With the majority of New England prep school teams hopeful for a season that would start in January, Salisbury and Canterbury were able to play a unique three-game series this past weekend to open up their 20-21 campaigns. Games were held Friday night and Sunday at Canterbury, and on Saturday at Salisbury, all of course following strict Connecticut state protocols.
Salisbury, which won the 2020 Stuart/Corkery Elite championship last season, grabbed victories in all three games, blanking the Saints, 6-0, on Friday and 4-0 on Sunday, and taking a 4-1 win on Saturday.
Friday night’s opener was a lot closer than the final score indicates. The Crimson Knights held a 1-0 lead five minutes into the third period before exploding for five goals. Senior Tommy Rooney scored two goals for the winners, who also had goals from defensemen Liam Lesakowski (four assists on the weekend) and Callum Chau, Jackson Ebbott and Ryan Walsh. Senior goaltender Peter Papadopoulos made 52 saves for the Saints, while Austin McNicholas earned the shutout in goal for Salisbury.
At Salisbury’s Rudd Rink on Saturday, Canterbury drew first blood, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal from Harris Hilfiker.
Connor Driscoll tied the score for the Crimson Knights and Dean Bauchiero had the game-winning goal. It stayed a 2-1 contest until later in the third period when David Chen scored two goals for Salisbury. Canterbury goalie Dan Gertz had 36 saves, while Salisbury’s Andrew Palena had 14 saves.
In Sunday’s 4-0 win, Rooney, a junior forward scored two more goals, with single tallies coming from Walsh and Driscoll. All four goals came on the power play.
“We did a good job of executing on the power play and taking advantage of some bounces,” said Salisbury coach Andrew Will. “Rooney, Lesakowski, and (Jake) Lammens are working really well together up top on the power play. For a relatively new group of defensemen, Lesakowski, (Dane) Westen, and (Billy) Moloney played really well and we’re really excited about their potential.”
According to the Salisbury website, both teams tested 100% Co-Vid free prior to the weekend series, allowing the teams to move forward with the competition, played with spectator restrictions. This weekend will follow similar rules and protocols when the Crimson Knights are scheduled to take on Avon Old Farms in a home-and-home series.