Norwood 5, Archbishop Williams 3: These 'Stangs are Tough 'Dogs
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 19:37
Norwood rallies from a goal
down in the third period to
upset Archbishop Williams,
5-3, in the MIAA Division 1
By Dan Zimmerman
Posted Mar. 3, 2014 @ 12:27 am
Updated Mar 3, 2014 at 12:53 AM
BOURNE – In the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an underdog is defined as a person or team expected or predicted to lose a contest or a battle. The Norwood High boys hockey team will readily accept that dubious role as long as the postseason winning trend continues.
The No. 7 Mustangs upset No. 2 Archbishop Williams in the MIAA Division 1 South quarterfinals, 5-3, and advance to the semifinals on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.) to face No. 6 Barnstable, which eliminated No. 3 Milton moments before the Mustangs took to the Gallo Arena ice on Saturday night.
Norwood (13-5-4) scored twice in the first period and three times in the third to offset a dominant second period from the Bishops (12-7-3), who depart this postseason that began with a demoralizing overtime loss to Xaverian in the Super Eight play-in round.
“I thought we played extremely well against Xaverian,” said Archbishop Williams coach Derackk Curtis. “We were up two goals in that game and to lose the way we did might have taken a little steam out of our kids. That’s not to take anything away from Norwood. Tonight, they played hard and they played difficult.”
Playing difficult was the Mustangs defense, supplemented by consistently back-checking forwards, which resisted a relentless first period attack. Territorially, the Bishops skaters seldom left the Norwood zone during the opening frame. But it’s not how long you stay there, but what you accomplish during the visit, and in this instance they came up empty-handed.
“Their forwards are very quick and they like to get the puck up to their forwards right away,” said Norwood coach Bill Clifford. “We were very wary of that. We did a good job of staying up and not giving away our blue line. It forced them to dump it in instead of carrying it.
“Lately, our defense has been doing a great job clearing rebounds,” added Norwood goalie Denis Drummey, who made 19 saves. “We’ve been working especially hard on our defense in practice. It was a team effort tonight, especially in the defensive zone.”
While Drummey and company were frustrating the Williams skaters, Norwood was making the most of its opportunities. With 2:28 left, Mark Powers collected a feed from linemate John Galvin near center ice and raced into the zone alone. Powers cut to the net and rifled a wrister that beat goaltender Matt McCaughey high to the stick side.
Less than a minute later, Jack Sheehan, who was denied on a pair of earlier rushes, doubled the Norwood lead with a blast from the left point while skating on the game’s first man advantage. Jake O’Rourke and Matt Hajjar were credited with assists on the power-play goal.The Bishops turned the tables in the second period, reeling off three unanswered to forge ahead, 3-2. Ryan Dunn was the first to beat Drummey, scoring from the point while on the power play in the opening minute.
Midway, Michael Davis lit the lamp when he crashed the net and knocked one in. The Mustangs vehemently disputed the goal, claiming Davis directed the puck with his hand, but the officials awarded the tying tally.
With 2:12 left, the Bishops went ahead 3-2 on Jake O’Loughlin’s blistering slap shot that got by Drummey through a screen.
“They knew they didn’t play a good second period,” said Clifford. “They also understood that there would be no tomorrow if they didn’t find a way to turn it around and win this game in the third.
”Norwood was 2-for-3 on the power play, including one that accounted for the tying goal with 11:04 left in the game. Loading one side of the zone and drawing defensemen into the mix, O’Rourke found plenty of open ice in the circle to McCaughey’s left and literally picked his spot. Powers and Hajjar were awarded assists on the goal that brought the large contingent of Norwood faithful to delirium.
Galvin was next to strike on the one play in hockey that leaves spectators and coaching staffs alike breathless. Slipping undetected behind the defense, Galvin broke in alone after corralling a feed from O’Rourke, and McCaughey didn’t stand a chance.
Trailing 4-3 with a minute left, Curtis pulled McCaughey for an extra attacker, but Sheehan stole the puck in the neutral zone, weaved between a pair of defensemen and planted an empty-netter to salt it away.
“First of all, we had to believe we could do it,” said Sheehan when asked about the prospect of playing a team the caliber of Archbishop Williams. “Everyone said the odds weren’t in our favor. But we shut them down defensively and the rest took care of itself.
”The Bay State Conference is well-represented by the remaining teams in the bracket as Framingham will face Braintree for one spot in the other while Norwood goes against Barnstable in the other.
“Barnstable is obviously a good team,” said Clifford. “We have our work cut out for us. But if we get to the finals, we’ll face a Bay State team which is great for the league.”
