Boston Junior Bruins
January 25, 2008
MANSFIELD TO THE RESCUE...AGAIN
B's Nip 'Narchs, 4-3 in OT
MARLBORO, MA-Tuesday night the Junior Bruins (Empire) hosted the NH Jr. Monarchs at Kelly Rink in Conte Forum on the campus of Boston College in a clash of conference and league leaders. This is their second, and final, meeting of the regular season and could go a long way in determining the regular season league champion.
The Bruins won their earlier meeting, in Hooksett, by a 7-2 score and that win was their 10th straight over the Monarchs. This time it took a Justin Mansfield overtime goal to put the game in the books and the Bruins remain unbeaten, lifetime, against their rivals to the north.
The Bruins jumped out to a 1-0 lead when Sean McLaughlin made a laser, tape to tape pass finding Joe Pendenza who one touched it into the net beating goalie Nick Therrien. The Monarchs got the game tied just before the first intermission when the Bruins got caught up ice and turned the puck over in the neutral zone.
Max Barron got the Bruins the lead again early in the second period finishing off a Mansfield pass. That lead could not be held for more than a minute as the Bruins defense, again, got caught up ice after a turnover and the Monarchs connected on a 2-1. It would stay that way heading into the third period until the Monarchs took their first lead of the game.
With the Bruins in the penalty box the Monarchs converted with the man advantage to take a 3-2 lead. The see saw battle continued when Zach Sandonato finished off a Logan Romano and Mike Kerdock play and the game was again tied. It remained that way through the end of the period and the teams would need overtime to try and determine a winner. The save of the game went to goalie Clay Witt who made a game saving glove save with only a minute or so to go in the game. With the Bruins, who played sloppy in their own end and even worse in the neutral zone for most of the game, got caught running around and one of the Monarchs top forwards was all alone on the right side of the net receiving a pass from the left wing corner. Witt, coming right to left, somehow got a glove in position to completely rob the Monarchs and preserve the tie.
In overtime, with less than a minute to go, Mansfield took a shot from the left point that hit Barron just in front of the net. Mansfield followed his shot to the net, got to the puck first, and put one past Therrien to give the Bruins the win and sending the B's players pouring onto the ice to celebrate.
"Any time you beat one of the top teams in the league and your rival," coach Chris Masters remarked, "it is a good win and something we are happy about. But we were outplayed for most of the game and this is one we stole from them. There are a lot of lessons for us to take away from the game and one is that this team learned that we can win, and beat a great team, when we are not playing our best and get outplayed. It is not something we can make a habit of, and certainly not against this team, but it is a good win."
The Bruins have a busy weekend with road games against Valley and then two with Tri-State.
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