With a thrilling 5-3 victory over Shattuck-St. Mary’s, the St. Andrew’s College Saints won the MacPherson Hockey Tournament title for the first time since 2014.
Teams in attendance this year included Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Minnesota), Edge School (Alberta), Northwood School (New York), Boston Advantage (Massachusetts), Shawnigan Lake School (British Columbia), Salisbury School (Connecticut), and Jungadler Mannheim (Germany).
The Saints got things started with a tight 2-1 win over Shawnigan. Both teams exchanged goals in the second period, and in the third Christian Macdougall broke the tie with a goal on the power play that held up as the game-winner. Lassi Lehti got the win in net for the Saints, making 17 saves on 18 shots.
Following the morning games, players from all eight teams, their coaches, and any family that made the trip to St. Andrew’s College gathered for the traditional luncheon. This year’s guest speaker was Colin Patterson, an 11-year NHL veteran and Stanley Cup champion with the 1989 Calgary Flames.
After a good meal and some rest, the La Brier Family Arena began to fill for the Friday night game. The entire school community turned the arena into a sea of red and white in time for the opening ceremonies featuring a performance by the St. Andrew’s College Pipes & Drums.
The Friday night game would prove to be a tough test for the Saints against a bigger, more physical Salisbury School team. The Saints fed off the energy from the crowd early on as Xavier Henry scored just over a minute in. After two periods, the Saints led 3-0, but Salisbury came out firing in the third. Salisbury scored twice just two minutes into the frame to cut the lead to 3-2. That is the closest they would get, however, as the Saints would add two more and Dante Fernandes shut the door to send the fans home happy with a 5-2 win.
On Saturday, the Saints started things off against Boston Advantage. Both teams couldn’t find the back of the net in regulation, so overtime was needed with the score knotted at zero. Just 54 seconds into the extra frame, Macdougall potted the game-winner giving SAC the 1-0 victory and Lehti the 17-save shutout.
The Saints matched up with Jungadler Mannheim for Saturday evening’s game. Both teams were well-acquainted as they played against each other earlier that week. The scoring was early and often with three goals in the first three minutes and tied 2-2 after the first. The goals kept coming in the second, and the Saints would take a 4-3 lead into the third. Macdougall scored early in the period to put SAC up 5-3. That would be the eventual game-winner but Jungadler added one late to make things interesting. The final score was 5-4 and Fernandes got the win in net punching the Saints’ ticket to the finals.
Sunday’s championship game was a heavyweight battle between the top-ranked teams in the U.S. and Canada. Both Shattuck-St. Mary’s and St. Andrew’s entered the game undefeated, but something had to give. The Saints’ usual suspects of Henry and Macdougall scored in the first, giving SAC a 2-1 lead. Both teams traded goals in the second, and in the third Shattuck was able to tie the game 3-3 with four minutes to go in the period. It looked as if the game may need overtime, but with just 58 seconds left, Devlin O’Brien scored a beautiful goal to put the Saints up 4-3. Matthew Steinburg would add an empty-net goal to seal the deal for the Saints, as they won their tenth MacPherson Tournament in school history.
St. Andrew’s players selected to the tournament All-Star team included G Dante Fernandes and F Christian MacDougall (tied for top scorer). D Jack Agnew deserved the Robin Fraser Award for gentlemanly and outstanding play, and D Xavier Henry won the J.P. McClocklin Award as tournament MVP.
Story by Sean Maillet