Cards win the Pinkerton battle, but the war is in June

Telegraph photo by TOM KING Bishop Guertin's Nick McGovern tries to split Pinkerton defenders Aiden Price, left, and Mason Drouin during Tuesday night's big Division I showdown at Stellos Stadium.

NASHUA – Advantage Bishop Guertin.

Well, sort of.

Remember, the last four years the team that has won the regular season BG-Pinkerton Academy matchup has lost in the finals.

So, was the Cardinals’ dramatic 12-11 win over the Astros Tuesday night in front of a loud but chilled Stellos Stadium crowd a good thing?

“So we got ’em right where we want ’em,” Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly said with a slight grin.

“Let’s break (the trend),” Guertin coach Chris Cameron said. “If anything, that’s a great one goal game. We’re not going to go into that (title game) thinking, ‘Oh, we got this thing.’ That score, they definitely have our attention, there’s no doubt about it.”

They certainly had the Cards attention rallying from an 8-1 mid-second quarter deficit to be down just 12-11 with the ball and 14.1 seconds left. But a high shot over Cards James Heitmiller (12 saves) sealed the deal for Guertin.

“As nervous as we were, I had faith in James our goalie,” said Cards leading scorer Sean Cameron, who had four goals followed by Dawson Clark’s three. The Cards jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and enjoyed largest margin 8-1 early.

“It didn’t go off the way we wanted to in the beginning of the game,” O’Reilly said, his team now 2-2. “But we’ve got players, and as I said at least one time during the first half, it’s not ice hockey. You can be down by multiple goals in lacrosse and make up three goals in a matter of one minute. Just keep pushing and keep pushing.”

The teams entered the final quarter with Guertin up 11-7, but goals by Mason Barbone, Mason Drouin and Connor McCormack got the Astros to within 11-10 with just over 10 minutes to play. It was a game. But Sean Cameron’s goal with 8:16 to play gave the Cards a two-goal cushion. They needed it because Drouin scored his fourth of the game with 14.1 seconds left to make it 12-11.

The Astros trailed 10-4 early in the third quarter but two Hunter Drouin goals and a Mason Drouin both scored to make it 10-7 with just over five minutes left in the third quarter. The Cards’ Joe Lupo, after a steal, answered with 4:36 left in the third to make it 11-7 and that’s how the period ended.

Guertin got two goals each by Lupo and Ben Abladian, and Chris Kiely had a single tally.

The game started off perfectly for Bishop Guertin as the Cards scored three goals in the first 1:57 and five in the first 4:23.

Scoring for the Cards were Clark, Cameron, Kiely, Abladian and Lupo for that 5-0 start. The Cards didn’t waste much time shooting, with quick 30-second max possessions.

“We’re at our best when we’re playing fast,” Cameron said.

The Astros finally got on the board with 5:57 left in the first on a goal by Mason Drouin and trailed 6-1 after the first quarter.

Pinkerton had a flurry of three straight goals (two by Hunter Drouin, one by Connor McCormack ) to close to within 8-4 but Dawson Clark scored with 53.3 seconds left for a 9-4 halftime lead.

Clark, the transfer from Bedford, tallied again 1:25 into the second half to make it a 10-4 game, but the game would get much closer — probably to both coaches’ liking.