D2 Elite 8: Woburn Topples Newburyport 6-3 to Advance to Final 4

Woburn, MA – The Clippers of Newburyport High School traveled south down 128 to take on the Tanners of Woburn High School in front of a packed O’Brien Arena in Woburn. This Elite 8 matchup featured the four seed Woburn against the five seed Newburyport and both fan sections were loud and engaged from the opening puck drop.

Both teams came ready to play in this Division 2 match up. The pace was fast and furious with both teams playing a physical brand of hockey. There wasn’t much room in the neutral zone to carry the puck so both teams played a bit of dump and chase and the defensemen certainly absorbed some big checks. Woburn controlled most of the first period’s offensive zone time had the better of the scoring chances. The Tanners had back-to-back power plays, but came up empty. Newburyport’s penalty kill came up big to shut down Woburn’s man advantages. With a minute left Newburyport took another penalty putting Woburn back on the power play, but the period would still end scoreless.

It only took one minute for the scoring to start in the second, as Woburn finally capitalized on their power play. Junior Jack McEleney carried the puck into the zone on the power play and cut from right to left across the top of the slot and found sophomore Avery Powers on the back door for the tip-in goal. Newburyport would finally get a power play with 10:00 to go in the period and they would tie the game. Senior captain Kane Brennan picked up a puck next to the crease and fired a shot on Woburn goalie senior Logan Roderick. He made the initial save but Brennan picked up the rebound in the slot and fired it home. Two minutes later Woburn would go on the power play again looking to regain the lead. Junior forwards Jack Lee and McEleney were playing catch at the top of the umbrella with McEleney on the side wall. They sucked the defender over to the wall and Lee got the puck and fired a shot toward the right pipe where senior Matt Mahoney tipped it past junior goalie Damien Lamb. Woburn was buzzing and looking to add to their lead and with 4:40 to go did just that. Lee picked up a puck inside his blue line and chipped it off the wall to McEleney. He carried the puck into the zone and slid it over to Mahoney who instantly found Lee in the slot and he wouldn’t miss, beating Lamb and giving Woburn the 3-1 lead going into the third period.

The third period was full of scoring, five goals to be exact, and Woburn would get it started. With 13:48 to go in the first, Newburyport took another penalty and Woburn would go back on the man advantage. McEleney set up behind Lamb and then came out of the left side of the net. He threw the puck across the slot, it hit Powers‘ stick and deflected to Mahoney who beat Lamb top shelf with a backhand. Mahoney’s second of the game gave Woburn the 4-1 lead. The next shift Newburyport would get on the board, cutting the lead to 4-2. Brennan came out of the corner and took a shot from the slot, which Roderick saved but the rebound kicked out to senior Owen Kreuz on the door step and he banged it home. Newburyport wasn’t done yet and one minute later cut the score to 4-3. Senior Colby Arel came off the wall down low and found sophomore Luke MacIssac on the doorstep who beat Roderick through the five-hole. Not to be outdone, 20 seconds later Lee would regain the momentum for Woburn. He beat a Newburyport defenseman to a loose puck in the neutral zone, went in alone on Lamb and beat him high over his shoulder with a beautiful back hand shot, extending their lead to 5-3. Woburn did a good job locking down and making it tough on Newburyport to get anything else going for the rest of the period. Newburyport did get another power play with a few minutes left in the game. With Lamb pulled for the extra attacker, Woburn senior defenseman Hayden LaPrade fired a puck from deep in his own zone and buried it into the empty net for a shorthanded goal to finish off the scoring and the game. Woburn gets the victory at home and advances to the Final Four of D2 where they will face top-seeded Tewksbury on March 9 at 7pm at Stoneham Arena for the right to go to the Garden.

Three Stars:

  1. F Jack Lee, Woburn
  2. F Matt Mahoney, Woburn
  3. F Kane Brennan, Newburyport