With the New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) having lifted fall training rules, many prep school programs have been on the ice for a few weeks now, practicing and doing skills work in anticipation of what they hope will be a 2020-2021 prep school hockey season.
Lakes Region schools have taken it a step further, allowing programs to put together exhibition scrimmage games as well. Sunday, a pair of these events tooks place, with Kimball Union travelling to New Hampton to take on the Huskies, and Tilton making the short trip to battle Proctor.
At New Hampton, KUA rallied from an early one-goal deficit to outscore the Huskies 4-1 on the afternoon, with the fourth goal being an empty net tally. The teams played three 18-minute periods.
Midway through the second period, junior Will Blackburn got the Wildcats on the scoreboard with a power play strike off a rebound in front. Sean Donoghue notched KUA’s second goal early in the third, finishing off a tic-tac-toe passing play, assisted by linemates Alex Keller and Anthony Solt.
Senior captain Liam Walsh’s goal made it 3-1 and Thomas Pichette (UMaine recruit) sealed it with an empty net goal while the Wildcats were shorthanded.
New Hampton’s Jake Terra gave the hosts a 1-0 lead with a first period goal, assisted by Evan Moore.
New Hampton’s Lucas Brine did not give up any goals in his 27 minutes of work between the pipes. Connor Androlewicz was also solid in his stint in the New Hampton cage.
“We made lots of mistakes, but also did lots of good things that we can build off of,” said New Hampton coach Connor Gorman.
“It was a clean, physical game and both teams were visibly thrilled to be playing competitive hockey again,” said Kimball Union coach Tim Whitehead.
New Hampton is scheduled to meet St. Paul’s this Sunday in another exhibition, while KUA hosts St. Paul’s on October 25.
Things were a little different at Proctor, where the Hornets and Tilton didn’t keep official score, and played running time, one 35-minute period and a pair of 25-minute periods.
“The kids had a lot of fun,” said Tilton coach Brooks McQuade. “It was cool to get out there and play. The schools (in the Lakes Region) did a great job putting this together. The kids had fun skating and competing. It was great to be able to work on some things and evaluate some guys at the same time.”
These “exhibition” scrimmages will be played on Sundays, so athletes playing a fall sport at their schools that also play hockey can participate. Tilton will host Vermont Academy in a similar scrimmage environment this coming Sunday and will meet up with Holderness on October 25th. McQuade is hoping to add a few more Lakes Region foes in November. Most of the Lakes Region schools have other scrimmages scheduled as well.