NORTH ANDOVER - Hingham sophomore Sam D’Antuono scored the first three Super 8 goals of his young career Tuesday night - including the winner in overtime - providing all of the offense in a 3-2 win over St. John’s of Shrewsbury.
“He’s had a great year for us,’’ coach Tony Messina said. “That whole line has had a very good year. He has a good knack for the net, so it was great to see him get three in that game.’’
After giving Hingham a 2-1 lead at 10:30 of the third period - only to have the Pioneers’ Jay Duquette hammer a loose puck past Harbormen netminder John Grenier 29 seconds later - D’Antuono put the finishing touch on a pass from Matt Brazel just 1:19 into overtime.
“Defenseman threw it down in the corner, Braz picked it up, made a nice backhand pass, and I was wide open in front,’’ D’Antuono said. “Just one-timed it five-hole.’’
The Harbormen (17-5-2) dominated in the faceoff circle, particularly in the Pioneers’ zone, which led to a 30-13 shot advantage and no shortage of quality chances. Mario Pizzeri was stellar in net for St. John’s (15-6-3) with 27 saves.
“We worked on faceoffs the last couple of days because we felt like we lost too many in the game on Sunday [a 4-2 loss to BC High],’’ said Messina after his squad improved to 1-1 in Group 1 play. “What we say to the guys is that if you can win a faceoff in their zone you have an extra 30 or 40 seconds of offense . . . the offensive zone faceoffs are big.’’
D’Antuono broke a scoreless tie with a power-play goal early in the second period. With time winding down on Hunter Burdick’s elbowing minor and the Harbormen yet to test Pizzeri on the man advantage, D’Antuono picked up a loose puck near the bottom of the right circle and fired it past Pizzeri on the far side at 3:54.
Connor Bertram pulled the Pioneers even just over four minutes later. Chris Adams carried the puck over the Hingham blue line on a two-on-one break and dished it to Bertram. Hingham netminder John Grenier came shooting out of his crease to challenge but Bertram made a quick move to his backhand and slid the puck into an empty net to tie it.
“It’s tough when somebody has to lose in one of these tournaments but that’s the nature of the beast,’’ said Pioneers coach Brian Murphy, his team now 0-2 in Group 1. “I don’t think we controlled as much as we should have but give them credit. They’re big and strong, they move it out pretty quickly and they come at you hard.’’
Hingham learned the hard way Sunday that taking too many penalties can be a team’s undoing in the Super 8 tournament, and it entered the second round determined to stay out of the penalty box.
After giving up three power-play goals on 10 penalties against BC High, the Harbormen were only shorthanded once against St. John’s, allowing no shots on a slashing minor to Nolan Driscoll in the first period.
“We knew it was a discipline issue we needed to correct,’’ Messina said. “But the guys know, I mean that’s how they play right there, a good hard game, only a few penalties.’’