The Bishop Hendricken hockey team was in the midst of its first rough patch of the season when it took the ice on Saturday night at the Benny Magiera Rink against Barrington.
Three periods later, the Hawks felt like they’d righted the ship.
On the heels of three consecutive losses, including one to Smithfield in overtime on Friday night, Hendricken knocked off the Eagles 2-0 for a hard-earned victory.
Barrington gave the Hawks a run, and even had a goal waved off in the second period, but Josh Olson’s third-period goal broke a scoreless tie and Patrick Creamer’s empty-netter provided the final margin of victory.
“We battled hard all the way through,” Hendricken head coach Jim Creamer said. “It wasn’t easy. Barrington did a great job, but at the end of the night I’m happy. We needed that.”
The Hawks had lost a non-league game to Boston College High School back on Jan. 11, and followed that up with a tough 6-4 league loss to a talented Notre Dame team in West Haven, Conn.
Those losses were Hendricken’s first two of the year, and falling to Smithfield – the Hawks’ first loss to a public school since the new division format came out last season – was enough to constitute a skid.
“We took four days off last week and went and played Notre Dame,” Creamer said. “Then the kids were in exams this week so we didn’t practice at all this week. We’ve had two weeks of a non-normal schedule. No excuses, we’re just out of the rhythm on the day-to-day stuff.”
But Saturday night was back to business as usual. The Hawks out-shot the Eagles 29 to 25, but controlled play for most of the game. They couldn’t get a puck past Barrington goalie Colin Clegg until 4:37 into the third period, when Olson skated into the Eagles’ zone and wristed a shot to the right of Clegg, who tipped the puck with his glove but couldn’t keep it in front of him.
Chris Shalvey was credited with an assist. Olson is one of three seniors on his line, along with Jonathan Finelli and Liam Watkinson, and they combined to make the play of the game.
“The seniors did a great job today,” Creamer said. “All of our seniors did a really good job. Josh, Liam and Jonathan have had just an outstanding year. They got the goal tonight and they’ve just done a phenomenal job.”
Junior goaltender Christian Maselli made that one goal stand up the rest of the way, as he made 25 saves to earn the shutout and the win.
“He did the job,” Creamer said. “It all worked out.”
Hendricken’s second goal of the game came with 41 seconds to play, as Pat Creamer skated freely to a loose puck in Barrington’s zone and simply flipped it into the net to clinch the win.
“I was happy with the whole game,” Jim Creamer said. “I thought we worked pretty hard the whole game. The puck didn’t go in a few times. But I thought our work ethic was there and that’s all I really care about. The other stuff will take care of itself. If we’re working, I think most nights we’ll be alright.”
A big moment in the game occurred early in the second period, with the game scoreless. Just over three minutes in, Barrington’s Derek Carlson fired a shot from just inside the blue line on the left that got by Maselli on his left and went into the goal. The Eagles celebrated, but the goal was immediately waved off by one of the referees, who signaled that the net had been bumped before the shot went in and it was off its tracks.
Barrington protested, but the call was upheld and the Eagles were forced to swallow a tough pill.
“I thought the referees made a great call,” Creamer joked. “No, I didn’t even see it. I was turned around.”
Barrington went on a power play almost immediately after the disallowed goal, but couldn’t do anything with it. The Hawks escaped the period without allowing a goal, and then broke the tie with the strong third period.
Hendricken is now 6-2-1, good for second place in Division I-Cimini. Mount St. Charles is in first place with a 10-2 mark. Barrington is in third in D-I-Cimini at 2-6-2.
The Hawks will have a little time off now before taking the ice for a late game on Saturday night against Burrillville at Thayer Arena. That game is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. That will start a streak of seven consecutive games Hendricken will play at Thayer.