Gallagher (35 saves) was under fire throughout, but stood tall and did an excellent job of fighting through screens. The Big Blue defensive strategy appeared to be to pack it in close to the net and force Beverly to shoot from outside. For the most part the Panthers’ shots were low, but Gallagher was up to the task.
The Panthers didn’t need to ask Birarelli for much; they cleared the puck with great consistency and really played well in the neutral zone. Defensemen Nick Albano, Matt Hamor, Sean Munzing and Morency’s patience with the puck allowed the Panthers to gain the offensive zone with possession as opposed to dumping it in.
The defense had two of Beverly’s four goals on Saturday as Albano one-timed a cross-slot feed from Connor Irving on a second period power play to give Beverly a 3-1 lead. The younger Irving would then add his team’s final goal when he sniped a shot through Gallagher’s 5-hole late in the third.