Brookline, Mass. – The matchup between the fourth and fifth teams in the Elite Eight was hosted by Dexter School on Wednesday afternoon. Dexter came away with a thorough 4-1 victory and will move on to play Salisbury School on Saturday in the Elite Eight semifinals.
Dexter got on the board first half-way through the first period when Jack Nisbet (Scituate, MA/Babson College) picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone and cut down the right side of the ice. He lowered his shoulder and beat the defender wide and tucked the puck past Eric Voloshin (Bedford, NH). The first period ended 1-0 in favor of Dexter.
Dexter doubled its lead six minutes into the second frame after some sustained pressure. Ian Murphy (Scituate, MA) took a 100-foot seam pass from Jack Rathbone (West Roxbury, MA/Harvard University, Vancouver Canucks) and finished the play. Rathbone threaded the puck from the tops of the circles in his defensive zone to a streaking Murphy just inside the opposite blue-line. Murphy walked in alone and buried the puck to give the home team a 2-0 advantage. Dexter scored again before the end of the period as Ben Raymond (Newton, MA) banged in a long rebound off a broken play.
Milton started the third with urgency and was finally able to get on the board on the power play. Quinton Fox (Fonthill, ON) scored from the slot after a nice feed from Emmet Powell (Marcellus, NY). Dexter, however, was able to put the nail in the coffin about four minutes later when Nisbet again came down the right side of the ice on a 2-1. He faked the pass the ripped the puck under the bar which stretched Dexter’s lead to 4-1.
Milton had many chances throughout the game and controlled some stretches of play. But they were denied by the stellar play of Derek Mullahy (Scituate, MA/Harvard University). He stood on his head for portions of the game and made some big stops in key moments. For the Mustangs, Velan Nandhakumaran (Mississauga, ON/Colby College) was a steady presence on the back-end. He is a smaller defender but moves well and doesn’t hesitate to carry the puck through the neutral zone. Tiger Zhang (Markham, ON) had some good chances for the visitors and while he isn’t a dynamic presence, he was positionally sound and worked hard. Finally, Voloshin was strong in net. Dexter was the better team and had long periods of sustained pressure. He gave his team a chance to win into the third period.
For the home team, John Farinacci (Chatham, NJ/Harvard) was the best player on the ice. He tallied one assist but was all over the sheet. He consistently beat defenders in one-on-one situations and was always a threat to score. On the back-end Rathbone controls the show. He does whatever he wants to on the ice and creates offense out of nothing. He is also difficult to get by in his own zone and routinely turns defense into offense. Mullahy made several key saves, many in big spots, to give his team a boost. He looks big in the net and doesn’t give up many second chances. Dexter looked like a complete team today and will be a tough out on the road in Connecticut.
Three Stars of the Game:
First Star: Jack Nisbet, Dexter (2-0-2)
Second Star: Derek Mullahy, Dexter (W, 31 Saves)
Third Star: John Farinacci (0-1-1)