Boys Prep Hockey – Martin/Earl Large School Title: Taft Works Overtime For New England Crown

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.

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The top two seeds met in the championship game of the NEPSAC Martin/Earl Large School Tournament and the game was as close as anticipated, with #1 seed Taft earning the title with a 3-2 overtime win over #2 Salisbury.

The teams split their two games during the regular season, and believe it or not, each team won a 3-2 overtime game, just like Sunday’s final score.

The hero on Sunday for Taft was defenseman Alex Kenerson who netted the title-clinching goal 8:05 into extra time.

See Kenerson’s game-winner here:

This game was as even as the first two games these teams played.

The Rhinos struck first, just 3:22 into the contest when Archer Brown put one home, assisted by junior Shane Mettler. The Crimson Knights would tie it up later in the period on a goal by Michael Strapp. Rapolas Marcinkevicius was credited with the assist.

It stayed 1-1 until the third period. Taft went out ahead 2-1 at the 7:10 mark on an unasssited marker by Jackson Holl.

Taft School captains JJ Lemieux (l) and Zave Greene with Martin/Earl Large School championship trophy after 3-2 win over Salisbury.

Salisbury responded at 10:57 to tie it at 2-2. Jared Rotham got it, with assists going to Sam Hall and Marcinkevisius.

There would be no more scoring until Kenerson’s game-winner. Assisting on tally for Taft were Leyland Johnson and JJ Lemieux. Salisbury netminder Matt Alberti made a few stops during a wild flurry in front, but the puck made its way back to Kenerson at the top of the circle and he was able to roof a wrister through the maze.

To reach the final, Taft defeated Kent 5-3 in the quarterfinal, and Tabor 4-1 in a semifinal contest. The Rhinos finished 20-8-0 overall.

Salisbury, which won the Elite 8 championship last year, ended 16-7-5 after taking playoff wins over Loomis Chaffee (4-3 in OT) and Dexter Southfield (3-1).

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