Thursday, January 4, 2018

St. John's Hockey Skates Past Cross-Town Rival Shrewsbury

Photo by Ryan Bowman
 By Nick Beaudoin (@beaudoin_)

Westboro, Mass.
- On Wednesday night, the Colonials of Shrewsbury High school took on their storied cross-town rivals, the Pioneers of St. John’s. The game lived up to the hype, as The Pioneers skated away from the Colonials by a final score of 6-2 at Northstar Youth Forum in Westboro.

Shrewsbury opted to go with a more challenging schedule this season, facing more division one and two teams outside of their yearly meeting with the Pioneers, and until tonight, it had gone in their favor.

It was a record crowd at Northstar for the game, including two student fan sections who both turned out in large fashion, and brought the noise.

Shrewsbury surely had the size in this year’s matchup, but Saint John’s brought the speed and skill that pushed it over the top.

Nick Palermo opened the scoring early on with a nice goal in the slot and got the momentum turning for SJ. Dhillon Wilde added a beautiful goal shortly after, splitting two Colonial defenders and beating Pat Shaughnessy low glove side.

Defensive break downs in front of the net and costly penalties proved to be Shrewsbury’s down fall. Sophomore Brendan Doherty. capitalized on a rebound off a series of three shots on Shaughnessy to make it 3-0 Saint John’s to end the period.

After a late penalty in the first to Cody DiGregorio, SJ opened the second period with a quick shorthanded goal by sophomore Griffin Burns after a costly turn over at the Shrewsbury blue line. However, the Colonials would pick up their feet midway through the second and capitalize on some nice offensive zone pressure. Sophomore James Tepper tapped home a goal on a nice pass from captain Anthony Quinlivan.

Play started to get bit chippy from there on out, as both sides took some bad penalties and had some big hits. The two net minders traded spectacular saves as Splaine shut the door twice on each Quinlivan and Shaughnessy, and had a full extension leg pad save to keep the game 4-1 to close out the second.

Tyler Borys found himself all alone on a two on one in front of the net that smelled like a spark for the Colonials to start the third period, but he tapped it wide. As a result from a quick change, the energy line with Danny Holloway came up big as the sophomore tapped home a back door pass to make it 4-2. However the Pioneers wouldn’t falter as Matt Myers and Will Horrigan would add on to the stat sheet, making it 6-2 and all hopes were lost for the Colonials.

Some costly penalties, defensive breakdowns and lack of shots were the story for Shrewsbury in this one.

However, for the Pioneers, senior goaltender Corey Splaine stood on his head for just about every opportunity he saw come his way. The two goals he let in were quality chances the Colonials had off momentum swings at their respective points in the game. If this team is going to make a run in the district, it needs Splaine to be at the top of his game, and he surely looked that way tonight.

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