Norwood 4, Mansfield 3: Sheehan Heroics Have 'Stangs in the Quarters
Friday, 28 February 2014 18:36
Mustangs score twice midway through the second period to defeat Mansfield, 4-3, in the first round of the MIAA Division 1 South sectional tournament.
Mustangs senior captain Jack Sheehan in action
By Dan Zimmerman
Posted Feb. 27, 2014 @ 5:35 pm
BROCKTON - There’s an adage that says good things comes to those who wait. It certainly applied to the Norwood High boys hockey team against Mansfield in the first round of the MIAA Division 1 South sectional tournament on Wednesday.
Trailing by a goal heading into the third period, the seventh-seeded Mustangs surged for a pair of scores midway through the period to complete a dramatic 4-3 rally over No. 10 Mansfield at Asiaf Rink.
Norwood (12-5-4) advances to the quarterfinals on Saturday (7 p.m.) at Gallo Arena in Bourne and will face No. 2 Archbishop Williams, which lost in overtime to Xaverian, 6-5, on Monday in the Super Eight play-in round.
Mansfield, a perennial powerhouse in the Hockomock League, wraps up its season at 10-8-3. The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for coach Rick Anastos who lost the services of several players to expulsion, including their top scorer.
“In light of everything we’ve been through at the end of this year – and you know what I’m talking about – we showed a lot of character,” said Anastos. “We set out tonight to play a certain style based on what we had left for position players and I thought they did a great job.”
Jack Sheehan scored the tying goal with 8:33 remaining in the game and assisted on the game-winner, buried by Matt Hajjar about a minute later. Earlier in the game, however, Mansfield found the means to neutralize Sheehan, who led the Mustangs during the regular season with 22 goals.
“I told Jack not to get frustrated,” said Norwood coach Bill Clifford. “I told him to keep his wits about him and stay patient. He took the advice and came up big, as usual.”
Following a scoreless first period, five goals were racked-up in a frantic second. Norwood garnered a 1-0 lead on a gift from Mansfield goalie Anthony Visconti, who left his net to smother a loose puck but lost control, handing it to John Galvin, who obliged with an easy wraparound.
In response, Mansfield reeled off three unanswered, starting with Billy Grant beating Mustang netminder Denis Drummey five-hole to polish off a 3-on-2 rush and tie it. The Hornets soon went ahead on a goal from Jared Collins who took advantage of a Mustang contingent that was legless seconds after killing off a power play that never left the zone and produced seven shots. With 49 seconds left in the frame, Mansfield went up 3-1 on a power-play goal from Kyle Hurley.
Dejected, the Norwood faithful clogging the stands at Brockton’s Asiaf Rink found new life when 30 seconds after falling behind by a pair, their team cut into the deficit. Skating hard into the offensive zone, Dan Farrell and Mike Roy traded rapid passes, with Farrell putting the finishing touch behind Visconti to cut the lead to one heading into the intermission.
Sheehan supplied the inspiration for Norwood in the third. With linemate Galvin in the box, Sheehan won the draw in his own end, skated free of a crowd, and raced down ice for a shorthanded breakaway. Visconti made the stop but a minute later, Sheehan returned with helpers Hajjar and Jake O’Rourke and this trip, would not be denied.Just over a minute later, with 7:12 left in the game, the trio of Hajjar, O’Rourke, and Sheehan crashed the Mansfield net and came away with the go-ahead goal and game-winner, credited to Hajjar.
Anastos pulled Visconti with 53 seconds remaining in exchange for an extra-skater but Norwood clamped down defensively and didn’t allow a single shot on Drummey.
“I have to give these kids a lot of credit,” said Clifford. “They were down 3-1 and battled back. We kept plugging away, got a few good breaks, and made the most of them.”
Norwood 2, Walpole 0: Zeroing in on Tournament
Thursday, 27 February 2014 20:12
Boys hockey continues its dominance of rival Walpole.
Norwood senior captain John Galvin cuts sharply with the puck in Saturday's 2-0 win over Walpole.
Wicked Local Staff Photo/Kate Flock
By Dan Zimmerman
Posted Feb. 19, 2014 @ 6:07 am
Updated Feb 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM
CANTON — On Saturday, 14 sets of parents braved the second snowstorm in as many days to receive a bouquet of flowers, pose for a photograph with their favorite hockey player, and most importantly, watch as the Norwood High boys hockey team wrapped up another successful regular season with a 2-0 shutout win on Senior Night over archrival Walpole.
