After losing in a heartbreaking Game 3 in the RIIL State Championship last season to rival La Salle, the Bishop Hendricken hockey team would top the Rams in two games this time around, including a deciding Game 2 overtime thriller on Saturday night at Brown to regain the title.
Tied 3-3 in overtime, freshman Brady Berard would bury the game-winner with 3:07 remaining to send the Hawks to their sixth championship in school history.
“Last year my brother (Brett) played and just told me how it was playing against La Salle. The (upperclassmen) were like, ‘It was great to play against La Salle in the championship and we want revenge.’ We took it after all. That’s all that matters, we don’t care about last year, we care about this year,” said Berard, who was named MVP after scoring a hat trick in Game 2 and another goal in Game 1.
The clubs were knotted 2-2 in the third period, and the Rams would go ahead with a goal from Colin Chapman with just 6:06 remaining in regulation. Just two seconds after calling a timeout with 1:32 remaining, Berard would put away his second goal off the faceoff to force the extra period.
“It’s not great spot to be in. We were in a faceoff play there that hasn’t really worked all year but it worked to perfection there. It was a great time for it to work and we had some momentum after that,” said Hendricken coach Jim Creamer of the sequence, who was also proud of both Berard as well as senior Matt Dumond for their performances in the series. “Brady’s a special kid, he’s got a unique ability to score goals. He competes hard every shift. You have him playing with a senior in Matthew Dumond. He also had an outstanding weekend, I think either of those boys could have been MVP tonight. He’s also a great kid that works hard.”
Hendricken took a 5-3 win in Game 1 of the series on Friday night, however, the momentum was short-lived as the Rams got a goal from Mason Daignault midway through the first period to take the lead. Jack Dean would even things at 1-1 just 1:14 later for Hendricken.
Berard gave the Hawks their first lead with a breakaway goal less than a minute into the second period, but Zenas Kennedy would add a power-play goal less two minutes later to tie the score again.
Hendricken goalie Patrick Gribbin finished the day with 18 saves for the Hawks.
The Hawks would jump out to an early 3-0 lead in Game 1, getting first-period goals from Dumond, Berard and Jon Barker. Drew Haxton and Nate Palumbo would add two more goals in the second period, setting the Hawks up well heading to the third period, where they would hold off a late Rams push to secure the 5-3 win.
“This is a new group of kids, last year had nothing to do with this. We have a great group of seniors and a great group of kids all around. They work exceptionally hard and they earned what they got,” said Creamer, who was excited to see his senior class end its career on a high note. “They were great, you win with seniors. In my 25 years I have always felt that and we had a great senior class this year. We had 10 seniors and every one of them contributed … they’re very mature, and for the vast majority of them this will be their last competitive hockey game so we got a little more out of them … it was great to see them have success tonight.”