By Jean DePlacido
---- — 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.
“I thought our kids played well. Sometimes when you come into a game knowing what you did before, you tend to think you’re in for an easy time. That didn’t happen, and we hit a lot of posts (eight for the game), with shots that were labeled for corners. I’m pleased because they did what we asked and stuck to the system. I thought the Peabody guys played well, too. They’re young, while we have a lot of seniors.”
Pinho set up fellow senior Nic Gianelli and junior wing James Currier in the middle period before Osbahr collected his second goal of the game (and the season) on a wicked shot into the far corner of the net that Ferrante had no chance to stop. Senior left wing Cam Shaheen added an unassisted goal.
St. John’s (6-2) used five lines and had a dozen players figure in the scoring. Backup goalies Doug Legere of Peabody and Anthony Selvitella of Topsfield split duties in net. The Eagles were coming off a big win over Catholic Memorial and have two more important games ahead at Xaverian tomorrow night and Austin Prep on Saturday.
Peabody’s leading scorer, Derek DeMild, was called for a major penalty for hitting from behind late in the period that carried over into the final frame, and the Eagles capitalized with power play goals by Bird and sophomore Ted McNamara. Unfortunately for the Tanners, the referee also gave DeMild a two-game suspension, which means he’ll be out for his team’s next two games against Marblehead and Lincoln-Sudbury.
“That was the big negative to come out of this game,” Leonard said. “It’s a tough break, but we’ll fight through it. We’ll find a way to manage without him even though it won’t be easy.”
St. John’s Prep 9, Peabody 0
at McVann-O’Keefe Rink, Peabody
St. John’s Prep: 3 5 1 — 9
Peabody: 0 0 0 — 0
First period: SJP, Derek Osbahr (Conor Murray), 2:42; SJP, Brian Pinho (Andrew Brandano, Nic Gianelli), 8:15; SJP, Pinho (Brandano), 8:39.
Second period: SJP, Gianelli (Pinho, Brandano), :41; SJP, James Currier (Tyler Bird, Pinho), 6:34; SJP, Osbahr (Nick Bragole), 7:53; SJP, Cam Shaheen (un), 8:31; SJP, Bird (un), ppg, 12:21.
Third period: SJP, Ted McNamara (Dylan Lemieux, Tyler Scearbo), ppg, :56.
Saves: SJP, Doug Legere 3; Anthony Selvitella 4; P, Stephen Ferrante 25; Freddy Robitaille 7.
Records: SJP 7-2; P, 2-4-2.