SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

January 15, 2013

St. John's Prep hockey flexes its muscles, blanks Tanners

PEABODY — Rest assured that the Peabody High hockey team will not see another player as talented as St. John’s Prep captain Brian Pinho this season.

The Providence College-bound senior center had a pair of goals and two assists to power the Eagles to a 9-0 victory over Peabody yesterday afternoon at the McVann-O’Keefe Rink.

The non-league contest counted in the standings for St. John’s Prep, but was an exclusionary game for Peabody (i.e., not counting toward its overall record). It was the second year in a row that the two schools have met on the ice.

The Tanners (2-4-2) were unable to score, but had some good chances and worked hard all the way, according to head coach Mark Leonard. He started sophomore Stephen Ferrante in goal and brought freshman Freddy Robitaille in for the final period.

“It was a good game, and our guys showed a lot of character,” Leonard said. “We made them work for their goals, and I thought both goalies did a great job. This was a good experience for them because they’re so young. We used everybody, and I was very pleased with the effort.

“I think we were standing around a bit in the first period watching too much, but we picked it up in the middle period. If we play like we did (yesterday), we’ll do OK against the teams in our league.”

A year ago, the Eagles shot out to a commanding 6-0 lead in the first period, but this time had to settle for a 3-0 cushion after one. Ferrante faced 21 shots in that 15-minute stretch and made some terrific saves.

Senior center Derek Osbahr put St. John’s on the board early before Pinho struck twice in 24 seconds midway through the period.

“Brian is a great player with fantastic vision on the ice,” said St. John’s Prep coach Kristian Hanson. “He can score or pass and is the best player in the state, in my opinion. He was the difference-maker early on.

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