The No. 3-seeded boys varsity ice hockey team defeated top-ranked Cushing Academy 2-0 on Sunday, March 8, to win the New England Prep School Athletic Conference Martin/Earl Large School championship for the first time since 2014.
To reach the championship game, the Pelicans defeated Deerfield Academy 4-2 on Wednesday in quarterfinal action and topped Brunswick 5-2 on Saturday in the semifinals.
Earlier in the season, the Pelicans faced off against the Penguins in a battle of the birds and tied Cushing 1-1 in overtime, a game that displayed both teams’ speed and skill as well as quality goaltending.
In the rematch, played at Trinity College, the story was much the same, with great pace and skill and excellent goaltending from both sides.
The first period was back and forth as Loomis Chaffee and Cushing had opportunities to score but couldn’t find the back of the net. Then, with less than a minute left in the period, sophomore Oliver Flynn drove the net hard with sophomore linemate Rory Andriole, and senior captain Cody Hoban scored to give the Pelicans a 1-0 lead. Hoban, who also scored in the semifinal game, had just returned to the team for the tournament after a knee injury.
After taking the lead, the Pelicans played solid defense and kept their game simple, getting pucks deep, forechecking hard, and keeping the puck away from the Penguins’ net. The second period ended with Loomis still up 1-0.
Cushing pushed hard in the third period and had several good opportunities, but junior goaltender Kyle Chauvette stood tall between the pipes. He would go on to finish the game with a 34-save shutout.
Cushing pulled its goalie in the final moments of the game to give itself an extra skater, but Loomis withstood the pressure and put the icing on the cake when senior Adam Martin scored an empty-net goal with 2.2 seconds left. As time expired, the Pelicans swarmed the bench in celebration as the Martin/Earl Large School champions.
The coaches would like to acknowledge everyone who helped the team get to the title, including parents, fans, the Athletics Department faculty and staff, but most importantly the 13 seniors on the team: Ryan Armstrong, Kennedy O’Connor, Ben Ritter, Cody Hoban, Anthony Cipollone, Isaac Joshi, Tommy Costello, Adam Martin, Michael Amador, Theo Hallal, Jake Sigal, Alex Krause, and Mathieu Schneider.