Blue Knights light ’em up in season opener

BOURNE — The Sandwich boys hockey team got the honors of playing the first game in the state for the 2018-19 season.

It wasn’t a close one for very long.

Junior Sean Connolly, senior Jack Hemeon and sophomore Rob Cardillo all scored to give Sandwich a three-goal lead less than six minutes into the first period, and Cardillo finished with a hat trick as the Blue Knights outskated Abington en route to a 7-2 victory in their season opener Thursday afternoon at Gallo Ice Arena.

“Opening the year for the state is cool,” said Sandwich’s Jordan Mohre, who is entering his 11th season as head coach.

“This team buzzed right away. It’s the way that we’ve been practicing, coming out flying and trying to avoid those slow starts. They showed up ready to play.”

Video: Jack Hemeon scores for Sandwich

 

Sandwich (1-0) missed the MIAA tournament for a second straight year after finishing 8-11-3 last season. The Blue Knights also graduated eight seniors and lost starting goaltender Joe Raspante to Tilton School in New Hampshire.

Still, the Blue Knights got a bright look at the future Thursday with the top scoring line of Cardillo, sophomore Mike Borrasso and senior Jonathan Stutzman contributed to four of the team’s seven goals.

“You have to go out there hard every shift,” said Cardillo, who has grown up playing with Borrasso.

Mohre said Borrasso might not light up the scoresheet but adds some grit to the lineup.

Stutzman, who had three assists, is a new addition, as he came back to Sandwich after playing junior hockey.

“He’s been as advertised if not more,” Moore said of Stutzman. “He’s also one of the hardest-working kids. If you surround yourself with people like that, then everybody starts picking it up.”

Cardillo made it 3-0 by picking the corner from the left wing, sliding on his knee in celebration, as did Connolly, who also capped the scoring in the third period with an easy one-timer from Zach Brooks (2 assists).

Abington (0-1), an MIAA Division 3 tournament team last year, struck back with a power-play goal from John Demarco early in the second period, but Cardillo bumped it back to 4-1, getting tackled into the boards by teammates in the ensuing celebration.

“They were coming over and they were hyped up and we kind of all fell over,” said Cardillo, who finished his hat trick by settling a loose puck to score unassisted with 5:30 left in the second period.

Mohre said Cardillo showed promise last year, but came into preseason stronger and faster.

“He obviously put in a lot of work,” Mohre said of Cardillo. “He’s got an absolute sneaky shot. He’s in a good combination where I think that line is clicking early on and I think they’re going to get better and better.”

Junior goalie Carson Schemenaur (11 saves) got his first varsity win, and freshman Drew MacKinnon also scored for Sandwich, which visits Nantucket at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday.