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Prep Hockey Game Report: Thayer at Belmont Hill

Belmont Hill built a 2-0 lead just over a minute into Friday night’s game against ISL Keller rival Thayer, but the Tigers stormed back for a 6-3 win.

Providence recruit and 2018 NHL Draft prospect Jay O’Brien scored a hat trick and added two assists to pace the offense for Tony Amonte’s team. 2017 NHL Draft prospect and UMass commit Jayson Dobay had the game-winning goal and added an assist. Boston College recruit Casey Carreau had two goals and two assists.

Princeton recruit Christian O’Neill scored twice and Dartmouth commit Sam Hesler also found the back of the net for Belmont Hill.

Here are the game notes generated on the top prospects from Friday’s game:

Jay O’Brien, Thayer #9, Center, Shoots Right, 11/4/99, 5-10/160 (Providence) - After a quiet start to the game, he became an absolute dynamic threat in the offensive zone. His shot is his best asset. He’s a good skater who is at his best when he keeps things simple and just rips shots. His first goal was in close where he kicked the puck to himself before slipping it home after driving the net. His last two goals were similar. Both were laser wrist shots from the slot that beat Belmont Hill’s goalie high glove side. The second goal he did a nice job of looking the goalie off by faking pass. He’s shifty and quick. He’s very confident with the puck and thinks the game well. He has a good first step and can explode for a smaller forward. He reminded this observer of recent Providence alum Trevor Mingoia on this day. He’s on the affiliate list of the Youngstown Phantoms.

Jayson Dobay, Thayer #7, Defense, Shoots Left, 7/27/99, 5-11/165 (UMass Amherst) - The 2017 NHL Draft prospect is no longer listed by NHL Central Scouting, but his ability to move the puck and break it out of his own zone might intrigue a organization into selecting him in the seventh round. He was out of position on Belmont Hill’s second goal, but then really made an impact in the game due to his possession skills. He consistently made great breakout passes, some short, some deep into the neutral zone. His skating is very good and he can join the rush. He carried the puck down the right side in transition before feeding Carreau for a goal. He has good gaps and a good stick. He made a nice pokecheck on a BH forward in transition and quickly turned defense into offense with a lead pass that set up a goal. His footwork is good. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders has him on their affiliate list.

Casey Carreau, Thayer #22, Right Wing, Shoots Right, 3/8/98, 5-10/170 (Boston College) - He’s shifty and creative. His offensive skill set exudes athleticism. He made several strong moves into the offensive zone down the right wing that led to good chances. He set up an O’Brien goal on a play that he rushed into the zone down the right side. He has good speed and plays a complete game. He should be a very good third or fourth liner for the Eagles. He’ll be the type of player to bring energy, be responsible in all three zones and chip in offensively from time to time. After being drafted by Cedar Rapids in 2016 Phase II, he’s now on the affiliate list of the Des Moines Buccaneers.

Aidan McDonough, Thayer #25, Left Wing, Shoots Left, 11/6/99, 6-0/170 - Another late ‘99 who isn’t eligible for the NHL Draft until 2018, he’s the glue guy on the top line. What he lacks in elite offensive skill set of his linemates he makes up for in grit and size. He drives the net and plays tough below the dots and along the wall. He creates time and space for his linemates. After winning a puck battle down low he gave a really good pass to Carreau for a chance in the slot. He assisted on the fifth goal, giving a good pass to O’Brien from the right half wall. He’s on the Cedar Rapids affiliate list.

Jake Flynn, Thayer #4, Defense, Shoots Right, 2/1/01, 5-9/135 - He’s a smooth skater with mobility. He can skate out of trouble and retrieves pucks for an ‘01 in prep. He has good footwork and gets shots on net from the point. He’s a poised puck mover who will only get better. He’s worth a later round pick in the USHL Phase I Draft.

Christian O’Neill, Belmont Hill #19, Center, Shoots Left, 6/17/98, 5-10/187 (Princeton) - The Tigers’ recruit was the best offensive player for Belmont Hill. He’s elusive and shifty. He has a second gear and can really move around the offensive zone. The puck goes through him when he’s on the ice. One of his goals was a nice play where he got an initial chance and followed it up with a score on his own rebound. The only question is if his offensive game can translate to the next level when opposing defenders will be able to handle his quickness and be more physical. He’s on the affiliate list of the Omaha Lancers.

Connor Hopkins, Belmont Hill #29, Goalie, Catches Left, 3/9/00, 6-1/180 (Yale) - He gave up five goals, but he made some good saves and couldn’t really be blamed for any of the goals. He skates well, has good size and made several really nice saves going post-to-post. The best save he made was a kick save after having to explode from one side to the other side of the crease after a good pass by Thayer. He’s on the Tri-City Storm affiliate list.

Michael Brown, Belmont Hill #3, Defense, Shoots Right, 4/3/01, 6-1/185 - He has the makings of a physical, rugged stay-at-home defender. He made a really nice hit to stop a breakout by a Thayer right wing and keep the puck in the attacking zone.