By ALEX SPONSELLER
The Bishop Hendricken hockey team would ride its momentum into the state championship series and sweep East Greenwich in two games to claim its eighth title in program …
By ALEX SPONSELLER
The Bishop Hendricken hockey team would ride its momentum into the state championship series and sweep East Greenwich in two games to claim its eighth title in program history.
“It’s a great feeling. East Greenwich had a great season, they played their hearts out. They worked hard from start to finish. We knew (that it would be tough) going into the series. They play a tough run and gun offense that is tough to contain. They’re very explosive, but we knew if we could do our job and do the little things to contain them, then it would fall our way. We are deep and our goaltending stepped up to the plate there,” said Hendricken coach Mike Soscia after the team picked up a 5-2 Game 2 win.
The Hawks trailed 3-1 heading into the third period of Game 1 despite outshooting the Avengers through two periods. However, the Hawks would get goals from Ryan Staples and Aiden Pennacchini in the final eight minutes to knot the score and send the game to overtime.
After two scoreless overtime periods, the game would head to a shootout and the Hawks would get the win on goals from Matt Moretti and Griffin Crain. Dylan Cappelli scored Hendricken’s first goal in the second period.
The score was tied 1-1 heading into the third period of Game 2 thanks to a goal from Alex Giuliano late in the second, just two minutes after EG got on the board to strike first.
The Hawks would break the game open midway through the third period when two EG penalties provided them a 5-on-3 opportunity. Hendricken took advantage and Crain would score to give Hendricken the 2-1 lead.
Moretti would score less than two minutes later to extend the lead to 3-1. Although EG would score to make it 3-2 with 3:37 remaining, the Hawks would stay aggressive and get an empty-net goal from Will Cavanagh with 1:04 left and another from Colton Whitfield in the final minute to close out the 5-2 decision.
“(The 5-on-3) was a huge momentum swing for us. We were getting pucks to the net but we just couldn’t score on Cole Barron. He did an outstanding job between the pipes,” said Soscia.
Hendricken senior captain Michael Soscia added: “(EG) is a hell of a hockey team and they have some fighters. It took us until Game 2 in the last minute to win that series. Yesterday we couldn’t finish on our opportunities and today we had to bare down, do all the little things that got us here. That’s what we did there and we never gave up,” said Michael Soscia, who also thanked the Hendricken student section. “I have to give a shout out to Mangate and their support. They are the reason why we won some games, with their energy. They are a part of this team right now.”
Fellow captain Nick Defelice was thrilled to get the win in front of fans, and missed the experience during the dark days of the pandemic.
“In the locker room we knew to never give up no matter what the score is, never give up until the final buzzer. We didn’t,” said Defelice. We capitalized on (the 5-on-3), took advantage of it, built off that and we got three other goals off of that. It’s crazy, from last year with no fans in the stadium to this year with a full packed house at Schneider, it makes a huge difference, the fans were great.”
Coach Soscia was also proud of his team and happy to see the seniors get the full high school hockey experience in their final season.
“It’s special. We knew that we had a special group of kids coming into the season. This is a special group of kids on and off the ice,” Coach Soscia said. “There wasn’t a day of practice where I didn’t want to go, it was always so much fun. I am happy that they got to finish it off on a good note.”
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