Brunswick School

Brunswick hockey team placed fifth at MacPherson Tournament in Canada

Continuing its standout defensive play, the Brunswick School ice hockey team stuck to its winning formula — keeping the opponent to fewer than three goals — and defeated Culver Military Academy, 3-1, in the fifth-place game at the MacPherson Hockey Tournament in Aurora, Ontario, on Sunday morning.

The Bruins got on the board first late in the opening period after junior Sean Gibbons beautifully passed the puck into the slot and on to the stick of linemate Brendan Giles, who drove around his defender on the backhand, cut across the top of the crease, and flipped one up and over the blocker of the Eagles goalie, giving Brunswick a 1-0 lead after the opening period.

Gibbons was at it again in the second as he and senior co-captain James Shannon combined on a goal for a 2-0 Bruins advantage.

The Eagles applied their most pressure late in the final frame and crept to within one after a few inopportune icings ultimately led to a goal after a faceoff in the Brunswick defensive zone. All of a sudden, it was a 2-1 game with just under three minutes to go.

Culver took its chances, pulled the goalie with 2:30 remaining, and threw pucks at the net from everywhere as the clock ticked down — but the Bruins got their bodies and sticks in shooting lanes and saw goaltender Brendan Holahan register saves that found their way through. Holahan, a senior co-captain, stopped 25 shots in total in a rock-solid performance. 

Gibbons sealed it with an empty-net tally with 10 seconds left. 

Brunswick coach Mike Kennedy noted that Culver is a NEPSAC affiliate member and the game counts toward league standings and will go in the books as a quality “W,” as the Eagles have wins against Northwood, St. Andrew’s, Gunn, and Kimball Union. 

“Kudos to St. Andrew’s College for hosting a fantastic and incredibly competitive tournament,” Kennedy said. “No stone went unturned throughout a very memorable weekend of hockey for all. We hope to return next year.”

In the tournament on Saturday, Brunswick senior Eli Friedman finished off a tic-tac-toe line rush — which started in the defensive end, went cross ice through the neutral zone and over the blue line, and came diagonally into the slot after perfectly executed passes by juniors Ryan Wachtel and Drew DellaSalla. The play and goal propelled Brunswick to a 3-2 win against Edge School (Calgary, Alberta) Saturday morning at the MacPherson Tournament. 

The game-winning goal came with just 13.5 seconds remaining on the clock. Wachtel and fellow classmate Brendan Giles scored the other Brunswick goals — the first tying the game in the second period and the second giving the Bruins a brief 2-1 lead in the third.  

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