No. 3 Bishop Guertin’s Logan Vogel had a championship game that most players can only ever dream of. He converted on his penalty shot attempt just over six minutes into the overtime frame to give the Cardinals the 4-3 win over No. 4 Bedford and their first Division 1 championship since 2015.
Both teams came out of the gate trying to set the tone with their physical play although it seemed that Bishop Guertin carried most the play and outshot the Bulldogs 8-5 in the first period.
The Cardinals would be the first to get on the board when senior John Mantone scored on the power play just about halfway through the first period. The Cardinals went on the power play after a Bedford tripping call and had Bedford pinned in their zone for duration of the penalty. Mantone fired home a wrist shot that beat Bedford’s goaltender Evan Johnston. Tim Keily and Sam Clauson assisted on the goal.
Almost three minutes later Mantone would strike again to give the Cardinals a two-goal lead. Vogel won the faceoff draw straight back to Mantone who ripped a shot that Johnston managed to get a piece of but it trickled over the line for the Guertin goal.
Both teams traded penalties to open the second period and while the teams were 4-on-4, Bedford would break through for their first tally of the game. Brian Riccio won the faceoff back to senior defenseman Maddox Muir who unleashed a wrister that beat Cardinals’ goaltender Brayden King up high and closed the gap to 2-1.
With just under ten minutes to play in the second period, John Mantone would score again for Guertin and complete the hat trick. Vogel and Keily would each record their second assists on the goal that put Bishop Guertin up 3-1.
Late in the second period Bedford would go on the power play and strike back to get back within one. As time expired on the power play, Parker Gupta fired a shot from the left point that was redirected along the way and the bouncing puck beat King to cut the deficit to one. Bedford outshot Bishop Guertin 8-5 in the second period with both teams’ shots sitting at 13-13
With the score 3-2 and time winding down, Bedford called a timeout with an offensive zone faceoff with 1:09 on the clock. After pulling their goaltender for the 6-on-5 advantage, Nick Hadley took a cross-ice pass from Dom Tagliaferro that he snuck home to tie the game and send the Bedford crowd into a frenzy. The game was headed for overtime.
To start overtime both teams looked to be playing cautiously as to not make any mistakes and give their opponent the advantage. As things began to open up, Vogel seized an opportunity. He broke in to the offensive zone down the right side and drew the penalty shot when a Bedford player threw his stick to break up the play. BG coach Gary Bishop was given the opportunity to take the two-minute penalty or send Vogel out for the penalty shot. For coach Bishop the answer was easy. It was also the right decision. Vogel lined up at center ice and skated in on Johnston weaving through the slot and made a move to his forehand before bringing it back to his backhand and lifting it over the outstretched poke-check of the Bedford keeper.
After giving up a late goal in regulation and then heading to overtime, coach Bishop had a message for his team in the locker room. He told his team “You play your whole life for this. You wait for overtime; goal scorers wait for overtime. So, where’s the goal scorer in this room? Who wants to do it?”
Logan Vogel answered the call for his coach and his team.
The Bedford Bulldogs were fighters all season long and they showed it again in the championship. First down 2-0 and then 3-1, they battled back both times which was their calling card this season. They came back in both their quarterfinal game against Trinity and the semifinal game in the upset Concord win.
This comeback fell just short but coach Jon Garrity said his team always keeps coming. “We always say, just win your shift. We call these guys Dogs; we are the Bulldogs but it works out so well. We have so many Dogs in that room, kids that I’m so proud of.”