The boys’ varsity hockey team beat Kent School 2-1 in an intense, well-played game to win the NEPSAC Boys’ Hockey Championship in Salem, New Hampshire, on Sunday.
After a tight, scoreless first period, defensemen Jake Turrin (I) scored 1:47 into the second period. A little over a minute later, Kent tied the game up. Stellar goaltending by Sean Dougherty (I) kept Kent at bay for the remainder of the game. The winning goal came four minutes into the third period when T.J. Schneider (I) took a slapshot that bounced to the left of the goal; Sean Okita (I) was there to grab the puck, shoot and score.
“It was unbelievable,” says team captain Patrick McNally (I). “It was the best experience of my life, and I couldn’t have done it with a better group of guys. They are all my best friends and we really enjoyed the moment.”
“This win was a tribute to the players,” says Coach Paul Cannata. “I told them yesterday how proud I was of them as we moved up in rank throughout the season, particularly after mid-January—we’d remained focused on our goals. The players met every challenge we faced, and I’m very happy for them.”
Head of School Todd Bland was among the cheering Milton fans crowding the stands at the Icenter.
“You would all be very proud of our coaches and student athletes, as well as our School,” wrote Mr. Bland in a campus-wide announcement. “We filled two buses with students, and along with many other Milton supporters we made the Salem Icenter sound as though it was our home rink. The school spirit was truly amazing.”
Sunday’s action was preceded by a 5-2 win over Lawrence Academy in the semi-finals on Friday. After a sluggish start to that game, Milton was down 1-0, but goals by Patrick and Teo Camadella (II)—on an assist from George Pantazopolous (I)—made the score 2-1 at the end of the first period. Milton never looked back after that, and Patrick scored again in the second period. An early goal by Lawrence at the beginning of the third cut the lead to 1. Patrick scored the fourth Milton goal, and Jake scored the fifth and final goal with one minute left in the game.