Falmouth Pee Wee A Team Clinches State Title
By: Rich Maclone
Falmouth is becoming Title Town recently, and the Falmouth Pee Wee A team is a big reason.
The Falmouth A Team traveled to Woburn last weekend and pulled off the improbable by winning the Tier II State Championship. The Pee Wee Clippers become Falmouth Youth Hockey’s first state champions in 16 years, making a fantastic run through the tournament to take home the first place trophy.
The team coached by Todd Taylor, Ronnie Bowman, and Matt Rocheleau, swept through the tournament by winning all five of its games. The tournament had 12 of the best Massachusetts had to offer, with each team playing three preliminary games, the top four meeting in the semifinals on Sunday.
The tournament got started Friday night with a 4-2 win over Burlington as the game featured four different scorers. Matt Doyle assisted by Sam Walker, Jack Halloran from Nick Marston and Ben Taylor, Aiden Sullivan from Taylor and Andrew Parkinson from Connor Noonan. Marissa Anderson and Nick Cline split the game between the pipes.
Game two Saturday morning and the results were much the same as Falmouth bested Wilmington, 4-2, with four different scorers. Sullivan got the team going in the first, from Taylor and Mark Rocheleau. Then Rocheleau got his first of the tournament, assisted by Halloran and Noonan. Jamie Driscoll put the game out of reach with a tally that was assisted by Taylor and Sullivan. Noonan gave the team an insurance goal assisted by Taylor. The goaltending duties were again split by Anderson and Cline.
Falmouth next played Andover, with the winner advancing to the semifinals. This game was a real nail-biter, but Ben Taylor scored an unassisted goal to give his team the lead. Andrew Parkinson added an insurance goal, from Noonan, and the goaltending duo would again play strongly as they carried their team to a 2-0 shutout and a trip to the semifinals.
The peewees played their Sunday best as they dominated Lexington/Bedford with a 4-0 thrashing in the semis. This game was never in doubt as Sullivan led the offensive attack with two goals. Halloran and Rachel Moore would add the other two and Taylor (2), Nick Marston, Parkinson, Rocheleau, Doyle, and Walker would add the assists. Cline would play the majority of the game between the pipes with relief duty from Anderson. Isaiah Lineaweaver played one of his best games on defense, along with Jeremy Thomas and Aiden Sylvia.
The team would now have to wait until 6:50 PM to play the finals against South Shore Conference rival Pembroke. In the last league meeting between these two teams Pembroke handed Falmouth an 8-2 loss, its worst defeat of the year.
Falmouth would play the underdog role in this one, and Coach Taylor called for a total team effort, with everyone committed to playing physical against the smaller opponent. Falmouth came out flying and jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead.
Connor Noonan scored first with a blast from the point, assisted by Aiden Sullivan. Noonan then fed Sullivan for the next goal.
Pembroke would catch fire in the second period and tie the game at two apiece. Nick Cline, who would go the distance between the pipes, kept this game even as he made several key saves.
The third period was all Falmouth as they scored three goals and roared through Pembroke to the state championship. Noonan netted the game-winner, as Ben Taylor sent him in alone on the goaltender, who had no chance on the shot. Noonan returned the favor as he found Taylor in the slot for the insurance goal. Mark Rocheleau wrapped up the scoring and the 5-2 final. Falmouth never trailed throughout the entire tournament run as it went on to claim the top spot in the state.
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