"We definitely wanted to go out with a bang tonight," said Norwood senior captain Jack Sheehan, who opened the scoring and assisted on the second goal. "Especially in our home rink in front of our parents and so many of our friends and fans. We got a little momentum and kept it going."
Norwood closes out the regular season at 11-5-4 overall and 11-3-2 in the Bay State Conference, second behind Milton in Herget Division after back-to-back titles.
"My assistant coach Mitch Mortali figured it out and in the last dozen or so years, we’re 3-18-3 against Norwood," said Walpole coach Ron Dowd. "We haven’t beaten this team too often so we couldn’t really call this much of a rivalry right now."
All of the scoring occurred in a three-minute time span midway through the second period, starting with 6:58 left. As the Mustang tandem of John Galvin and Sheehan barreled over the blue line at breakneck speed, Galvin fed his linemate a wing-to-wing pass. Sheehan’s aim was true as he drilled a blistering wrist shot, beating Rebel goaltender Tim Kurker just inside the post on the stick side.
"Jack has played well all year and he has had a number of big goals for us," said Norwood coach Bill Clifford. "Actually, that entire line has played great hockey. Sheehan, John Galvin, and Mark Powers work very well together and have contributed. They’re unselfish hockey players."
The Norwood first line trio made it 2-0 with 4:03 remaining. Galvin skated hard to the net and tried to plant one under the crossbar. Kurker made the stop, but Powers, who was circling the net, gathered the rebound and tucked in a textbook wraparound. Sheehan earned another point with a helper on the insurance goal.
"Plain and simple, it was Jack Sheehan," said Dowd when asked to point out the factors leading to the Walpole defeat. "He has played two games against us this season and has five points. We tried to take him out of the game tonight and he still found a way to put himself on the scoresheet, twice."
For a moment late in the third, it looked as if Norwood goalie Denis Drummey, who turned aside 23 bids on the night, lost the shutout. But the officials negated a Walpole goal on a high stick call.
With 1:38 left in the game, Dowd pulled Kurker in favor of an extra skater but Drummey refused to yield to the pressure, earning his second shutout of the season. His teammates helped make it happen by repeatedly icing the puck in the final 30 seconds. Sheehan sent it the distance a couple of times in hopes he could bag an empty-netter but was wide by a matter of inches.
"My coach (Ryan) Doneghey had 22 goals when he played," said Sheehan. "I was trying to beat his record but missed the open net and ended up tying him."
MIAA hockey pairings are scheduled to be announced on Saturday, although Norwood may not know its assignment until the after the Super Eight play-in games are completed.
"Ending the season with a playoff-style game like this was important," said Clifford. "Tonight, we came out and played well. The intensity was there and there’s no question you want to go into the tournament on a high note."
Boys hockey is back in the race
Friday, 14 February 2014 20:11
Posted Feb. 13, 2014 @ 3:14 am
After a disappointing 7-1 loss to Milton, the Norwood High boys hockey team figured the only chance it had at a third straight Bay State Conference Herget Division title was to win out and hope for things to break its way. Thus far, both ends of those plans are coming to fruition.
The Mustangs followed up a 9-1 rout of Dedham with a 3-2 victory over Wellesley to jump back on top of the Herget standings. Norwood stood at 10-2-2 in the BSC heading into last night?s game with Natick. Milton was a point back at 10-2-1 after a 3-2 loss to Walpole on Saturday, although the Wildcats were still in control of their own destiny with a game in hand.
Norwood moved to 10-4-4 overall with a 2-2 tie against Brockton Monday. A Danny Farrell goal with 5:35 to play gave the Mustangs a 2-1 lead in the third, but the Boxers tied in with a power-play strike to steal a point.
Farrell deposited the game-winner with under two minutes to play against the Raiders, assisted by Matt Hajjar and Stephen Gross. It was Farrell?s second goal as he gave Norwood a 1-0 lead.
"That Farrell line is starting to put the puck in the net, which is good to see," said Norwood coach Bill Clifford.
Wellesley answered with a pair to go up 2-1, but Norwood trailed for only 25 second before John Galvin responded, sending the game into the third period tied at 2-all.
Sheehan had a huge seven-point game in the win over Dedham, registering three goals and four assists. The top line accounted for six goals in all as Galvin added two and Mark Powers one.
After Natick, Norwood wraps up its BSC slate by hosting rival Walpole on Saturday. Milton was scheduled to play Wellesley last night before games with Dedham Saturday and Natick on Tuesday.
"We need to take care of business and hope for a little more help," said Clifford.
- See more at: http://norwood.wickedlocal.com/article/20140213/SPORTS/140218244/2001/SPORTS#sthash.rAbYsK8P.dpuf