RHS hockey team wins Newburyport Classic

The Revere High hockey team ended its season on a highly positive and winning note by capturing the annual Newburyport Bank Classic hockey tournament last week, defeating both of their opponents in exciting contests.

The Patriots won the tourney opener against Matignon in about as dramatic a fashion as one could imagine. The teams had battled to a 2-2 deadlock through regulation, with Sean Dean scoring both goals in the second period for Revere, one of which was assisted by Jay Sasso.

Matignon got on the board with 1:39 left in the middle frame and then notched the equalizer midway through the final period, setting the stage for a rarity in schoolboy hockey, a shootout. Regular season games that are tied at the conclusion of regulation end in ties, but in a tournament format, where there has to be a winner, a shootout is the means for choosing the victor.

Each team designated five players for the shootout (with the highest number of goal scorers then becoming the winning team), but of those first five, only one from each team (Dean for Revere) beat the goalies.

After that, it came down to a one on one shootout, with Matignon going first. The sixth shooters for both teams missed, but the seventh shooter for Matignon scored. That brought up Pat Bartol for the Patriots, who kept his team alive with a clutch goal.

After the eighth shooters and Matignon’s ninth man missed, Mike Testa took the puck for the Pats, skated in on the Matignon goalie, and tingled the twine to give his team the amazing victory and a cause for a jubilant celebrant. “It was wild,” said RHS head coach Jim Palumbo. “Everybody was very excited.”

The triumph moved Revere into the championship game against Haverhill, a long ago rival from the Greater Boston League long before any of the current Patriots were born. The teams battled in see-saw, tit-for-tat fashion most of the way, with Revere taking a 1-0 lead after the first period on a goal by Anthony Noel, assisted by Sasso and Drew Lauria.

However, Haverhill made it 1-1. Then, after Sasso scored (assisted by Nick Adreani), Haverhill tied matters again at 2-2 and, after Sasso scored again for a natural hat trick (assisted by Dean and Testa), knotted the contest at 3-3 by the end of the second stanza.

Haverhill scored 14 seconds into the third period for its first lead of the game, but Revere took control thereafter. Goals by George Weiner (assisted by Noel and Sasso), Testa (assisted by Sasso), Sasso (for the hat trick), and Noel (assisted by Sasso and Corbett), all coming in the final eight minutes, propelled the Pats to a 7-4 triumph and the tourney championship.

“It was a great way to end our season,” said Palumbo. “We had a tough stretch that set us back, so it was nice to finish on a positive note.”

The twin wins gave the Patriots a final record of 5-12 3 for the 2009-2010 campaign.

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