Latin Academy made it five city titles in a row, defeating East Boston, 6-1, in the City League hockey championship yesterday at Northeastern’s Matthews Arena.
The game also marked the fifth consecutive year Latin Academy and East Boston squared off in the title game.
At 5-11-1, the Dragons had an up and down season, making the City title even more meaningful.
“It is nice,’’ said coach Bob McCormick. “The guys think about this game in particular throughout the whole season. It’s nice to play a team that played us really well at Fenway, so we expected a tough game.’’
The Jets were only able to dress eight skaters, making fatigue a factor in their performance. However, East Boston (4-15) came out strong, putting early pressure on Dragon goaltender Shane Finn. But sharp saves from the junior kept the Jets from lighting the lamp.
“We played dump and chase to keep the puck moving, keep the puck down in their zone,’’ said McCormick. “You have a short bench over there, but I’ll say this much, East Boston played with a lot of heart. So hats off to them.’’
Junior Daniel Moran opened the scoring for the Dragons, snapping a wrist shot past East Boston netminder Sean O’Halloran at 3:08 in the first period. Latin Academy scored just 32 seconds later when Mark Guerard took a nifty pass from Daniel O’Connell and slipped the puck to the back of the net.
Nicholas Mastrogiacomo made it 3-0 with an unassisted goal at 8:51. He gained possession in the neutral zone, then dumped the puck into the offensive end. He chased down followed his dump and wristed a shot from the left corner that soared past O’Halloran into the upper right corner of the net. The Dragons led, 3-0, at the first intermission.
Latin Academy scored its fourth goal at 2:59 of the second period when Paul O’Keefe bounced the puck in. Kevin Sweeney roofed a wrist shot 1:30 after O’Keefe’s goal, giving Latin Academy a 5-0 lead.
Frustration began to show for East Boston midway through the second period, as the game got chippy.
“It was emotions,’’ McCormick said. “You have a state championship on the line, you have seniors our there. For some of them, this is the last time they are going to lace them up. It’s nice to see kids playing with emotions.’’
The Jets took three quick penalties, giving Latin Academy a two-man advantage.
Despite the shorthanded situation, East Boston’s Patrick Sullivan took his frustration out in the form of speed, skating end to end with the puck, dekeing a defender and netting the Jets’ goal with a wrist shot Finn had no chance of saving.
Strong defense from O’Halloran and his East Boston teammates kept the Dragons off the board for most of the first 10 minutes of the third period, but it wasn’t enough as Moran netted his second goal, at 9:51, for the final score.