St. Mary’s Lynn Shuts Out Bishop Fenwick 2-0

Lynn, MA – MassNZ’s second game of the evening featured two CCL rivals renewing hostilities as the 15-ranked Spartans of St. Mary’s Lynn hosted the unranked Crusaders of Bishop Fenwick. Thanks to the wonders of the internet we were able to tune in tonight to the game at Connery Rink with a little help from our friends at LiveBarn. The stands looked mostly filled for tonight’s game and both teams were amped up to get this game going: lots of hooping and hollering pre-game led to some emotion right out of the gate.

In the first period, St. Mary’s Lynn brought their skating legs early and put Bishop Fenwick on their heels. Luckily, the Crusaders were able to stem the tide and disrupt the breakout to slow their progress. There was a lot of back-and-forth action to start: the Spartans wanted to go go go but Fenwick was smart to protect the middle and largely keep them at bay. We say largely because St. Mary’s Lynn was indeed able to break through. Just under six minutes into the opening frame, it all happened thanks to a beautifully drawn-up faceoff play from the right circle. Sophomore striker Aidan Fitzpatrick won the puck back to junior right winger Cam McGonagle and simultaneously sophomore defender Michael Baldassare sprinted to the far post. McGonagle subsequently found him for the back door tap in: 1-0 Spartans. St. Mary’s Lynn had all the momentum at this point and they continued to put pressure on: owning the possession and attacking off the wings with speed and digging hard along the end boards and corners. Bishop Fenwick would be pesky though, taking what was a Spartans power play midway through the period and senior captain Anthony Sasso created two stellar breakaway looks with his defensive acumen. He was unable to convert on either and we would end this period with the Spartans up 1-0.

In the middle frame, the Spartans would again be gifted with an early power play, but Bishop Fenwick’s tight defensive structure would keep them off the board. The teams would trade chances for the next couple of minutes, then it would be Bishop Fenwick’s turn on the man advantage halfway through the period. St. Mary’s Lynn would stand tall to get the kill and just a few seconds later, they would pad their lead. Senior defenseman Marc Hilton took a shot from the point that deflected off a defender’s stick and popped into the vicinity of junior forward Nick Thornton around the net. He corralled it and whacked it home to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead with six minutes left in the second. There would be a couple of additional penalties called but they were of no consequence as far as the scoreboard is concerned. There was however a brilliant trail leg save made by sophomore goalie Matthew Smith Jr. to keep Bishop Fenwick scoreless headed into the third. It was still 2-0 Spartans after two.

In the final stanza, the action was completely wide open as both teams looked to make long stretch passes or used turnovers to feed transition. St. Mary’s Lynn always had their heads up ice looking to spring their quick and aggressive forwards while Bishop Fenwick had a more methodical passing approach. The Crusaders were willing to take more chances in the third trailing by two and they also had the benefit of a late power play. They created a great deal of chaos around the net and the Spartans were whistled for a concurrent infraction seconds later. The impending 5-on-3 allowed the Crusaders to call a timeout with 3:15 to go. That 5-on-3 became a 6-on-3 with the goalie pulled but the advantage was shortlived as Bishop Fenwick was whistled for tripping 45 seconds later. They would start in their own zone with a 4-on-3 advantage and St. Mary’s Lynn got a man back to make it 4-on-4. The Crusaders still pulled the goalie once they skated into their attacking zone to make it a 5-on-4 on…what else, a delayed penalty call seconds later on St. Mary’s Lynn for hooking. That dropped the Spartans to three men and the Crusaders kept the goalie on the bench to make it 6-on-3. Are you still with us? Lots of math, right? Just to hit the reset button, St. Mary’s Lynn called timeout with 1:35 to go. Out of the timeout, Fenwick skated with five (with the goalie pulled) and St. Mary’s Lynn skated with three, but the Spartans got a man back two seconds later to make it 5-on-4. Twenty seconds later, another penalty! This time called on Bishop Fenwick for a rough. The goalie came back in and we skated 4-on-3 in favor of the Spartans. Bishop Fenwick would get a man back with 20 seconds left, but that penalty-marred finish would not change the final score as neither team gained an advantage from the disjointed flow: St. Mary’s Lynn defended home ice and won with Smith Jr. posting a shutout (his fourth on the season): 2-0 Spartans was the final.

Three Stars:

  1. G Matthew Smith, Jr., St. Mary’s Lynn
  2. D Michael Baldassare, St. Mary’s Lynn
  3. F Aidan Fitzpatrick, St. Mary’s Lynn