Broncos double up Crusaders
Burrillville finishes 1st half with 7 points
PROVIDENCE — Halfway through the Division I hockey season and two things have become quite clear:
If you beat Burrillville, you’re a contender to play for the state title in March at Brown’s Meehan Auditorium.
If the Broncos beat you, you’re stay in the playoffs is going to be very short.
What isn’t clear, however, is who the Broncos are with the playoffs out in the distance. Following Sunday night’s 4-2 victory over winless Prout at Providence College’s Schneider Arena, the Broncos have seven points through seven games and are stalking Mount St. Charles and Smithfield.
“We’re going to try to change that up in the second half,” Burrillville coach David Farrell said about the Broncos’ predictability. “We learned against La Salle [a 5-1 defeat on Thursday] that if we have high energy and high effort we can play with anybody in the league. When we take our eye off the ball and lose focus and don’t do the things we’re supposed to do, we have trouble.”
Burrillville (7-5, 3-3-0-1 Division I) desperately needed to beat the Crusaders to snap a two-game losing streak and to move ahead of Smithfield for fourth place in the division, but the Sentinels have a game in hand. The Broncos are also just a point behind Mount St. Charles, which hosts Massachusetts foe Malden Catholic this afternoon.
If the young Broncos are serious about garnering home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs then they have another must-win game Wednesday at Portsmouth Abbey against onewin Barrington. The Broncos downed the Eagles, 4-1, in their first meeting.
Sunday, four different Broncos fired shots past Prout goalie Wells Masterson, who made 35 saves. Two of Burrillville’s goals were scored by freshmen, including Cam Desante’s game-winning effort 5 minutes, 45 seconds into the second period.
“We got a little complicated [after building a 3-0 lead] and we got away from basics,” Farrell said. “I don’t think we brought as much energy and effort throughout the game as we should have, but I’ll never complain about a win. When they made it 3-2 in the third period, I’m glad the kids
pulled it together and we were able to get the next one. It was an uneven game all around.”
Prout (0-5 Division I) has to dust itself off quickly because tomorrow afternoon the Crusaders are at Thayer Arena taking on undefeated Hendricken. Sunday, the Crusaders received a pair of goals from forward Ernesto Watsky. The junior’s second goal, which came directly off a face-off, cut Prout’s deficit to one with 9:16 left in the contest.
Freshman Brayden Deschamps, who scored Burrillville’s opening goal, had a breakaway saved by Masterson minutes later, but the Broncos finally rebuilt their two-goal lead with 4:30 remaining. Desante found freshman Michael Allen open in the right circle and the defenseman wristed a shot into the net to secure the victory.
The contest ended the way it started – with Burrillville freshmen putting shots past Masterson. After soaking up some Prout pressure in the opening few minutes, the Broncos grabbed a
lead they would never relinquish when they used their forecheck to create a turnover that was pounced on by Deschamps for a goal.
Burrillville doubled its last at 7:32 of the period when Allen made a great cross-ice pass to sophomore Ryan Deschamps for a goal just after a Prout power play had expired. Desante made it 3-0 early in the second period.
Watsky fired a shot off of Dylan Nault’s glove and into the net with 26 seconds left in the second period to get the Crusaders on the scoreboard.
Follow Branden Mello on Twitter @Branden_Mello
Burrillville 2 1 1–4
Prout 0 1 1–2
First period – B, Brayden Deschamps (unassisted), 4:04; B, Ryan Deschamps (Michael Allen, Austin Boutiette), 7:32.
Second period – B, Cam Desante (Sam Hayden, Aidan Tupper), 5:45; TPS, Ernesto Watsky (unassisted), 14:24 Third period – TPS, Watsky (Michael Castelli), 5:44; B, Allen (Desante, Hayden), 10:30.
Saves – B, Dylan Nault (29 saves); TPS, Wells Masterson (35 saves).