The NSHL kicked off
2013 with a bang last weekend as the first game of the New Year saw the New
England Stars earn a dramatic come from behind shoot-out win over the Mariners.
On Sunday, the Cape Cod Islanders defeated the Stars 3-0 on the road.
As the NSHL schedule enters the second half of the season,
the Junior Mariners, New England Stars, and Cape Cod Islanders all entered this
weekend vying for much needed points as they begin their perspective playoff
Sitting in the fourth spot at 10-11-1, the Mariners looked
to defend home ice at the Salem Ice Center on Saturday when the New England
Stars came to town. The Mariners jumped out to an early lead in front of their
home fans when leading scorer Andrew Mathieu pounced on an opportunity that was
set up by line-mates Tyler Boudrow and Colin Walsh. The hometown Mariners were
not satisfied with the one-goal lead however, and Morin doubled the home side's
lead with a tally just :30 later.
The Stars were able to weather the early onslaught of the
Mariners, and Joe Sartorelli restored order for the visitors by scoring at the
5:42 mark of the first. The two teams went into the break and came out for the
second looking for a pivotal goal that could change the course of the game.
Both Matt White and Sean Simas were able to keep their opponents at bay, and
the two teams went into the locker room at 2-1 after a scoreless second.
The Stars took the ice in the third period with an extra
spring in their step, and forward Steve Upton brought the visitors level when
he capitalized on a beautiful combination from Sheehan and Mulligan. The
hometown Mariners were determined to quickly turn the momentum that New England
had gained, and the power-play unit of the Mariners restored their lead when
Mathieu buried another beautiful setup from Boudrow, who took a pass from
Facing a 3-2 deficit late in the third, New England began
taking chances on the forecheck and the added pressure proved successful when
Garrett Martel injected a huge surge of energy into the visitors by converting
on a chance set up by Upton and Mulligan with 2:48 left on the clock.
The two teams ended regulation without finding a late
game-winner, and after a scoreless overtime went into the shootout looking for
the extra point in the standings. With the score in the shootout tied in the
final round, defenseman Jake Sartorelli, brother of Joe, put the visiting Stars
into the win column with a nifty deke.
After their emotional shootout win on Saturday, New England
returned home on Sunday to host the Cape Cod Islanders. Coming into Sunday's
game having taken points from their last four contests, the streaking Islanders
looked to take advantage of New England's tired legs and found their edge on
special teams. After a scoreless first, defenseman Justin Demone put the
visitors in front with a long-range blast that was set up by Caleb Ganelli. The
Islanders carried the one-goal lead into the third and reigning NSHL Offensive
Player of the Week, Colton Hart, doubled the Cape Cod lead on a beautiful
individual effort on the power-play. Trailing by two and on the power-play late
in the third, the Stars sent all five players to crash the net, leaving
themselves vulnerable. Colton Hart sent Viktor Kanerva on the break who
converted the short-handed chance to seal the victory and two much needed
points on the road.