Saturday, February 25, 2017
Shrewsbury Closes Dominant Regular Season With Emphatic Win Over Algonquin
By Billy Aubin
WESTBORO, Mass. - Call it a statement game. Fresh off of a less than inspired effort against Wachusett, which resulted in Shrewsbury tying the Mountaineers 3-3 for its first non-win of the season, the Colonials blew out the Algonquin Tomahawks 7-0 on Friday afternoon, their regular season ending in an impressive 19-0-1 record.
The Shrewsbury Colonials displayed dominance, leaving no question as to who the premiere high school team in Central Massachusetts is this season.
In the process, Coach Steve Turnblom notched his 100th career win as Shrewsbury’s bench-boss. Turnblom credits his program’s success to the high standard of character he expects in his team.
“When I took over six years ago, we went 10-10," Turnblom said. "The discipline has been fun to watch on and off the ice… The kids have been great. Last year we got the sportsmanship award given by all the refs. I expect so much from them and to see them go out there and play like that was special.”
Senior captain Matty Ward (2g, 2a) opened the scoring with a short-handed marker. After picking off an Algonquin (11-7-2) outlet pass, Ward used an impressive deke on a partial breakaway to beat goaltender Jacob Dickey at the 6:53 mark of the first period.
Shrewsbury’s offensive weapons got going in the second period. Anthony Quinlivan, (3g, 1a) finished off a passing play from senior defenseman Joe Walton and his brother Liam Quinlivan (1g, 3a) at the 5:58 mark.
Anthony Quinlivan scored the second of his three goals less than three minutes later, netting another feed from brother Liam during 4 on 4 play. Junior defenseman Jake Alpert extended the Colonials lead to 4-0 after two periods on a seeing-eye shot as teammate Jack Tepper provided a screen in front of netminder Dickey.
The third period featured two highlight goals from the Colonials en route to coach Turnblom’s milestone victory. Executing a 2 on 1 brilliantly, Matt Ward scored his second goal of the game, elevating a hard wrist shot off of a pin-point pass from Anthony Quinlivan at 13:47.
Less than three minutes later, brother’s Liam and Anthony hooked up again, this time it was Liam scoring from a near-impossible angle with a blistering snap-shot off of his brother’s slick feed. Anthony Quinlivan ended the offensive romp, stuffing home a James Abbott pass at 2:48 left in the game, giving him the hat-trick and, in the process, sealing Shrewsbury's a 7-0 win rival Algonquin.
For Algonquin, who suffered their most lopsided defeat of the season, the loss was still bittersweet for head coach Greg Capello. Playing with a depleted bench due to twelve players being suspended, Capello liked the way his group competed.
“We’re still going to the playoffs. We only had two centermen playing today and they played well," Capello said. "Jake played well in net. It's a character-builder all around and it shows our young guys just what we're capable of, I think. I'm looking forward to this week of practice with them... I like our chances whoever we play next."
As for Shrewsbury, coach Turnblom knows the path to being state championship will be difficult, but made it clear what the Colonials' goal is this post-season.
“Whoever we play, they’ll be gunning for us [because of] our record," Turnblom said. "It’s going to be tough but we have the depth to do it. Our goal is to play in the Boston Garden for the championship.”
Algonquin will open up its tournament run Wednesday against Marlboro, while Shrewsbury will await the winner of that very game in the Division 3 Central semifinals.