Worcester, MA – Patrick Kiley scored with 9:46 remaining to push the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs past the South Shore Kings for their fifth Eastern Junior Hockey League Dineen Cup Championship.
Right from the beginning, the game looked like one for the ages with both teams playing tight defense and flying on offense. The Monarchs, however, took advantage of an early power play and grabbed the lead in the first.
Barely six minutes into the game, Jacob Rutt sent a pass from the circle to Zak Stone in the slot. Stone shot through traffic and the puck eluded Kings goaltender Brad Barone.
The score held until the beginning of the second period. With the Monarchs on another power play, Jamie Ferullo won the opening faceoff and swept the puck to Trent Ruffolo, who dropped a pass to Alex Gacek. Gacek then split the defensemen, stormed into the zone, and beat Barone just seven seconds into the frame.
Charlie Coyle put the Kings on the board when the Kings went on a power play less than a minute later. Jake Friedman won a faceoff in the Monarchs’ zone and sent the puck back to Terry O’Neill, who then passed along the blue line to Coyle, who one-timed a shot past Monarchs goaltender Brian Billett.
The Monarchs restored the two-goal lead with 13:20 on the clock. Peter DeAngelo passed the puck to Charlie Mullan behind the net. Mullan then fed Brooks Herrington at the bottom of the circle and Herrington knocked the puck into the net.
With 8:05 left in the period, Coyle struck again on the power play. As the Monarchs attempted to clear the puck out, Coyle stole it and skated around a defenseman and buried the puck from the slot.
Chris Wagner tied the game with 13:35 remaining after picking up a clearing pass from Nolan Descoteaux. Wagner gathered the puck in the neutral zone, skated down the left wing, broke toward the slot, and shot the puck through Billett’s legs.
Patrick Kiley netted the game-winner when Kyle Mountain sent him a puck from the corner and he banged it home from the slot.
The Kings pulled Barone, who made 43 saves in the contest, for an extra skater with 1:28 remaining, but the Monarchs repeatedly cleared the puck out and prevented the Kings from netting the equalizer.
The win gives the Monarchs their fifth EJHL Gary Dineen Cup championship and their first since 2007. Both teams will represent the Eastern Junior Hockey League at the 2010 USA Hockey Tier III Junior A National Tournament at the New England Sports Center.
-Mike Klein, 14 March 2010