Bishop Guertin boys hockey knocks off Pinkerton in tourney
HOOKSETT – Goalie Colin Freitas was not the entire difference between Saturday night’s meeting here at the Ice Den and the regular season collision between Bishop Guertin and Pinkerton Academy back nearly two weeks ago.
But the sophomore and the Cardinals’ skaters in front of him were out to prove that this would be a colossally different team with which the Astros would have to deal. They did just that, dominating from the opening faceoff and knocking off No. 3 Pinkerton, 3-1, in the Division I quarterfinals.
“Our team really wanted to beat them,” said Freitas. “We knew coming into the game we could beat them, and we feel like we can beat anyone.”
Wednesday, at the JFK Coliseum in Manchester, the No. 6 Cardinals will look to tackle No. 2 Hanover in the state semis, with a 5:30 p.m. start time. Hanover, a winner in the quarters over Londonderry, won the regular season meeting with BG, 3-1.Guertin broke the ice late in the first when Ben Peterson broke loose on a breakaway, sent in by Ryan Flynn.
“The kid has like 26 goals this year, and our nearest guy has like nine,” said Cardinals coach Gary Bishop. “He’s one of the premier forwards in the league. He gets the puck around the front of that net, he’s got a good chance of putting it in.”
And Peterson did just that, beating Astro goalie Dakota Robinson to the glove side and sending a jolt of energy into the BG bench.
“Nothing better than having a lead. It just relaxes you and as a goalie it’s such a boost of confidence,” said Freitas, who missed the previous meeting with the Astros because of a concussion. “This is only like my second game back.”
BG pushed the margin to 2-0 on a Liam Nye goal early in the second, with the assist going to Cam Fagan.
It was there where the Astros turned up the heat.
Nick Plaza finally solved Freitas late in the second, slicing things in half at 2-1 and setting up a wild, desperate third.
The Astros tested Freitas, who delivered his share of sparklers, but he also got a bit of help from above, well not exactly.
Senior defenseman Jared Zeichick had put out fires constantly in the BG end, keeping the front of the net clear of any real issues.
“It’s just a real relief with him in front of me,” said Freitas. “We all call him Jesus because he’s the best player on our team, at least I think so.”
With both teams playing physical, they went up and down in the third, before Doug Barker ended the suspense with an empty-net goal from the harshest of angles in the right corner.
“The last time (a Pinkerton 4-1 win) they took a 3-0 lead and we never came back,” said Bishop. “We got that first goal it was huge.”