HYANNIS — It was physical and it was high-intensity from start-to-finish.
Even though it was tied 1-1 after the first period, the host Barnstable High boys hockey team (4-0) outmatched the visiting Newburyport Clippers Saturday night, 7-3, in the nightcap of
the Cape Cod Freezeout at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center. Newburyport fell to 2-1-1 on the season with the loss.
Red Raiders head coach Scott Nickerson was quick to credit his goaltender, senior Dylan Campbell, with having “a good game,” as well as Ben Corbett, Nick Dunne and Kevin Conway. Campbell had 20 saves on the night, Nickerson said.
But it was clearly the dominance of senior assistant captain Mike McDonough, captain Donnie Brodd, Kevin Craig and junior forward Matt Kaski that put the pressure on the visitors from start to finish.
“Overall I think our defense is playing pretty well,” Nickerson said. “We gave up three (goals) but we backed off a little bit in the third period. The first line’s got a lot of pressure on them, but I think they are playing well… McDonough controls the ice.”
The lightning-fast Brodd finished the night with a pair of goals and two assists, while Kaski had two goals and an assist to lead all game scorers.
It was Conway who drew first blood at 6:11 in the first period, though, on a beautiful forehanded shuffle pass in front of the net by Alex Barattini (also assisted by Dunne). Barattini took the puck from the blue line and raced along the bench-side boards, leaned on heavily by a Newburyport defenseman, maintained his balance and one-handed it perfectly to Conway who rammed it past Clippers’ goalie Ken Hodge.
Newburyport’s Scott Webster tied the game five minutes later (1:06) at 1-1 as Barnstable’s goalie Campbell was on his knees trying to cover up a loose puck in front of the net. The Clippers’ Austin Roy was credited with the assist. With just two seconds left on the clock, Barnstable got called for a penalty and was forced to start the second period shorthanded.
One would have expected Barnstable to bear the brunt of Newburyport’s opportune power play to start the second period, but just the opposite occurred for the guests.
Just over a minute into the second period, after Newburyport literally peppered Campbell with shot after shot, Kaski stole the puck at the blue line and tore down the ice as if he was a man possessed, fed the puck to Brodd who dished it right back and Kaski flipped it past Hodge to make it 2-1.
Forty seconds later, Barnstable junior Steven Megnia was called for his second penalty of the game and again it appeared as if Newburyport might have a key moment to return the favor, blasting Campbell repeatedly, but a penalty on Roy evened it out. Not three minutes after Kaski’s go-ahead goal, Brodd took the puck at mid-ice, wheeled, dealed and flipped it past Hodge to make it 3-1 (assisted by Craig and McDonough) and the wheels starting falling off for the guests.
A minute later, Dunne wristed it in the net to make it 4-1 (8:49, assisted by Conway and Barattini) and the Newburyport head coach could be heard around the rink laying into his troops. Campbell’s goaltending seemed to inspire the fans and his teammates as Barnstable set up its offense at the Clipper end, passing back and forth until Barattini found a wide-open Ben Corbett on the rightside point and Corbett unleashed a blistering slapshot that
quickly found the top lefthand corner of the net, making it 5-1.
Newburyport’s Connor Brennan was called for a 4:00-minute major penalty with 2:32 to go in the second period and six seconds into the power play Barnstable’s Kaski scored his second goal of the period on a nice feed from Brodd (and McDonough) to make it 6-1.
Newburyport opted to replace Hodge in net to start the third period with Noah Kolesha. Brodd wasted little time erasing the Clippers’ hope for a third period comeback when he uncorked a screaming slap shot into the net just 30 seconds into the start of the period. Now at 7-1, Barnstable started feeding playing time to some of its reserves.
Seeing an opportunity, Newburyport’s Ben Ventura scored on an assist from Webster to make it 7-2. Matt Donlon would make it 7-3 with 4:35 left to go.
All totaled, there were 13 penalties called between the two teams on the night. Barnstable had the edge on Newburyport in that statistic as well, 7-6.
Barnstable will face Mansfield at Hyannis at 6:00 pm tomorrow. Newburyport will face South Windsor (CT). Mansfield defeated South Windsor earlier in the day, 4-1, in the Cape Cod Freezeout opener.
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