Lawrence Academy entered the NEPSAC post-season with a sub-.500 record but the fourth seed nevertheless. But the Spartans save the best for last, taking home the Piatelli/Simmons Small School title for the second time, defeating third seed Frederick Gunn School 4-3, in overtime.
The Spartans trailed by two goals in the third period, rallied to tie it late to send to extra time, and won it when Owen Leahy’s second goal of the day trickled past Gunnery netminder Ryan Crowshaw for the clincher.
On the winning goal, Josh Erickson made a perfect pass to Leahy skating through the neutral zone. Leahy turned on the jets to get past a Gunn defender, moved in and slid the puck home.
See Owen Leahy’s title winning goal here:
LoGuercio’s second of the day at 5:47 of the third period put Frederick Gunn up 2-1, and then Kyle Smyth made it a 3-1 game a few minutes later. The Highlanders appeared to be on their way to the Small School title that eluded them last year against Pomfret.
But Lawrence Academy had other plans. Leahy closed the gap to 3-2 and then in the waning seconds of regular, Erickson’s on-ice shot from the right side slipped past Crowshaw to make it 3-3 and send it to extra time, where Leahy became the hero.
The Spartans finish the season at 13-11-4 overall, and reached the final after beating #5 Governor’s Academy 5-0 and then #8 New Hampton, 4-3 in overtime, in a semifinal contest on Saturday.
Frederick Gunn beat #6 Tilton 5-4 in the quarterfinal round, then got past second-seeded Holderness, 3-2, in overtime, in the semfinals. The Highlanders ended up 21-10-5 overall.