Masuk Boys Hockey becomes SWC Champions

On Friday, March 3, Masuk Boys Hockey faced Joel Barlow in the SWC championship game. With a score of 3-0, Masuk became SWC champions for the first time in eight years and second time in program history. 

Throughout the season, Masuk has been the team to beat, but Barlow came out ready for a fight. The matchup between the Panthers and Falcons proved fair, with both teams challenging one another to find the net. While there were numerous shots by Barlow and Masuk, neither team could put a score on the board. With impressive saves from the Panther’s freshman goalie Maddox LaFontaine, as well as the Barlow goalie, the period ended in a scoreless 0-0.

Coach Andrew Townsend commented on LaFontaine’s performance saying, “He played great, when he was called upon, he made nice saves and did a great job.”

In the second period, the score remained 0-0, with both teams still struggling to find twine. With four minutes left in the period, senior captain Drew Scalia was sent to the box. Hoping to score against man-down Masuk, Barlow attempted to put the puck in the net but was no match for LaFontaine who had a crucial save. 

Captain Drew Scalia going after the puck.

Senior Colin Deering with 2:56 left in the period, joined Scalia in the box. Even then, the score of the second ended in 0-0.

The beginning of the third, similar to the last two periods, was scoreless. However, Masuk Panther Scalia changed the scoreless narrative of the game, putting Masuk on the board with 5:47 left in the third. 

Before the game, junior Christian Palmieri commented on Barlow’s strengths: “Last time we played them, they played our system really well and we had a lot of trouble breaking the puck out but since then we’ve gotten a lot better at that.”  

Palmieri’s words proved to be true, with Masuk being the first to score, overcoming the Barlow defense. Townsend commented after the game, “They [Barlow] do a nice job slowing us down, but I thought we did a good job overcoming that today and we ended up getting more chances than they got.” 

The team skating away to celebrate the goal.

Only 45 seconds after the celebration of their first goal, junior Nick Kondub, scored Masuk’s second of the night. The scoreless cycle was broken, and Kondub ended the perfect night for the Panthers, scoring yet again at the buzzer. 

With the final score of 3-0, the Panthers and coach Townsend took home the title of SWC champions. Captain Scalia took home an additional win, receiving MVP of the game. 

“It was definitely a good challenge that Barlow gave us, they’re a good team,” Townsend said. “We’re lucky to come out on top today.” 

Masuk will face their first round of states against Southington on Monday, March 6th.

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