Boys Prep Small School Final: KUA too much for Dexter

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopouloshttp://www.hnibnews.com
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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Second-seeded Kimball Union put the finishing touches on a great last month of the season, winning the Piatelli/Simmons Small School New England title with a 5-1 win over top-seeded Dexter.

 

With the three post-season victories, the Wildcats (26-6-5) ended the season on a 10-0-1 run.

 

“We believe we grew a lot as a team this season,” said KUA first-year head coach Tim Whitehead. “We started the year with 16 new players, so it was an interesting team building process for sure. We fought through some tough stretches in January, but those challenges forced us to sharpen the saw and improve our game so that we could play our best in the playoffs.”

 

KUA CAPTAINS A.J. Greer (l) and J.D. Dudek with the Piatelli/Simmons Small School trophy after 5-1 win over Dexter
KUA CAPTAINS A.J. Greer (l) and J.D. Dudek with the Piatelli/Simmons Small School trophy after 5-1 win over Dexter

After a scoreless first period, Kimball Union scored twice late in the second period, and then put it away with two goals in a 13-second span in the third period.

 

Chris Shero opened the scoring off a faceoff at 12:16 of the second stanza, then Jacob Paluch fired home a wrist shot through traffic to make it a 2-0 game.

 

“We just tried to maintain a fast pace to our game, and make sure we defended well in transition, and on the penalty kill,” Whitehead said.

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter”]More photos from this game…[/box]

Midway through the third period, still nursing that 2-0 advantage, the Wildcats struck quickly, as Bobby Hall and Tyler Bird delivered within 13 seconds to make it a 4-o contest.

 

Ryan Donato finally got Dexter on the board later in the period before KUA’s Dominic Franco closed out the scoring with an empty-netter.

 

KUA GOALIE Paul Leger
KUA GOALIE Paul Leger readies for a shot from Dexter’s Ryan Donato (16) during Wildcats’ 5-1 win in the New England Prep Small School championship game.

“We knew we would have to defend well against Dexter’s top players in order to give ourselves an opportunity to win,” Whitehead said. “As the visiting team, we didn’t have the last change, so we had to share the responsibility of checking their top five. It didn’t come easy, but for the most part we were able to limit their quality chances. And when we made a mistake, Paul Leger was there to make a key save.”

 

This was Kimball Union’s third Small School title.

 

“Our staff has really enjoyed working with this group of young men,” Whitehead said. “It’s been a pleasure helping them grow individually and as a team. We were blessed with two excellent captains in J.D. Dudek and A.J. Greer, and many other leaders emerged to support them as the season progressed.”

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter”]More photos from this game…[/box]

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