Boys Prep Hockey – Piatelli/Simmons Small School Tournament: Lawrence Academy Rallies, Beats Frederick Gunn in OT, 4-3, For Title

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 Keller Division’s Lawrence Academy are the Piatelli/Simmons Small School champions after a 4-3 OT win over Frederick Gunn School

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:

After a scoreless opening stanza, the Spartans struck first, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by Clarence Beltz. Shortly thereafter, the Highlanders evened things on Alex LoGuercio’s first of two goals. Sophomore defenseman Luke Calabria intercepted a Lawrence clear out attempt at the right points, skated down the boards and made a nice feed to LoGuercio at the top of the crease and he put it home high under the bar.

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.

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