Posted Mar. 4, 2015 at 11:37 PM
BOXFORD-The Masconomet Chieftains were very much in their semifinal game halfway through, with a good shot to reach the Division 2 North finals.
By the time the second period was over, the floor seemed to drop out from under them. Concord-Carlisle scored two goals within one minute, 23 seconds to make it 3-1. The Patriots added two more in the third for a clear 5-1 victory, ending the dream for Masconomet.
“[Concord-Carlisle] was a tough, athletic group. They just kept coming at us,” said Chieftains head coach Andrew Jackson. “We just didn’t have that jump tonight.”
It seemed like both sides had plenty of jump right off the bat. The Patriots’ Rob Campbell scored on a give-and-go from freshman Owen Bailey.A minute and six seconds later, Anthony Mancini scored off the faceoff from the left circle to make it 1-1, though it ended up being an own goal by C-C. That score would stand for the rest of the first.
Less than five minutes into the second period, Masco had its best chance to take a lead with a power play. However, senior goalie Leon Paladjian pulled off some good saves, including flashing the glove out from point blank range, and then stopping a shot from right out front by a wide-open Mike Castro. That would be Masco’s last man-advantage chance, however. By the end of the second, Concord-Carlisle took its big lead. First, Tommy Standish scored on a snapshot from the right circle after the puck bounced out to him after a block. The back-breaker, though, was when freshman defenseman Henry Nelson just crossed the blue line and snapped one in past Gregory Knowles for the 3-1 lead.
“[I told the guys to] keep positive, keep plugging along,” said Jackson. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to use our speed enough tonight, and couldn’t get a good systems forecheck going.”
The situation went from bad to worse in the third. Although Nick Pease had a good, hard shot on goal early (saved by Paladjian), there weren’t many more Masco opportunities. Meantime, the Patriots’ leading scorer John Carroll blistered one in, assisted by defenseman Jon Severns. With 3:30 remaining, sophomore Jeff Costanza was handling the puck in the right faceoff circle, when he caught Carroll flying into the slot. Carroll made no mistake, and the final score was set at 5-1.
“Concord-Carlisle did a good job of slowing us down and not really letting us get going,” said Jackson. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to block as many shots as we usually do, or get in shooting lanes. We gave them too many good looks.”
The Chieftains finished the season with a 14-7-1 record, and will say farewell to nine seniors. This includes defensemen Jake Giacchino and Michael Caputo, and forwards forwards Mike Castro, Andrew Anzalone, Kevin McDevitt, Garrett Stevens and Vitaly Knowles, Cody Hesse and Connor Whiffen.
“This senior group kept Masco going into the tournament all the way back to Chris Kreider,” said Jackson, referring to the New York Ranger who starred for Masco back in 2006-07. “We graduated 15 seniors last year, so to be where we are today, I don’t think many people thought we’d make it this far.
“I’m so proud of this senior group, they really did overachieve,” Jackson added. “There are a lot of character guys in [the locker room], a lot of guys who are going to be successful in life.”