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Deerfield Academy edges NMH, 3-2, in prep hockey

  • Deerfield Academy players pile on Alex Robert, who scored the team’s first goal in its brand-new rink Wednesday evening, while DA students rejoice. Joining Robert are Eamon Doheny, Kyle Jarosz and Sasha Shogren. The Big Green overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat NMH, 3-2. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Deerfield Academy forward Alex Robert (14) takes a breakaway shot under pressure from NMH defenders Michael Kennedy (3) and Joseph Dee (2) in the second period of the Big Green’s 3-2 win Wednesday in Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Deerfield Academy forward Alex Robert (14) shoots past NMH defender Chris Throndson (21) for a goal in the second period Wednesday in Deerfield, Dec. 5, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Northfield Mount Hermon forward Theo Hembre, center, scores his team’s second goal of the first period, sliding a shot past Deerfield Academy goalkeeper Thomas Gale, Wednesday in Deerfield. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • NMH forward Ean Small (23) fires a shot against Deerfield Academy in the first period Wednesday in Deerfield, Dec. 5, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • NMH goalkeeper Connor Hasley eyes the puck for a save in the second period of his team’s 3-2 loss to Deerfield Academy Wednesday at the Class of 1993 Rink. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Deerfield Academy forward Matt Miron (19) attempts to get a shot past NMH goalkeeper Connor Hasley (1) in the second period Wednesday in Deerfield, Dec. 5, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Deerfield Academy goalkeeper Thomas Gale (33) deflects a shot from NMH in the first period Wednesday in Deerfield, Dec. 5, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • Deerfield Academy forward Tomas Zourikian (27) breaks away up the ice in the second period against NMH Wednesday in Deerfield, Dec. 5, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little

  • NMH players celebrate a goal by Reese Farrell (43) against Deerfield Academy in the first period Wednesday in Deerfield, Dec. 5, 2018. Staff Photo/Dan Little



Staff Writer
Thursday, December 06, 2018

DEERFIELD — Talk about a proper way to christen a brand-new barn.

Senior Sasha Shogren snuck a shot through the pads of Northfield Mount Hermon School goalkeeper Connor Hasley with exactly two minutes remaining in regulation, and Deerfield Academy sent the home faithful into a frenzy Wednesday evening. The Big Green made their first-ever varsity hockey game in the new state of the art David H. Koch Field House a memorable one, dispatching the Hoggers, 3-2, in a wild prep school contest at the Class of 1993 Rink.

“It’s awesome,” said Deerfield third-year head coach Tim McVaugh of the victory. “The guys worked hard from the first whistle to the last whistle. They never gave up.”

After quite a run in the school’s old arena, affectionately known as ‘The Barn,’ Deerfield began its tenure in its new home with a bang.

“There’s so much history in our old rink, to get off on the right foot with the new one … that’s huge,” McVaugh said.

Late in the third period, Deerfield’s quest for a win in the debut of its new rink looked bleak. With the score tied 2-2, the Big Green were whistled for two penalties in a span of 53 seconds to give NMH (2-1) a 5-on-3 power play with 4:16 remaining.

Deerfield (2-0) rose to the occasion, however. Bolstered by energy from junior forward Alton Machen on the penalty kill, the Big Green had players blocking shots all over the defensive zone en route to successfully killing both penalties.

“Just stay the course,” said McVaugh of the message on the 5-on-3 penalty kill. “We worked on that a lot this week, this situation. Don’t panic. Trust yourselves and make the plays.”

Just 16 seconds after the penalties expired, Deerfield struck for the game-winner. On an odd-man rush, Shogren somehow snuck a wrist shot through Hasley, shifting the tide from despair to jubilation in a matter of moments.

“I kind of got the sense midway through that it was going to come down to a bounce one way or the other,” McVaugh said. “We’ll take the lucky bounce there. It was just a toe-drag from Sasha that he put on net and good things happened for us.”

Despite leading for just two minutes the entire game, Deerfield did enough to stay unbeaten through two games on the young season.

It didn’t look promising early. The Hoggers jumped out to a 1-0 lead with 4:52 remaining in the first period, when junior Reese Farrell finished off a sweet individual effort with a backhanded goal from point-blank range.

Just 22 seconds later, NMH doubled its advantage. Like it did last year in what turned out to be a 4-1 victory over Deerfield, the Hoggers took a 2-0 advantage on a goal from Theo Hembre. Jack Quinn’s lead pass sprung Hembre, and the senior roofed a breakaway shot just under the crossbar past Deerfield senior goalkeeper Thomas Gale with 4:30 left in the opening stanza.

“They outplayed us in stretches, especially early on,” McVaugh said. “They’ve gotten the better of us the last couple of years so the guys wanted to come out and change the script.”

Deerfield chipped away in the second, as Alex Robert scored the program’s first goal in its new building just 1:18 into the frame. His well-placed wrist shot from the slot cut the deficit to 2-1, and gave the Big Green a noticeable bounce in their step.

The hosts struck early in the third period to pull even and set up the frantic final few minutes. Matt Miron potted the equalizer, just 2:36 into the third, when he stayed in stride while receiving a lead pass from Connor Guest. The Quebec native went five-hole for the finish, erasing Deerfield’s two-goal deficit.

“It’s an older group,” McVaugh said of his 10-member senior class. “A lot of these guys have gone through this before and been in these spots. They just kept plugging.”

Deerfield killed off four penalties in the third period alone, riding a big effort from Gale in net to give themselves a chance to eek out the victory. After going just 1-11 in one-goal games last winter, the Big Green matched that situational win total just two games into the 2018-19 campaign.

“Prep school hockey is so competitive that the small things really matter,” McVaugh said.

Deerfield looks to make it three straight to open the season on Saturday when it heads back on the road to play Rosemary Choate Hall at 6 p.m. in Wallingford, Conn. The Hoggers head home to Gill to play Quebec’s Académie Saint-Louis at noon.