Bishop Stang boys ice hockey advances to next round of playoffs

By Shenandoah Briere | Mar 02, 2018

The Bishop Stang’s boys ice hockey team’s effectiveness on power plays and penalties helped the Spartans topple the Norwell Clippers 4-2 in the Div. 3 South first round at Gallo Arena on March 1.

The No. 8 ranked Spartans used special teams to help score three power play goals against No. 9 Norwell. The win comes off a tough end to the regular season where the Spartans lost four straight games.

“We probably played our best game of the year,” Head Coach Ken Gouveia said. “Norwell was a very tough draw. It was a very good back and forth battle and the difference in the game was the special teams. ”

Gouveia said a scrimmage against Falmouth on February 26 is what spurred confidence in the team. He also noted the team focused on line combinations and conditioning during preparation for the game. He also credited goalie Brian Lester for making several good saves when the team really needed them. The coach said having their top line back really impacted the play.

During the season the Spartans faced multiple injuries. Caleb Ikkela and Riley Scales were both out with injuries and came back with full strength to play against Norwell. They each scored and assisted with goals in the game.

The Clippers scored the first goal of the night in the second period. After battling through a five minute penalty for boarding the Spartans retaliated scoring three power-play goals in five minutes.

Ikkela, who skated away with four points that night, scored the first goal for the Spartans in the second period tying the game 1-1. He was assisted by Collin DiNardo.

Brian Allen returned three minutes later with an assist from Scales and Ikkela to make the game 2-1. Scales then turned around and shot one past the Norwell goalie to give the Spartans a two point lead. He was assisted by Ikkela. Norwell tried to tie up the game in the third period after pulling their goalie for another player. It was Ryan Martin, with assists from Ikkela and DiNardo, who netted the final goal.

Gouveia said the team is lgoing to face Hanover next and it should be a good game played on both sides.

“We’re not going to be intimidated by their record or by them,” Gouveia said.

The Spartans will face the winner of the No 1. ranked Hanover quarterfinals matchup on March 6 at 2:45 at Gallo Arena.

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