March 9, 2022 - Story and photos by Joshua Ross
The last time the Harbormen lost a game was on January 12th to Franklin, 4-2. Last night, both teams met again at the Canton Ice House in the Sweet 16 round of the D1 State Tournament as Hingham looked to avenge their mid-season loss to the Panthers.
In front of a sold-out crowd, it was apparent early that both teams were ready for the rematch. In almost the same exact way they opened their first round match against St. John's Shrewsbury on Saturday, the Harbormen scored on a tipped shot from the blue line just over 3 minutes into the game. This time, it was senior Alex Barzowskas notching his first goal of the playoffs. The next eleven and half minutes were pretty evenly fought until the waning seconds of the first period when junior Aidan Brazel took the puck through the neutral zone, past a diving defender and put one past the outstretched goaltender to give the Harbormen the 2-0 lead.
Two goals were all Hingham needed as once again the defense and goaltending were outstanding. Senior Luke Merian has only allowed one goal in the past two games, while the top four D of seniors captains Bobby Falvey and Drew Carleton and juniors Chase McKenna and Charlie Even are shutting down almost every chance an opponent has. Saturday's game was no different. After senior captain Sean Garrity made it 3-0 early in the second, Franklin scored on a power play, but really never had many chances after that. Junior Billy Jacobus put in his 12th goal of the season on a rebound in the third to put the game away for Hingham.
Hingham is now getting production from all four lines. The bottom two lines have now scored 4 goals in two games and is a big reason for the Harbormen's relatively easy wins so far in the playoffs.
"It's great to get contributions from the third and forth line," head coach Tony Messina said after the game. "They've been playing well all year. They just got a little snake bitten. Once they settled down and know what their role is, all the other things come naturally."
As far as getting his kids motivated for this game, it wasn't too hard.
"To play these guys again was a big motivation," explains Messina. "The first time we played them it was our third game in four nights and we had played CM the night before. No excuses, they jumped us pretty good in their own rink. They were all over us. You could tell they are a good team and get a lot of offensive opportunities. They can fly around. Really offensive. You know on this run (12-0-1) it's just been great. We've been doing little by little. A lot of big wins, but a lot of close games. A lot of one goal games, grinding games, which helps for the tournament."
The Harbormen will meet Arlington, for the second time this season, on Saturday night at Gallo Arena on the cape at 5pm. Hingham beat the Spy Ponders 4-1 early in the season.