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Prep Hockey: Brooks wins NEPSIHA Martin/Earl Large School Championship

Brooks players celebrate their NEPSIHA Martin/Earl Large School Championship on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at Sullivan Arena in Manchester, NH.
Brooks players celebrate their NEPSIHA Martin/Earl Large School Championship on Sunday, March 8, 2015 at Sullivan Arena in Manchester, NH.

Manchester, NH -- Henry Cormier scored twice, including the game-winning goal as Brooks won the 2015 NEPSIHA Martin/Earl Large School Championship on Sunday afternoon at the Sullivan Arena on the campus of Saint Anselm College.

Brooks defeated Belmont Hill, 4-2, in a game that it never trailed in. Belmont Hill showed strong resiliency in trying to battle back from a 3-0 deficit, but came up short in the end.

Cormier gave Brooks a 1-0 lead 10:13 into the second period as he tipped home a Max Kahn point shot from the mid slot. His redirection sent the puck sailing into the top corner of the net.

The score remained that way until Paul Capozzi finished off a transition play for a 2-0 lead at the 1:41 mark of the third period. Defenseman Connor Moore rushed the puck up ice and once he gained the blue line he dropped the puck back to Max Rand. The initial shot by Rand was blocked, but the puck squirted right to Capozzi for the tap in.

Just 31 seconds later Brooks took a three-goal advantage. Cormier scored his second of the night with assists going to Max Shusterman and Moore.

Charlie Barrow snapped Max Prawdzik's shutout bid with 2:15 to play in the game. Christian O'Neill gave serious life to Belmont Hill's comeback bid 20 seconds later when he cut the deficit to 3-2.

Jack Goodwin ended Belmont Hill's rally with an empty net goal with 50 seconds remaining in the game to make the final score 4-2.

2015 NHL Draft Prospect of the Game:

Connor Moore, RD, Jr., Brooks, 7/497 (Boston College) - The Cummings, Ga. native isn't on the NHL Central Scouting list as of the midterm rankings, but it's of this observer's opinion that he belongs. His puck skills aren't as flashy as some of the New England defensemen on the list, but he's as solid as any in his own zone. He made two bone-crushing hits yesterday and closed the gap on several Belmont Hill forwards throughout the course of the game. He handles the puck well, he has good lateral movement and agility. His speed or puck skills won't blow observers away, but there's no other way to say it than he's just real solid.

Uncommitted Prospects Notes:

Ford Hatchett, LD, Jr., Brooks, 3/24/97 - The Raleigh, NC native has good size and decent mobility on the ice which has been evident all season long. He might have saved his best performance for last. He made two outstanding passes from his defensive blue line up ice. Each pass showed off his good looks and confidence with the puck. There's still work to be done on his game, but NESCAC schools should definitely be keeping a close eye on him in the recruiting process.

Colin Stevens, RD, Jr., Brooks, 7/12/97 - He's undersized, but he has good skills with the puck and skates well. He has good feet, moves well, makes good decisions on when to pinch most of the time and can quarterback a power play. He has a real good stick and does well in his own end despite lacking physicality and size. He's definitely a fringe ECAC Hockey player who started to garner interest with a breakout season.

Henry Cormier, LC, Jr., Brooks, 5/3/97 - The Lexington, Mass. native didn't produce as well offensively as some of his teammates throughout the regular season, but he was all over the ice on Sunday. He showed off his speed and was around the puck a lot. In addition to his two goals, he had a strong game.

Max Prawdzik, G, Sr., Brooks, 2/2/97 - He has always had the raw potential and physical tools that have impressed scouts, but never fully put it together until this season. The Andover, Mass. native blanked Belmont Hill for the first 51:45 of the game. He's the prototypical modern era goaltender with good size and plays well in the butterfly. He's got a quick lower body and made a few nice pad saves on Sunday. Vermont came to see him play twice during the regular season and is one of several schools with interest. He's reportedly interested in playing in the USHL or BCHL next season.

Christian O'Neill, LW, Soph., Belmont Hill, 6/17/98 - Even before he scored Belmont Hill's second goal in the team's late rally, he stood out as the best uncommitted prospect in the game for Jeremiah McCarthy's team. He's strong on his skates and on the puck, has above average speed and is a complete player.

Note: Belmont Hill's two other top players on Sunday were committed, Charlie Michalowski (Dartmouth) and Charlie Barrow (Holy Cross).

Brooks Line Combinations:

K.J. Moore - P.J. Kelleher - Jack Goodwin
Danny Philbrick - Max Rand - Paul Capozzi
Max Shusterman/Alex Vincent-Ouici - Henry Cormier - Vito Bavaro

Ford Hatchett - Connor Moore
Chris White - Colin Stevens
Max Kahn

Max Prawdzik

Belmont Hill Line Combinations:

Cameron Chiarelli - Peter O'Connell - Eric Butte
Charlie McConnell - Charlie Michalowski - Christian Faggas
Evan Daddario - Sam Hesler - Christian O'Neill

David Giunta - Charlie Barrow
Mike Armstrong - Brian Matthews

Matthew Barrow


Jeff Cox covers college, junior, high school and prep hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.