By Adam Hurwitz
On Thursday, the Newton South Boys’ hockey team fell 2-0 to Lowell in the first round of the MIAA state tournament, capping off a successful and emotional season on a sour note.
Scoring their first goal on a power play and the second on an empty net late in the game, Lowell executed well when given opportunities. The Lions, who were competitive all game, had a difficult time making the necessary plays to get on the scoreboard.
Though the Lions couldn’t outplay Lowell in the loss, senior captain Cole Bovarnick believes that given another opportunity to beat Lowell in a series format, they would have been more successful.
“Unfortunately, with the way the playoffs are set up,” he said, “it’s a one game elimination bracket. That being said, if we played Lowell in a best of three, five, or seven series, I think we would have come out on top.”
The team played hard throughout the game, as they were devoted to winning in the single elimination format, but couldn’t as well as they hoped to offensively.
“We had a lot of offensive zone time, but unfortunately that didn’t translate into scoring,” Bovarnick said.
Additionally, the Lions committed many costly penalties, eventually leading to allowing a power play goal by Lowell, and the need to pull their goalie in the last few minutes of the game. Without those penalties throughout the game, the Lions would’ve had a very good chance to win the game.
This season as a whole was a successful one, though the team didn’t go as far into the playoffs as they hoped to. For the senior class, they became the first class ever at South to reach the tournament all four years of playing, a feat that they were incredibly proud of.
This year’s senior class also ended a 17 year tournament drought when they came to South as freshmen, and capped off their high school careers with another tournament appearance.
“Overall we had a good family environment and supported everyone on the team,” Bovarnick said, “Whether it was a senior captain or a freshman… what made this season so fun [was] the way that we bonded together as teammates.”
There is a large amount of talent returning to the team next year. Junior Andrew Pratt (18 goals) and sophomore Johnny Baker (20 goals), both named to the All-Conference Team this year, will be coming back along with conference all star, sophomore Baxter Cardamore.
The Lions appear ready for another postseason bid, looking to make a tournament appearance for the fifth straight year.