FALMOUTH — There is simply no quit in these Falmouth Clippers.
Having played one of the state’s most competitive non-league schedules at the outset of this season and saddled with an early but deceptive 1-4 record, Falmouth High School’s boys ice hockey team picked up a critical 5-2 win Wednesday afternoon versus Bridgewater-Raynham, thanks in no small part to sophomore Jacob “Jake” Miller.
Miller put the Clippers on the scoreboard just 3:13 into the first period when he and senior co-captain Arlin Moore took a two-on-one and beat Trojans’ goalie Danny Sullivan at the top post. Moore took the assist and then assisted again nearly two minutes later (4:55) when his shot on net bounced off Sullivan and junior center Nick Marston stuffed it home to make it 2-0, Falmouth. Miller also assisted on the goal.
Marston took a cross-checking penalty nearly eight minutes later, though, with just 2:56 left in the first frame, that gave the Trojans a power play and they capitalized on it. B-R’s Rob Keane played the role of garbage man near Falmouth goalie Kyle Storey and flicked it past him on an assist from Jake Deland and Mike Hiltz to lessen the deficit to 2-1. Falmouth killed the rest of the Marston penalty and hit the locker room at the end of one frame with a much-needed, 2-1 lead.
That lead was augmented in a frenetic second period nearly halfway through at 6:58 when sophomore wing man Cooper Rogers wheeled and dealed around the net and stuffed it past Sullivan to make it 3-1. It would prove to be the game-winning goal and it provided a lead the Clippers would not relinquish through the end. The score ended 3-1 after two periods of play.
Storey, who made 17 saves on the day, would feel some slight pressure in the third period, however, as the senior goaltender watched Deland’s wrister fly by at 6:54 to make it 3-2, assisted by Trojans’ defenseman Liam Wholley. But Falmouth’s Miller would have none of a B-R resurgence.
Not three minutes later, the up-and-coming hockey star unsheathed a dagger in the form of a slap shot that beat Sullivan from the left slot and made it 4-2. The unassisted goal would drive through the very heart of the visiting B-R icemen.
In near desperation, Bridgewater-Raynham took Sullivan out and added an extra skater to the ice but it was too little, too late. Miller would garner his hat trick with just 1:26 left in the game on an empty net (assist, Marc Rocheleau) for the 5-2 finale.
Falmouth welcomes the 9th-ranked and rival Barnstable Red Raiders to the Falmouth Ice Arena Saturday at 7:00 pm.
“It was a team effort,” Falmouth Coach Paul Moore said of the victory, and looking ahead to Saturday night’s much-anticipated rivalry match-up versus Barnstable, he indicated he expects it to be a good game. “Barnstable is good,” he said.
Sullivan took 38 shots on goal from the revitalized Falmouth Clippers.
— Sean Walsh is sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm