MALDEN — Regulation was not enough. A five-minute overtime period was not enough.
It took everything the St. Mary’s boys hockey team had, and maybe even a little more, but the Spartans dug deep and pulled out a 2-1 shootout victory over the Hingham Harbormen to win the Christie Serino Christmas Classic at Valley Forum in Malden on Thursday night. En route to the tournament crown, the Spartans defeated two teams who were in the Division 1A “Super 8” tournament last season in Austin Prep and Hingham.
“This is one of the youngest teams we’ve had in a long time, and to put up two wins against teams like that is big for their confidence,” said St. Mary’s coach Mark Lee. “It wasn’t always pretty, but we found a way to win. The character in that locker room is what brought us this trophy.”
Senior Nico Scalli scored the lone regulation goal for the Spartans, while eighth-grader Davis Kinne and freshman Brady Carpenter scored the two shootout goals that put St. Mary’s over the top. Freshman Colby Magliozzi had one assist in the win.
But the real story of the game, and the tournament, was the play of St. Mary’s goalie Kevin McMullen. The senior netminder came up huge in both games of the tournament, including notching 27 saves in Thursday night’s victory. For his strong performance, McMullen earned tournament MVP honors.
“You build your team from the goal out, and he’s been here for four years,” Lee said of McMullen. “This is his first year starting, and he’s the perfect example of a guy who just really wants it. He was the backbone for us in this tournament.”
The Spartans were able to jump out to a lead in the first period despite getting outshot 8-4. With just over five minutes to go in the period, Magliozzi picked up a loose puck deep in the offensive zone and sent a pass out to Scalli at the blue line, who then sent a wicked wrist shot into the upper right corner of the net to give St. Mary’s the 1-0 lead.
That lead help up all the way until there were just under seven minutes left in the third period. At that point, Hingham’s Marshall Terres made a great play to pick up a loose puck at center ice, zip into the offensive zone and flip a wrist shot into the back of the net to tie score at 1-1 and force overtime.
But the overtime didn’t solve matters either, so it went to a five-man shootout. McMullen made a save on the first Hingham shot, followed by Kinne’s goal to put St. Mary’s up one. McMullen went on to make three more saves, blanking the Harbormen in the shootout. After Carpenter’s goal, the victory, and the tournament crown, went to the Spartans.
“Obviously there’s a little bit of nerves there,” goalie McMullen said of the shootout. “But you just have to take what the shooter gives you. At the end of the day, they didn’t score and that’s what matters.”
There’s no slowing down from here for St. Mary’s (2-1-3), with another tough game against Winchester on Saturday (5).
“We don’t dodge any bullets, we’re going up against all the top teams this year,” said Lee. “So we’re going to enjoy this win for a bit and get right back to it.”