Perhaps all-state runner Colin Tierney summed it up best in a single tweet, several hours prior to last night's face-off:
Hendricken vs. Mount St. Charles hockey tonight 5:30 at Thayer at. If you aren't coming to get rowdy, don't bother
— Colin Tierney (@ColinTierney4) February 19, 2014
Mount-Hendricken hockey games are always special, a fact that requires little explanation. Most all of the games between these two squads have been must-see TV (so-to-speak) over the past decade or so because each time they meet, it seems as if a share or control of first place in the state's top division is at stake, to say nothing of the all-important playoff positioning when March rolls around.
Two things held true last night. Coming into the game, the top spot in the Cimini division was at stake, and as far as 'must-see TV' is concerned, well, The Network now has that end of it covered. Cam Brennan and Stone Freeman provided their usual, stellar play-by-play and analysis from high above center ice. Mr. Jackson even messaged in that he was able to enjoy the game from Florida.
The entire third period is still available in the central UStream viewer at the top of the page, and the first and second periods, as well as the intermission, can be seen here:
Video streaming by Ustream
The Providence Journal's slideshow of the game can be seen HERE.
The 4-1 final does accurately indicate that the Hawks did - in a larger, general consideration of the contest - have more control of the game than did the Mount. The Mount, in fact, had a chance to do some serious damage early, as two Hawks penalties that each came within a two-minute span actually gave the bad guys a two-man advantage for 36 seconds. The Hawks managed to kill off most of it, but the Mounties did finally manage to slip the game-tying score past goalie Matt Kenneally with five seconds remaining on the power play.
It goes without saying, then, that the Mounties are an excellent hockey team, something of which Coach Creamer and his staff will undoubtedly continue to remind his players as the end of the regular season and the playoffs quickly approach. The Mount didn't come into the game sitting in first place for no reason, and much of the game last night was a battle of wills in the corners and along the boards for control of the puck. The Hawks only led 2-1 after two periods of play.
The Hawks drew first blood on Josh Olson's first goal of the night at 9:06 of the first period, which can be seen here...
...Jonathan Finelli gave the lead back to the Hawks early in the second period with this goal...(assisted by Olson):
...and then Jamie Armstrong and Josh Olson (second of the night) finished off the scoring in the third period with these -
So, our guys head into the final big matchups of the season - tomorrow night at Thayer against LaSalle, and then March 1st against the Mount again, also at Thayer - in prime position to take the top seed for the coming state playoffs. The Network will have live coverage of both games. Let's pack Thayer and help our guys across the first of the two big finish lines.