Berwick plays shutdown defense for 54 minutes to earn opening day win
Rafe Gaughan turns aside all 37 Belmont Hill shots to backbone the Bulldogs
DOVER, NH –This one had extra meaning, with Berwick Head of School Greg Schneider going off to Belmont Hill next fall for his new role as their Head of School. While Belmont may have infiltrated Berwick’s administrative offices, they did not find their way into the Berwick net tonight. Senior tri-captain Rafe Gaughan (Somersworth, NH) turned aside a dozen shots in the first two frames then a baker’s in the third for the shutout.
Belmont goalie Connor Hopkins (Yale commit) was equally as impressive making several point blank stops, but midway through the second period sophomore Brady Desjardins (Westbrook, ME) took a big hit and drew an interference call to put the Bulldogs on the man advantage. Thirty seconds later, Berwick drew another crosschecking penalty on a scrum along the boards. Just eighteen seconds into the five-on-three advantage, Chris Dowd (Danville, NH) worked the puck up to Tanner Derby (Newburyport, MA), who played catch with Zander Lizotte (Scarborough, ME) a few times before Lizotte buried one far side past the screened Hopkins.
Two minutes later, Tyler Gaulin (Kingston, NH) found the streaking Lizotte on a two-on-one and Hopkins made a crucial, diving glove save to keep the score at 1-0. Berwick controlled the majority of play in the second and kept Belmont at bay in the third. Gaughan came up with two spectacular saves in the final two minutes, one on a screened shot and another on the ensuing rebound. Berwick called a timeout with 1:10 left on the clock, before Jack Merecki (Stratham, NH) worked with Greg Stohrer (Barrington, NH) to possess the defensive zone faceoff. Stohrer found Eric DeGregorio (Dover, NH) who confidently slotted the full-ice shot into the center of Belmont’s net.
While this one is extra sweet for the Bulldogs, they look to get back to even-keel tomorrow before two tough away contests this weekend. Berwick heads down to the Tabor Academy Showcase where they will take on Tabor on Saturday night and Pomfret on Sunday morning.