NHIAA Boys' Hockey: Sullivan lifts Memorial past Central
MANCHESTER - Brendan Sullivan knows his role, and he performs it well.
"Just get the rebounds," Sullivan said. "Ethan (Pollock) and (Jacob) Boylan do a lot of the work."
The junior forward scored all four of his team's goal, including a natural hat trick in the first period, and the Manchester Memorial hockey team held on for a 4-2 win over city rival Central in Division I action in front of a lively crowd at JFK Coliseum on Thursday.
Central coach Brian Stone, who was an assistant for the Crusaders last year, joked that he taught Sullivan everything he knows about scoring. It seems he taught him too well.
Sullivan scored his first two goals 13 seconds apart at 3:09 and 3:22 of the first period, and then got his hat trick with 5:46 left to make it 3-0.
His fourth was an empty netter with 37 seconds remaining to round out the scoring.
"He's not afraid to get the puck to the net," Memorial coach Mark Putney said about Sullivan. "He shoots the puck, he looks for good opportunities and he causes a lot of commotion. That can score some goals."
It was the first loss of the year for the Little Green, now 5-1. The Crusaders improved to 6-1.
The first two goals for Sullivan were rebounds. The third was different and required a little luck.
He got the puck in the left slot and took a low shot that hit the leg of a Central player. The puck fluttered over the shoulder of Central goalie Ian Beliveau (32 saves) and the goal made it 3-0.
Beliveau was solid in net after that and the Little Green fought back hard.
Noah Duplessis stopped the bleeding when he scored on a wrist shot from the high slot with 4:58 remaining in the second, and then Central finished the game with a flurry of offense.
The Little Green got a two-man advantage for 1:11 with 3:27 left to play and quickly made it a one-goal game.
Tim Tetrault scored on a nice wraparound move 22 seconds into the two-man advantage and the lead was just 3-2 with the Little Green still on the power play.
They got a couple more chances after that, and hit the post or crossbar on three separate occasions during the game, but couldn't pull even.
Sullivan finished the game off with his empty netter, which came on a shot from about center ice.
"The first five minutes hurt us," Stone said. "I was happy with our progression after that."
Central had the best of the scoring chances after the Crusaders went up 3-0. Austin Sprague hit the crossbar with 1:38 left in the first, Cole Anderson hit a post with 7:28 left in the second and then Sprague hit the post with 11:37 remaining in the game.
One of the best chances for the Little Green came with 9:25 left. Sprague carried the puck on the right side of the net and sent a pass to Tetrault in the high slot. Tetrault got a shot on net, but Memorial goalie Joshua Jacob (25 saves) made a great save with his right pad.
"We had some good chances, good shots, good looks," Stone said. "We just couldn't find the net."