The Pilgrim Patriots were swept by the Mt. Hope Huskies during the Division III Championship at Brown University this past weekend. Mt. Hope sophomore Cam Rancourt received the tournament MVP award, finishing the series with three goals and four assists.
The Pats lost both games, 5-4. Pilgrim sophomore Jack Clements had four goals and one assist, while Pat Reilly had one goal and two assists in the series.
Game 1 started with Pilgrim junior goaltender Kyle Dimascio blocking a shot early, before Reilly had a shot attempt knocked away by the defense down the other end.
With 8:24 left in the first period, Mt. Hope forward Jack Dolan assisted to Ryan Cordeiro, who lit the lamp, putting Mt. Hope up 1-0.
Mt. Hope’s next trip down saw Dimascio stop shots from Dolan and Cordeiro. Down the other end, Pilgrim senior Ty Morgan skated through three defenders before firing wide right. With 5:02 left in the first frame, Rancourt scored after an assist from Dolan, giving Mt. Hope a 2-0 edge.
It took a little while before the Pilgrim offense got going.
“You could tell the kids were a little nervous when they came out,” Pilgrim head coach Mike Boyajian, Jr., said. “They didn’t really have their bearings. Sometimes it takes a little while to get your game going, and unfortunately we found it a little too late tonight.”
“Unfortunately, in the finals you don’t have time to settle in,” Boyajian, Jr., continued. “You have to be ready to go from the puck dropping. I think the nerves got the best of us today.”
Pilgrim did find its groove eventually, scoring three straight goals to take the lead. First, the Pats cut the deficit in half with 2:52 left in the first period when Reilly scored a power play goal from just in front of the blue line. Seconds later, sophomore Matt Pacheco scored on a putback to tie the game at 2. Fourteen seconds later, Pilgrim went on top when Mike Sollenberger and Collin Driscoll assisted to Clements, who scored with a wrister, giving Pilgrim a 3-2 edge heading into the first intermission.
Twenty-three seconds into the second period, Mt. Hope’s Cordeiro lit the lamp to even the game at 3.
Later in the period, Dimascio met a Cordeiro shot with a kick save. Seconds later, though, Mt. Hope sophomore Keegan Hanley scored to put Mt. Hope up, 4-3, with 11:16 remaining.
A minute later, Driscoll passed ahead to Clements, who deked before finding the back of the net to tie the game at 4.
However, with 9:17 left in the second period, Dolan assisted to Rancourt for what would be the game-deciding goal.
In Game 2, Cordeiro scored the game-winner in sudden death overtime to give Mt. Hope the title.
At 8:42 of the first period, Dolan assisted to Rancourt, who deked in front before scoring with a backhand, putting Mt. Hope up 1-0.
With 28 seconds left in the opening period, Clements and Reilly assisted to Morgan, who evened the score for Pilgrim.
Pilgrim went up, 2-1, when Clements put back his own miss midway through the second frame. Morgan was awarded with the assist.
Mt. Hope tied the game at 2 when Rancourt found Dolan in front with 4:42 left in the second period. A minute later, Hanley scored a power play goal to put Mt. Hope up 3-2. Thirty seconds later, Clements tied it for Pilgrim after an assist from Morgan. The teams headed into the second intermission tied at 3.
Pilgrim had a chance to score with 12:22 left to play in regulation. Morgan skated on a fast break, but at the last second, Mt. Hope defenseman Austin Hogan knocked the puck away. However, with 11:40 to play, Reilly assisted to Sollenberger, who lit the lamp, putting the Pats up 4-3.
It looked like Pilgrim would force a Game 3, but with 2:21 to play, Rancourt came through again for Mt. Hope, tying the game at 4.
The teams would have to battle in a seven-minute sudden death overtime to break the tie. With just 37 seconds left in the first overtime, Rancourt found Cordeiro for the title-winner.
Despite the loss, Pilgrim had a stronger start than it did in Game 1.
“We outshot them 14-2 in the first period,” Boyajian, Jr., said. “We threw everything we had at them. The goalie stood on his head. You’ve got to give credit to the kid. He hung in there and weathered the storm. He had an outstanding game tonight.”
Even though their season may not have ended the way they had hoped, Boyajian, Jr., believes his Pats should hold their heads high after a solid season.
“These kids really turned around a program that wasn’t doing so great,” Boyajian, Jr., said. “We told the boys in the locker room ‘Be proud of the fact that you guys were the stepping stone for this program moving in a positive direction.’ They should be proud of what they did.”