Going all the way to Orleans to play in a hockey tournament isn’t so bad, unless you end up spending a good time of your trip in the penalty box. The Mashpee-Upper Cape Tech boys’ ice hockey team very well could have won the championship at this year’s Kostas Tournament at the Charles Moore Arena this past weekend, but too many trips to the sin bin proved very costly, especially when it mattered most.
The Falcons (1-3-1) accumulated far too many penalties when it mattered most, and it cost them dearly in the title game against Cape Tech/Cape Cod Academy. With Mashpee cited for five penalties in the third period, the Crusaders took advantage of the depleted Falcons as they rallied from behind to score four times in the third period to win the Kostas championship game by a 5-3 score.
Mashpee/Upper Cape held the lead through the first two periods and was seemingly in control. The Falcons got goals from Ben Daigneault and Brandon Nolan in the first period to stake themselves to a 2-0 lead, as they outshot the Crusaders by a 13-4 margin during the first 15 minutes. Daigneault’s goal was a tip-in of an Eric Garrison shot after Aidan Sullivan had passed it over for the initial bid. Nolan was set up by Brian Holmes, who dug the puck out of the corner and fed it to the slot for a quick shot by Nolan. “We’ve been looking for him to get that shot off more, and he got one there,” head coach Shawn Chicoine said.
The penalties began to pile up in the second period for the Falcons. They were called for infractions during the stanza, and CCT/CCA cut into the lead with one goal, cutting the advantage to 2-1 heading into the third.
After a slow first five minutes in the third period, the final frame got crazy. CCT/CCA scored to tie the game up at the 5:34 mark, but then Mashpee roared right back to reclaim the lead just 40 seconds later when Robert Fluke was set up by Joe Mackie and Nolan.
With a 3-2 lead in tow, things were looking good for the Falcons, but then the penalties began to pile up again. MHS/UCT was called for five penalties in the third period, which led to a pair of power play goals and a comeback by the Crusaders, who netted three straight goals to win the game, netting them at 7:08, 7:25 and 12:22.
“When you’re battling through penalties, you can’t get anything going,” Chicoine said. “Sean Kelso had a few good chances, but for the most part we were struggling.”
Chicoine said his team learned a valuable lesson about working hard for three periods in the championship game, noting that his team’s failure to skate hard all the way and keep their feet moving led to the penalties for grabbing, holding and hooking. “Hopefully we won’t have to learn it again,” he said.
In the first round of the tourney, on Friday, the Falcons played Pope John Paul II for the second time this year, with the follow-up game to their 5-4 win resulting a 2-2 draw. Mashpee won a shootout to advance in the winner’s bracket of the tournament, since the MIAA does not sanction regular season overtime periods.
PJP2 went out early to take a 1-0 lead in the first period, but the Falcons rallied back to tie it up when Cam Ventre finished a feed from Sullivan with 42 seconds left in the first to knot the count at one aside.
Neither team scored in the second period. MHS/UCT staked itself to a 2-1 lead early in the third, at the 3:12 mark, when Sullivan opened up some space and fired in an unassisted goal. PJP2 struck back with 3:23 left in regulation to knot the score and send the game to OT.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net during the five-minute four-on-four extra session, which resulted in the team’s going to a shootout. Ventre’s first bid was stopped, but Daigneault and Sullivan each sniped one in on the following two chances to get the win. Tony Visconte made all the saves in the net during the shootout and had a strong all-around game between the pipes for MHS/UCT.
The Falcons were scheduled to host Nantucket High School at the Kennedy Rink in Hyannis yesterday afternoon, but the game was postponed to a later date, which has not yet been announced, due to the impending storm.
Tomorrow the Falcons are slated to host Rockland High School (4-2-1, 1-1 SSL) at 5:30 PM in Hyannis. On Sunday morning the team will visit The Bog, in Kingston, to face Cohasset High School (6-1, 2-0 SSL) for the second time this year. CHS won the first meeting, two weeks ago, by a 5-1 score in Hyannis.