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Prep Hockey: Cushing-Watkins Tournament Recap

Cushing Academy took home the 2015 Watkins Tournament Championship after a convincing victories over Culver, Gunnery, NMH, and Lawrence.

Well, what a different two weeks makes. After being blanked 3-0 by Culver at the Groton-Lawrence Tournament, Cushing looked like a different team at the Watkins Tournament as they defeated Culver 4-1 for the championship. Here is a recap of the weekend's action.

Day 1

Cushing started off its run of four victories in a row with a 7-0 thumping of a hapless Northfield Mount Herman squad. David Cotton (BC recruit) had himself quite the game as he scored three goals and added an assist. Next, The Gunnery took on Lawrence Academy in a game that saw The Gunnery win 8-4. Lawrence Academy goalie Mike Robinson (UNH recruit) never stop seeing pucks fly towards him as he was on the wrong end of 60 shots. Cameron Donaldson scored three of his team's eight goals in the victory. In the best game of the day, Culver Academy, led by Karch Bachman's (Miami recruit) three goals, came back to upend Dexter in a game that the losers will have felt gravely disappointed to lose. Bachman won the game in overtime when he stole the puck from a Dexter defenseman in his own zone, raced up the ice, and deposited the short-handed goal in the top right corner.

During the night games, Cushing maintained its fine form and beat Lawrence Academy 5 to 0. Cushing's Jake Simons, an uncommitted senior who leads prep hockey with 31 points, had two assists to his name. After that, Thayer beat Canterbury 2-0 in what was a rather nondescript game. To end the night, The Gunnery got a good fight from Northfield Mount Hermon but held on to win 3-0.

Day 2

Culver got the second day started with a dominant 3-0 victory over Thayer. Tony Amonte's Tigers struggled to even get shots on the Culver tendy and were easily brushed aside. Next, Dexter took on Canterbury and thumped the Saints by a score of 7-0. Ryan Donato (Harvard recruit, Bruins draft pick) led the way with two goals in the victory. Northfield Mount Hermon finally found a way to score some goals as they eased by Lawrence, 3-0.

The afternoon started off with a bang as Cushing and The Gunnery met for a spot in the finals. With The Gunnery up 2-1 in the third period, Trevor Kacz, off of a Cotton pass, tied the game up. Then, with only four minutes left to play, Cotton himself won the game on the power play and booked Cushing a date with Culver in the championship. After that, Culver took on Canterbury and won easily, 2-0. For the nightcap, Thayer and Dexter tangled for a chance to play The Gunnery. After the first period of play, Thayer was in cruise control as they led Dexter 3-0. Despite a plethora of mistakes in the first period, Dexter looked like a new team in the second as they scored 4 goals in 8 minutes. Dexter added an empty netter and won 5-3.

Day 3

In the seventh place game, Lawrence Academy lost again as it dropped a 2-0 decision to Canterbury. In the fifth place game, Thayer exploded in the third period to claim a 6-3 win over Northfield Mount Hermon. In the third place game, Dexter got out to an early 2-1 lead but squandered it via poor mistakes and questionable refereeing. The Gunnery stormed back for a 5-3 win. In the championship, Cushing got out to an early lead via goals by Jeffrey Morgan and Jake Simons. The Penguins added two more for a 4-1 win and a tournament title on their home ice. A great weekend of hockey that has New England prep hockey fans excited for 2015!