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Jake Davies shines in net, Arlington tops BC High in hockey clash



ARLINGTON — In the holiday season of giving, Arlington boys hockey head coach John Messuri jokes he might not be getting much of a pleasant surprise from a fellow coach after Friday night.

With an offensive explosion in the third period to break free from a gritty tied score, as well as a valiant effort in net from Jake Davies, the unbeaten No. 2 Spy Ponders (4-0) skated to a 5-1 nonleague win over No. 3 BC High (1-1-1) at Ed Burns Arena.

All four of the goals Arlington scored in the decisive third frame came from different players, started by Stephanos Sotiropoulos to break the 1-1 tie the period started with. The second came from Killian Wright, who paired with Jake Russell to lead the team in points with a goal and assist each.

Messuri downplayed the significance of the win over a fellow power in the grand scheme at this stage, but acknowledged the wherewithal to get the job done. Especially from Davies.

“A win like this over coach (John) Flaherty means I’ll probably get a crappy Secret Santa gift from him, that’s about all it means at this time of the year,” he said. “The third period, the puck went in for us. I still thought it was an even game. I don’t think the score is indicative of the whole game. … (Davies) was the difference.”

Much of the matchup was a tight-knit affair, as both groups excelled on the defensive end to break up opportunities around the crease and defused everything dangerous in transition. Russell’s opening goal in the first period looked like it could be the only score of the game, especially when Davies picked up seven of his 24 saves within the Eagles’ first power play early in the second period.

Even with 13 total saves against BC High’s four power plays, Davies couldn’t stop all of its pressure as Pete Luecke buried the neutralizer with 6:51 to go in the second frame. Eagles goalie Christian Gonsalves (24 saves) withstood a few clean shots of his own to keep it tied. BC High kept a lot of pressure on Davies to bang on the door of potentially stealing the lead throughout the rest of the frame, but the senior held true.

“If it wasn’t for Davies, we would’ve been down a touchdown,” Messuri said. “The fact that we weathered that second period was a miracle.”

It didn’t take too long for Arlington to break free in the third, though. Sotiropoulos followed his own rebound less than three minutes in to break the tie. Five minutes later, an excellent pass from Ryan Gilbert gave Wright an open lane down the right side, and he put a move on Gonsalves to double the lead. Liam Gore extended the advantage to 4-1 less than two minutes later, and Evan Jones put the nail in the coffin shortly after on a 5-on-3 power play.

“I was just happy to help my team get a win any way I can,” Davies said. “It’s huge, that was a really big task for us. High school hockey, it’s 20 games in the season. Every game matters. That was a big win against a big team. Feels good.”

 



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