Canton Up Next For Oliver Ames Boys' Ice Hockey Team in Semifinals
After beating Coyle-Cassidy, 3-1, Saturday, the Oliver Ames boys' ice hockey team will be playing Canton in the semifinals. The Bulldogs edged out North Attleboro, 3-2, in the quarterfinals.
Good thing the Oliver Ames High boys' ice hockey team didn't have to play in the 8 p.m. tournament game Saturday at Asiaf Rink in Brockton.
No, the first game of four tournament with the 2 p.m. start was just perfect for the Tigers, who posted a 3-1 win over Coyle-Cassidy in the Division 2 South quarterfinals, probably Wednesday. Now, the Tigers will be playing Canton, who beat North Attleboro, 3-2, Saturday.
"At this point, you just want to play," said Oliver Ames head coach Jim Sullivan. "You get up in the morning and you want to go."
In fact, Sullivan said he saw sophomore goaltender Jimmy Tierney early in the morning, getting a Gatorade at CVS.
After the Tigers defeated the Warriors, OA was able to watch all of their possible future opponents play Saturday.
"Now we can see what is happening," said Sullivan after his game. "The waiting time kills you."
So far, the tournament is working out perfect for the Tigers. In their first tournament game against Dennis-Yarmouth, they posted a 4-1 and the follow that up with the win over the Warriors, who they scrimmaged in the preseason.
"We went down to Gallo (Arena) and got our feet wet," said Sullivan. "Then, we came back here (to their home rink). In the tournament, you will take any advantage you can get."
So how did the Tigers reserve their spot in the semifinals?
In a nutshell, they did it with a strong second period, scoring two goals and then holding off the Warriors in a frentic third period were the reasons why OA emerged with the win.
With 3:56 gone in the second period, the Tigers' Tyler Provost broke in off the face off, putting a wrist shot by Brent Petrowski for a 1-0 lead. Colin Lozzi got the assist on the play. They did the same thing off a face-off in the third period when Matt Campanella scored with Kyle Hayes getting the assist.
So what exactly is the Tigers' face-off strategy? Sullivan was asked that and whether the team had practiced it for the tournament.
"Yes, we have," said Sullivan with a laugh, admitting to working out in practice.
That's as far as the OA head coach go, saying he wasn't about to tell it with tournament games left to play.
A short time after Campanella's goal, the Warriors' Billy Pacheco fired home a rebound at the 4:27 mark, cutting the margin to 2-1.
That sparked the Warriors, but Tierney and the Tiger defense were able to keep Coyle-Cassidy off the scoreboard.
Hayes added an open net goal with 24.5 seconds left, firing off a shot about three-quarters the length of the ice for the final margin. Andrew Mancani picked up an assist on the goal.
POST GAME CHATTER:
COYLE-CASSIDY HEAD COACH DAVE BORGES: "It was a good first period, both teams were like boxers trying to feel other out. In the second period, they just started getting pucks to the net and we didn't react to it. We bounced back in the third period."
SULLIVAN ON THE FINAL GOAL: "It was a relief and closed the game. We wouldn't be beaten if we got three."
I KNOW YOU: Borges coaches Tierney in the summer with the Massachusetts Mustangs, which he has been doing since the OA goalie was in middle school. Tierney was in net when the Mustangs went to the Nationals in Buffalo, N.Y. "He's a great kid," said Borges. "I wish the all well (during their seasons." Borges knew Tierney would be tough to beat. "I wish we could have tested him more," said the Coyle-Cassidy head coach. "You have to get a lot more shots on that kids. We really didn't test him."