MIAA Boys Division 1 Tournament – Quarterfinal: Top Seed St. John’s Prep Staves Off Braintree

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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In a game that wasn’t decided until the final buzzer, #1 seed St. John’s Prep held on for a 3-2 win over #9 Braintree in the first quarterfinal contest of the MIAA Division 1 Boys Tournament.

All the scoring in this one came early, and late.

Cole Blaeser
St. John’s Prep

Just 2:46 into the game, Cole Blaeser gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead when his shot from the left side deflected in past Braintree goalie Jack Fitzgerald, who was outstanding all night. Fifty-three seconds later, Johnny Tighe expanded Prep’s lead to 2-0.

The Wamps kept their composure, though, and 30 seconds after Tighe’s goal, Owen Flynn chipped one home from the right side to cut the lead to 2-1 at 4:09.

What appeared to be on its way to a shootout settled into a tight defensive battle with the Eagles holding the 2-1 lead, until late in the third period.

With 3:27 left to play Cole Blaeser and Tommy Sarni broke in on a 2-on-1 and Sarni converted a neat feed from Blaser to give St. John’s a 3-1 advantage.

Garrett Coughlin Braintree

Braintree refused to quit. A minute later, Garrett Coughlin was able to find the puck amidst a scramble and snap home a shot past Eagles’s goalie Payton Palladino, making it a 3-2 ballgame.

That’s how it ended, although the Wamps had some chances in the waning moments, including a couple of bids in the final 10 seconds after Coughlin won a draw to Palladino’s right.

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