Home / High School Hockey / Massachusetts / 2019 MIAA Playoffs / MIAA Boys D1 North Final: Fici’s Late Goal Lifts Belmont Past St. John’s (S), 3-2

MIAA Boys D1 North Final: Fici’s Late Goal Lifts Belmont Past St. John’s (S), 3-2

One year after finishing last in the Middlesex League’s Liberty Division, Belmont stands alone atop Division I North following its come-from-behind 3-2 win against St. John’s of Shrewsbury Monday night at Tsongas Arena.

It’s the first Sectional title in program history. The No. 4 Marauders (14-5-5) will now meet South champion Walpole (13-8-5) of the Bay State Conference’s Herget Division in Sunday’s State title game at TD Garden.

Brendan Doherty of St. John’s (S) carries the puck up ice with Belmont’s Nolan Duffy moving in to defend during MIAA D1 North final. Marauders rallied late for a 3-2 win.

The game-winner, delivered by the Marauders’ junior standout Ben Fici, was a thing of beauty. Wheeling unchecked and under a full head of steam, Fici collected a loose puck in the neutral zone, swung wide to the left and snapped home a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle with 1:25 to play. Senior goalie Nico Carere (27 saves) closed it down from there.

St. John’s forward Sean Clark just misses tipping home this shot past Belmont goalie Nico Carere, who was solid again with 27 saves.

SJS dominated the first period, piling up a 10-1 edge in shots and taking a 1-0 lead just 52 seconds into the game on a goal by captain Matt Myers.

Belmont flipped the script in the second period, erupting for a 17-7 advantage in shots. Captain Matt Brody tied it at 1-1 at the 6:52 mark with a rebound goal. Otherwise, Pioneers’ goalie Dan Laursen (29 saves) proved all but impenetrable.

Ben Fici

St. John’s (12-9-5) – playing in its first sectional final since winning the 2004 State Championship – took a 2-1 lead on Griffin Burns’ goal with 7:50 to play.

Belmont, though, wouldn’t buckle and tied it on Marco Santagati’s shorthanded strike with 2:26 remaining. Brody sent Santagati in alone on a breakaway and Santagati buried a backhander.  Fici won it 61 seconds later.

Sunday’s title game pits two programs seeking their first State title under the umbrella of the MIAA, established in 1972. Walpole won pre-MIAA State titles in 1945, 1963 and 1965.

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Kevin joined HNIB in 1990 and is a Senior Writer and Director of the Northern New England and Mass/R.I. High School Division camps. A veteran editor/writer of 40 years in the print and digital mediums, he has edited and produced original content and coordinated production for local and global publications and websites. He holds degrees from Merrimack College and Boston University and won multiple industry awards as Sports Editor of The Daily News of Newburyport and News Editor of The Amesbury News. He is the 2016 recipient of the North Shore Lifetime Commitment From the Community award presented by Moynihan Lumber and a 2017 Newburyport High School Wall of Fame inductee. He resides with his family in Portsmouth, NH. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @kdoyle40
Kevin Doyle
- 2 days ago
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!