Burlington Captures Middlesex Freedom Title over Wakefield 2-1

Burlington, MA – In a Middlesex League Freedom matchup the Red Devils of Burlington High School hosted the Warriors of Wakefield High School. Burlington came out on top 2-1 and claimed the Middlesex Freedom Title – we were able to take in tonight’s game with some help from our friends at LiveBarn.

The first period highlighted both team’s solid defensive zone play. The first 10 minutes of the game was back and forth with both teams trading offensive zone time, but both teams were limited to mostly outside shots. Each team did a solid job of keeping shooters outside the dots and clamping down in the prime scoring areas. With each team taking away prime scoring areas, Burlington senior goalie Cam Shanahan and Wakefield’s sophomore goalie David Rocha both tracked pucks well and fought through multiple screens on shots from the point. With four minutes to go, Burlington was called for a penalty and Wakefield looked to capitalize. Burlington’s penalty kill thwarted any Wakefield scoring chances and once back to even strength Burlington tilted the ice in their favor. With 30 seconds to go Burlington junior Nolan Jennings picked off a pass in the neutral zone and dumped the puck back into Wakefield’s end. Freshman forward Aiden Shanahan forechecked hard and was able to collect the puck and find senior captain Charlie Andriolo at the left point. Shanahan sat at the back door and Andriolo shot the puck in his direction, allowing Shanahan to tip it past Rocha to give Burlington the 1-0 lead.

Although both teams recorded a goal in the middle period, Burlington controlled most of the period. They were fast and intense on their forecheck, getting pucks deep behind Wakefield’s defense, applying pressure, and creating turnovers all period. Although Burlington controlled zone time, Wakefield was strong in their own zone, playing tough and forcing Burlington to the walls minimizing prime scoring chances. With eight minutes to go, Burlington would find the back of the net for their 2nd goal of the game. Senior Jackson Powers picked up the puck in the corner and passed to senior Mitch DeVaux who was on the side of the net. DeVaux slid a quick pass through a Wakefield defender to freshman Michael Abbott on the doorstep and he wouldn’t miss, giving the Red Devils the 2-0 lead. Although Burlington carried the play, Wakefield would close out the period with a goal of their own, capitalizing on a Burlington turnover. With a minute to go, senior captain Frank Leone stole an attempted clear by the Burlington defenseman and drove to the net, beating Shanahan short side. The period would end 2-1 in Burlington’s favor.

The home team came out in the third full of energy and focused like a team on a mission to capture the League championship. Burlington controlled most of the period, got pucks deep and made it tough on Wakefield to break out and generate any speed on breakouts through the neutral zone. They were tenacious on their forecheck and sold out all over the ice to make the tough plays. There were only a couple of penalties in the period and they overlapped so the teams played 4-on-4 for a bit in the middle of the period. With six minutes to go, Wakefield senior captain defenseman Liam McNeill went to the back wall for a puck and a Burlington forward fell and awkwardly clipped his knee. There was a long pause in the game and McNeill was eventually taken off on a stretcher. We are hoping to hear good news about his health postgame and that he is able to recover quickly. The game continued with Burlington once again controlling play and Wakefield having a tough time sustaining any offensive zone time. They eventually got Rocha pulled and played 6-on-5 for the last minute of the period, but couldn’t get any prime chances against the Burlington defense. Burlington held on to win the game 2-1 as well as the Middlesex Freedom Division title.

Three Stars:

  1. F Michael Abbott, Burlington
  2. F Aiden Shanahan, Burlington
  3. D Charlie Andriolo, Burlington