The Pilgrim boys hockey team jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as it cruised to a 7-0 shutout win over Narragansett/Chariho last week during senior night at the Thayer Arena.
Dylan Gallagher would get the Pats on the board midway through the first period, followed by Jack Clements less than five minutes later to give Pilgrim the 2-0 lead after one.
Daniel DeRobbio would score less than three minutes into the second, and Sean Noel would add another score to extend the Pilgrim lead to 4-0 midway through the period. Clements would add his second goal with 2:07 remaining on a short-handed breakaway to make it 5-0 heading into the final frame.
Clements would add another short-handed goal with 2:58 remaining in regulation, followed by a score from Zach Sayles 1:23 later to set the score at 7-0 and secure the win.
“This is an ideal situation. We came out, got some good goaltending, our defense played fantastic, our forwards did their job and put plenty of pucks in the net, that’s how we want to be playing going into the playoffs. It was a great effort from every guy on the team,” said Pilgrim coach Mike Boyajian Jr. after the win.
The Pats finished the season with a 13-3 league record and first the top seed heading into the postseason. The Pilgrim offense has been dominant as of late, netting 34 goals in its final four games.
“It’s one of those things where we are just gelling at the right time. We have found some line combinations that have been working really well, they have been moving the puck we the way we have been wanting them to move the puck. The kids are comfortable with each other, that’s really all that it is … it’s chemistry,” said Boyajian Jr., who stressed the importance of home ice advantage. “It’s great, it’s a reward to the kids who have worked so hard all year long. We lost a couple of heartbreakers, but ideally you want that home ice advantage in the one round of the playoffs that we’re going to play. From there, we just need to take care of business and then the rest of (the playoffs) we are away up at Brown.”
The defending champs will have experience on their side as they enter the D3 playoffs this week.
“It’s monumental. We’re going back with nearly the same roster as we did last year, we lost some seniors but for the most part we have that same core going back again. They know what to expect and they’re not going to shy away from the limelight if we’re fortunate enough to make it back there,” said Boyajian Jr.
Boyajian Jr. was also happy to pick up the big win on senior night, and to celebrate the leaders who have set the tone on and off the ice for the Pilgrim program.
“They’re just well-liked kids,” said Boyajian Jr. “I don’t really know how else to put it. They’re friendly kids, they get along with everybody, they get a lot of support in the stands, it seems like we have a really nice group of kids which makes a difference in the locker room.”