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Scituate’s Jamie Murray backstops Babson hockey to a 3-0 start

Jamie Murray of Scituate.

Jamie Murray of Scituate.

Scituate High graduate finds ice team he sought at Babson

Jamie Murray (inset) was a three-time MVP of the varsity hockey team at Scituate High, backstopping the Sailors to back-to-back EMass Division 3 titles.

But in two seasons in the Eastern Junior Hockey League, first with the Bay State Breakers and then South Shore Kings, he rarely saw any time in net.

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“Most kids go from high school to college, but I took a chance and followed my dream,” said Murray.

“I think I deserved to get more games. It became pretty stressful for a while, and I wasn’t sure if I’d have the opportunity to play at the next level although I knew I was capable.”

Babson College’s Jamie Rice gave him that opportunity, and Murray certainly has not disappointed.

As a freshman a year ago, he cracked the starting lineup for a portion of the season, compiling an 8-4-1 record with a 2.24 goals-against average. The 6-foot-3, 160-pound Murray was named to the ECAC East All-Rookie team.

This season, he won his first three starts, including his third career shutout, a 3-0 win over New England College.

“In the two years prior to Babson, Jamie didn’t play a lot of hockey,” said Rice.

“He was on two teams that for some reason thought they had somebody better. I think the challenges he faced in the EJHL probably prepared him for last year, in that he knew there was a goalie who was a senior captain in Zeke Testa.”

The Beavers rode the hot glove of Testa into the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division 3 tourney. Now, after three years as a part-time goalie, the 22-year-old Murray figures to be a workhorse between the pipes this season for the Beavers (3-0), who are ranked 11th in the country in the USCHO.com national poll.

In three games, he has registered a .971 save percentage with a tidy 0.67 goals-against average. He was named ECAC East Goalie of the Week after making 25 saves in a 2-1 win over Curry in the season opener, including a game-changing save on a 2-on-1 breakaway in the third period that Rice described as an “unbelievable pull-the-coach-off-the-bench kind of save.”

Murray gives much of the credit to a veteran group on defense, including team captain Matt Furey of Quincy and junior blue-liner Joe DiPietro of Pembroke.

“We take a lot of pride in being a strong defensive team,” said Murray. “My defense makes it easy for me to do my job. Matt is a captain for a reason; he’s a great leader on and off the ice, and having him out there gives me a good sense of security.”

Off the ice, Murray invests a great deal of time following the well-being of Cole Pasqualucci, a 16-year-old neighbor from Scituate who has focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a rare kidney disease. He knows that the challenges that he experiences in hockey pale in comparison to the struggles his friend faces on a daily basis.

Four years ago, Murray founded the Cure for Cole Wiffle Ball Tournament, which raises several thousand dollars each year for the Pasqualucci family and for medical research. In August, the tourney drew 44 teams for the one-day event in Scituate. This year Murray also helped to create an outdoor hockey tournament for the One Fund, which helps victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

“After my senior year in high school, I didn’t have any summer work and I always wanted to have a Wiffle ball tournament and do something for Cole because he’s such a great kid,” said Murray.

Babson has a large contingent of players whose roots go back to playing youth hockey in communities south of Boston.

Furey (six goals, 29 assists in his career), a 2009 graduate of North Quincy High who played a year at the Dexter School, had his first assist of the season in Babson’s 3-0 win over NEC. “His greatest trait is that he really loves to play,” said Rice. “He fills a lot of roles for us.”

Senior forward Nik Tasiopoulos of Norwell, a transfer from Wesleyan, has two goals and two assists. “Nick is off to a great start,” said Rice of Tasiopoulos, who recorded 31 goals with 26 assists in 50 games at Wesleyan.

Also contributing to the Babson attack: Mike Driscoll, a junior forward from Milton, Matt O’Neill, a senior forward from Norwell, and Jared Wiedemann, a sophomore defender from Pembroke.

Close game for Whithams

Sisters Sarah and Randi Whitham of Weymouth were members of the women’s volleyball team at Trinity College that narrowly missed upsetting Bowdoin in the quarterfinals of the New England Small College Athletic Conference tournament.

Sarah was a senior tricaptain for the Bantams, while Randi, a freshman setter, recorded 368 assists, second on the squad. Both graduated from Notre Dame Academy in Hingham.

John R. Johnson can be reached at jjohnson49@comcast.net.
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