WEST SPRINGFIELD – If beating St. John’s Prep early within the season wasn’t sufficient for the Hingham boys’ hockey crew to get critical consideration for the Tremendous 8 match, Saturday’s efficiency towards a close to match lock in Pope Francis ought to be.
On high of a tricky and bodily defensive effort that prevented the Cardinals (7-4-2) from capitalizing on most of their offensive possibilities, Paul Forbes scored each of the one two targets the Harbormen (9-4-3) would want to safe a 2-1 nonleague win on the Olympia Ice Heart. A type of targets got here on an influence play within the second interval for a 2-Zero lead, which was certainly one of 4 energy performs that allowed Hingham to regulate the puck a lot of the body.
That second interval proved essential for goalie Theo Jacobs (17 saves), who may’ve used a break from the 4 Pope Francis pictures that clanked off the web’s body. Cardinals goalie Ben Zaranek (22 saves) additionally performed nicely to climate 17 pictures on aim in that second interval, however it wasn’t sufficient to greatest Jacobs and a sound defensive efficiency from Hingham.
Pope Francis performed with out head coach Brian Foley on the rink.
“We tried to be as physical as we could, and I think it helped us a lot,” mentioned Hingham head coach Tony Messina. “We had the advantage in the power plays, and kind of took it to them with our forecheck a couple of times. You can’t hold (the Cardinals) down, they’re coming at you heavy shift no matter what you do. But I thought we played well … it’s a huge win for us.”
The primary interval didn’t see a lot of a bonus as each defenses clogged up shot lanes earlier than the puck may attain the web, except for two Pope Francis pictures that went off the crossbar and the submit early on. Zaranek is likely one of the harder goalies to attain on, however Forbes discovered sufficient fortune to provide his crew a 1-Zero lead by unintentionally placing the puck off a defender proper in entrance of Zaranek.
An early 5-on-3 alternative within the second interval went to waste for Hingham when the Cardinals killed it regardless of a flood of shots-on-goal. On the following energy play, although, Forbes pressured a Pope Francis defender off his toes with a pretend earlier than burying his shot for a 2-Zero lead.
“(On the first goal) I actually tried to pass it to my teammate and it hit off the defender’s skate, bounced into the net,” Forbes mentioned. “I got a little lucky on that one.”
The Cardinals responded inside 30 seconds, as Connor Cognac discovered the again of the web to deliver the deficit again to at least one. However that’s all Pope Francis would get, particularly with how the Hingham protection responded to elevated exercise in its defensive zone for a lot of the third interval. Whilst Pope Francis stored the puck on that aspect of the ice, the Harbormen allowed simply 4 shots-on-goal within the interval to carry on for the win.
“I thought we played a very strong defensive game and that’s what you need to win the tight games down the stretch,” Messina mentioned. “Very happy with the way we moved the puck.”
If the win isn’t sufficient to propel Hingham into the Tremendous 8, it definitely aided the boldness and swagger throughout the locker room to hold the Harbormen by the remainder of the season. Forbes even did his postgame interview in a fur coat that’s given to the offensive participant of the sport, grinning ear to ear about such an enormous win.
“We’ve been eyeing up this game all week,” he mentioned. “Everyone was pumped up. Just playing for a public school against private schools is pretty awesome … and winning that game is just amazing for Super 8 implications.”