Ferguson backstops Isles to Dineen Cup berth
By Jim den Hollander
The Islanders Hockey Club was tough to beat during the regular season. So far, it has been impossible to beat in the United States Premier Hockey League’s NCDC Division playoffs.
Saturday, the Islanders pushed its playoff record to 4-0 and wrapped up its second playoff sweep and a berth in the Dineen Cup Championship series with a 2-1 win against the Connecticut Junior Rangers at Lawler Arena at North Andover, MA on Saturday (March 24).
Hayden Taylor from Detroit, MI sank the game winner for the Islanders with 3:02 to play in the second period. At the time, the goal, his second of the post season, gave the Isles a 2-0 cushion after a first period goal scored by Jack Moran from North Reading, MA, a commit to the University of Maine.
Mark Gallant from Concord, MA, a Colgate University commit; Hunter McCoy from Newburyport, VA; Sam Nestor from Burlington, VT and Jeremie Lavallee from Montreal, QC each picked up an assist on the Islander goals.
The Rangers made things interesting as Alex Sheehy from North Salem, NY finally found a way past Justin Ferguson from Hudson, NH in the eighth minute of the third period with the only goal that would get by goaltender who has committed to attend Dartmouth College in the fall.
That was the only goal that would elude the keeper as Ferguson finished the semi-final series with 40 saves on 41 shots.
Troy Kolbryn turned in a valiant effort in goal as well for the Rangers, turning aside 74 of 79 shots he faced. Ultimately, that wasn’t enough though as the Jr. Rangers, who upset the South Shore Kings in the opening round were pushed to the sidelines.
The Islanders meanwhile will prepare to face either Boston Jr. Bruins or Jersey Hitmen who were heading to a third and deciding game in their series on Sunday.
That series will likely begin Friday night at Lawler Arena.