The Mount St. Charles hockey team appeared to be in trouble early in the second period against Bishop Hendricken on a snowy Saturday night at Thayer Arena.
After Hawk standout freshman Owen Leahy scored two goals and assisted on another in the opening period, Hendricken appeared to be in position to blow the game open when they earned a power play early in the middle period.
Instead, Mount’s Micaiah Bascombe scored a shorthanded goal to spark the Mounties into life. Mount scored three straight goals before Hendricken’s Alex Giuliano tied the game with just 4:24 left in regulation. With the game in the balance, Mount senior defenseman Jacob Maddalena scored on a heavy slap shot from the point to lift the Mounties to a 5-4 Division I victory.
“It was great to finally have our three captains on the ice to display that leadership that we needed,” Mount first-year coach Matt Merten said. “To battle back and to not get down shows a lot about the leadership that we have. I was really proud of them. It’s just a really great win over the defending state champions. We have a lot of respect for them.”
Mount St. Charles (5-2 Division I) has now scored at least five goals in its last four games since a 6-1 defeat to La Salle Academy earlier in the month at Adelard. To add to the good news, Mount welcomes back seniors Alex Pratt and Chris Baxter for Sunday’s game against Fairfield Prep at the Dunk after the duo had to sit out the first seven games following their time with the Mount Hockey Academy U18 team.
Merten, who also welcomes Moses Brown transfer goalie Jason Mandeville to the varsity roster, said it will take time to integrate both seniors back into the line combinations.
“The combinations are going to be a little tricky because Alex and Chris haven’t skated with lines on a regular basis because they weren’t eligible to play,” Merten said.
“They’ll be some tough spots early here and there. The burst of energy those two are going to bring is going to be huge. We’re in the center of the season, so that energy is important when you get into February.”
Bishop Hendricken (4-3 Division I) appears to be finding its footing after losing its coach, Jim Creamer, and PC commit, Brady Berard, to the Mount Hockey Academy U15 team. Leahy finished the night with three points, while Aidan Padien added a goal and an assist. Goalie Andrew Carr made 19 saves.
“Hendricken has some forwards who are really nice players who skate hard and really attack ice,” Merten said. “They made it really difficult for us to control the defensive zone like we like to. There are two or three really nice players on that team.”
It took Leahy all of 58 seconds to open the scoring, but Maddalena answered back at 1:57. The Hawks took complete control of the game following a Padien goal and a Leahy unassisted shorthanded goal to build a two-goal lead after one period.
The Mounties responded with a pair of goals in the second period, starting with Bascombe’s shorthanded effort at 2:06 after good work from Matt Mahoney. Senior captain Bryan Testa, who missed the first six weeks of the season because of an upper-body injury, tied the game. Seniors John Belisle and Trey Bourque recorded assists on the goal.
Bourque, Mount’s leading scorer, put the visitors ahead 4:54 into the third period after a pass from Testa, but Giuliano tied the game at 10:34. That set the stage for Maddalena to win the game with a slap shot from the point.
“Maddalena had a great game,” Merten said. “He put the puck on net hard through a lot of traffic. We had a lot of big contributions, including Micaiah Bascombe, who really got the red line going and that got the whole team going in the second. Everyone started to feed off each other after a lackluster first period.”
Follow Branden Mello on Twitter @Branden_Mello
Mount St. Charles 1 2 2 – 5
Bishop Hendricken 3 0 1 – 4
First period – BH, Owen Leahy (Nathan Palumbo), 0:58; MSC, Jacob Maddalena (Edward Mulligan), 1:57; BH, Aidan Padien (Leahy, Cam Warrerner), 8:46; BH, Leahy (unassisted), sh, 11:06.
Second period – MSC, Micaiah Bascombe (Matt Mahoney), sh, 2:06; MSC, Bryan Testa (Trey Bourque, John Belisle), 8:15.
Third period – MSC, Bourque (Testa, Maddalena), 4:54; BH, Alex Giuliano (Harrison Giuliano, Padien), pp, 10:34; MSC, Maddalena (Bascombe, CeeJay Laquerre), 12:12.
Saves – MSC, Sean Trottier (18 saves); BH, Andrew Carr (19 saves).