournament.”
The Canalmen opened the night strong with Will Humfryes skating in hard on the Sandwich net.
“We just couldn’t buy a goal,” Humfryes said. “They came hungry and were determined to win. They had to win to keep their playoff hopes alive.”
Several times during the course of the night Humfryes and Justin Desharnais teamed up in an attempt to get the puck past Sandwich goalie Pat Farrington.
“They were everything we expected,” Desharnais said of the Blue Knights. “They are a good team, only two years removed from a Division 2 state championship. They created a lot of their scoring opportunities. They have a lot of veteran players, whereas we have some inexperience. They know what to do with the puck.”
The Blue Knights controlled the flow of the game in the opening period outshooting the Canalmen 12-2.
“I think we played well,” Desharnais explained “We played our systems and did what we were supposed to do. The bounces just went their way.”
With the Canal Cup behind them, Bourne can focus on the remainder of the regular season and the upcoming post-season. The Canalmen are the South Coast Conference champions. However, could playing in a weak conference be hurting Bourne?
“Old Rochester, probably the second best team in our conference, has given us some good games,” Descharnais admitted, “but playing the other teams is not gearing us up for the playoffs.”
“It’s dragging us back,” Devin Welch said. “The way to get better is to play better teams.”
“The conference is holding us back,” Humfryes agreed. “We can’t always play to our full potential.”
Bourne ends the season with non-conference games against Westwood and Blue Hills next Tuesday and Thursday on the road. The SCC All-Star game will be held Saturday, February 20, at Gallo Ice Arena at 5 PM against the South Shore League All-Stars. Bourne has yet to announce its SCC hockey all-stars.
Seedings for the state tournament will be announced by the MIAA February 20 with preliminary rounds to begin by the 22nd.
“The Canal Cup was a like a play-off game,” Desharnais said. “We had great support from our fans and our school. We had some scoring opportunities. I commend our team for playing as hard as they did.”
“We gave 110 percent,” Humfryes pointed out. “But we still have some things to work on. The Canal Cup was a good prep game for us going into the tournament. I think we’re ready. If we play our systems, stay healthy, and listen to our coaches, we’ll be fine.”
“I think the Canal Cup showed us just how much harder we have to work,” Welch said. “It was a good game to have before the playoffs. It was good to get some of our younger guys out there in front of a big crowd.”
“Sandwich was one of the best opponents we’ll face,” Desharnais added. “I wish everyone we played was like that. But that’s over; it’s time to look ahead. I think we have the potential to go far in the state tournament. We have to keep working hard, keep doing what coach needs us to do; we trust him, and he’ll lead us to success in the playoffs.”
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