It was a night to remember for the Bulldogs.
In addition to being the 2018 boys hockey “Senior Night”, yesterday marked the final time the boys would lace up the skates to play their bitter Kelley-Rex rivalry against the Franklin Panthers.
Anytime these two Hockomock giants square off it is a night to remember and this one did not disappoint.
The game got off to a typical Canton v. Franklin start, with the teams going up and down the ice in a back and forth 1st period. While both teams had several opportunities to take an early lead; neither was able to capitalize. Leaving the game knotted at zero after one period of play.
Canton started the second period with 51 seconds remaining on the power play but it only took 27 for them to strike first off a Johnny Hagan (Soph.) goal assisted by Owen Lehane (Soph.).
Despite the goal, Franklin continued to push against the Bulldogs and the play of a few skilled forwards got the Panthers the equalizer they were looking for, knotting the game at 1-1 with just under 11 minutes to play in the second.
After another stretch of pretty even play, the Bulldogs were able to regain the lead with 4:03 to go in the second. This goal coming off the stick of Timmy Kelleher (Soph.) who pounced on a Ryan Nolte (Jr.) rebound in front of the net and just snuck it past the Franklin goaltender to make it 2-1.
The score stayed put for the remainder of the second gearing up for what looked to be an exciting and close third period.
Ferocious hits came from both teams (including one bone crushing one from senior defenseman Matt Casamento) in this period with neither team willing to give the other an inch. But it was only a matter a time before one team broke through.
And one team did.
With time winding down, (1:19 to go in the game) Bubba McNeice (Sr.) was able to poke the puck away from a Franklin defender, skate down the ice, and bury the puck top shelf giving the Bulldogs the two goal lead they were yearning for.
And as if two goals weren’t enough, the Bulldogs got another insurance goal. It was again from McNeice, this time on an empty net goal assisted by Charlie Malloy (Sr.) to put a bow on the 4-1 victory.
The win moves the Bulldogs to (11-1-4) on the season as they look ahead to Oliver Ames at the Warrior Ice Arena on Saturday night at 8pm.
When I heard that hockey made the decision to have senior night against Franklin I was a little nervous. Normally it’s a cupcake team that you know you can roll on and even though you win its usually secondary to the pregame ceremony before.
This was not like that.
It’s a pretty quick turnaround to go from a nice ceremony for the Seniors on the team to facing the #1 ranked team in the Hockomock league. But the boys played a hell of a game. And to come out with a 4-1 win over Franklin is so much more special than a 10-0 win over a bottom dweller. (At least in my humble opinion)
As for the student section? I thought it was the best for hockey all season. And there is plenty to highlight…
Song of the Game: “In the Jungle”
The “A-wimba-way” harmony was something I’d never quite heard in all the games I’ve attended. Sensational.
Prop Bet of the Game: Star Spangled Banner
With the Super Bowl still fresh in everyone’s mind (unfortunately) a couple members of the Dog Pound faithful had a friendly wager on the fantastic performance by CHS’s own Julia Minichiello. With the over/under set at 1:45 and the anthem coming to a close it seemed as though the over was all but guaranteed…BUT THE MUSIC CUT IT SHORT! The under hit.
Irrelevant Play of the Game: Nolte stays onside
A display of incredible flexibility in the second period from “The Kid!” has me starting to think Ryan chose the wrong sport. Perhaps next year we trade in that stick for a balance beam? Just a thought…
Moment of the Game: Chuck-a-Puck
It’s all downhill from here folks.
*= Bulldogs to the Super 8? Book it!