With one game remaining in the regular season, the Brunswick School hockey team is in position to qualify for either the Elite 8 Tournament or the NEPSIHA Large School Tournament, but whichever competition it plays in one thing is certain: the Bruins are headed to the postseason in absolute top form.
The Bruins entered Friday’s Senior Night at Hartong Rink in midst of a seven-game winning streak and despite facing a slim one-goal deficit, they weren’t going to be denied on their special night.
Senior defenseman Niko Cadoret couldn’t have asked for a better time to score his first goal of the season, as he went top shelf with his shot from the right slot, giving Brunswick a dramatic 3-2 Senior Night overtime win over Frederick Gunn School at Hartong Rink.
The triumph in what was a physical, intense matchup, raised the Bruins’ record to 18-9-1 overall and pushed its winning streak to eight games, heading into Friday’s contest against host Trinity-Pawling School. Coach Mike Kennedy’s Bruins haven’t lost in February and are obviously, peaking at exactly the right time.
“You want to be playing your best hockey at the end of the season and it so happens we are now, “Kennedy said. “I thought we had a great three periods of hockey. Two good teams, both teams fighting for a playoff spot – it was a great game.”
Cadoret, a relied upon defenseman, made it a winning game for the Bruins, thanks to his first goal of the season. On the game-winning goal, junior forward Drew DellaSalla dug the puck out of the boards on the left wing and slid a pass across the ice to Cadoret, who crept in from the blue line and found himself wide open on the right slot. From between the hash marks, Cadoret controlled the puck and snapped a shot past Frederick Gunn senior goalie Ryan Crowshaw into the upper left corner of the goal, sending the Bruins to victory with just 1:14 left in overtime. Senior forward Eli Friedman and junior defenseman Carter Hall, also helped set up the game-winning goal.
“First goal of the season, last game at Hartong, overtime goal on Senior Night – that’s the stuff you dream about,” Cadoret said. “I’ve had dreams about scoring like that.”
One of the eight Brunswick seniors honored on Senior Night, Cadoret knew how where he was going with his shot if the opportunity presented itself in overtime.
“I shot on him earlier in the game, high blocker and he came across with the glove,” Cadoret noted. “So, I said, if I get another chance, I have to go high blocker. Then Drew got the puck in the corner and found me open in front. I saw that blocker side up top open, shot and scored. When they found me high up in the slot, I was wide open.”
Frederick Gunn, which dropped a 6-5 decision when it hosted Brunswick on Feb. 10, forced overtime by scoring with 3:07 to go in the third period. The visitors tallied the equalizer off a set faceoff play, as junior forward Mark Pizzo knocked in a rebound off a shot from junior forward Alex LoGuercio. The Bruins, who registered 39 shots on goal, received 31 saves from senior goalie Brendan Holahan, who has been rock solid all season.
Trailing 1-0 despite getting plenty of pucks to the net during the second period, the Bruins kept moving the puck forward in the final period and it paid off. Finishing in front, junior forward Sean Gibbons tallied on a rebound at the 9:08 mark of the third period, tying the score at 1-1 for the home team. Senior defenseman Sloan Farmer, who registered the initial shot on goal, was credited with the assist, along with DellaSalla.
Just 3:59 later, the Bruins scored again. DellaSalla tallied off assists from Friedman and junior forward Jake Minella, making it 2-1. The game was close to ending in a tie, but Cadoret and the Bruins, had the final say.
“It couldn’t have ended any better,” Brunswick senior forward/captain James Shannon said. “This is my last game here after four years and it couldn’t have been any better. Niko has a habit of scoring against Gunnery (he notched a goal against them in a previous game) so, for him to finish it like that was perfect.”
“We started off well, the last time we played these guys they got off to a big lead against us, so we started the game well, which is what we wanted to do,” Shannon continued.
Said Kennedy: “It was great timing for Niko on the game-winner. A four-year senior, on Senior Night – it was great to see a senior score the game-winner. In a game like that, you have to try to keep your emotions in check. It’s tough to give up a goal late. We just had to stay with it and keep pushing.”
Cadoret, Eschricht, Farmer, Friedman, Holahan, forward Daniel Hu, Shannon and defenseman Hunter Spiess were the seniors honored prior to the game. Shannon and Holahan are captains and Eschricht and Friedman are alternate captains for the Bruins, whose seniors have indeed, appreciated their time as members of the squad.
“Being on this team is the best experience of my life,” Shannon noted. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I will definitely miss it next year. Now we’re excited for the playoffs. We are looking to play four more games.”
Brunswick was last ranked around the No. 4 and No. 5 spot in the NEPSIHA rankings earlier this month. The top eight teams qualify for the Elite 8 Tournament.
Categories: Brunswick School, Winter sports
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