The New Hampton Huskies traveled down to Ashburnham, MA today to take on the Penguins of Cushing Academy, this afternoon. An important game, as both teams are vying for position in the New England Tournament at the end of the year. Cushing, the ninth ranked team in all of Prep School Hockey, looking for a chance to make the Elite 8 Tournament, came out flying to start the game. They put New Hampton back on their heels and created several good scoring chances in the opening minutes. Through the strong play of Matt Sayles, New Hampton was able to battle through those first few minutes without giving up a goal. Just as the Huskies were starting to get their feet under them and get into the game, Cushing scored off a faceoff in the New Hampton zone, to take the lead seven minutes into the first period. After the Cushing goal, neither team created much offensively the rest of the period, but Cushing did control the play. New Hampton seemed to wake up during the first intermission and came out much better to start the second period. The first sixteen minutes saw back and forth hockey, that was extremely physical and played at a high pace. Both, New Hampton and Cushing created several quality scoring chances during that time, but the score remained the same, Huskies down; 1-0. That all changed when Joe Dunlap got the puck at his own blue line, skated down the ice making a nice toe drag around a Cushing defender just inside the offensive blue line and then ripped a shot far side, top shelf, that was in and out of the net before the Cushing goaltender moved. Dunlap’s goal evened the game at one before the end of the period, setting up a huge third period for both teams. The third period intensity went up another level, with both teams doing everything they could to score the go-ahead goal. Seven minutes into the period, Cushing was able to take the lead again, off another faceoff in the New Hampton zone. It didn’t take the Huskies long to respond. Less than a minute later, Michael Kane chipped the puck to Lynden Breen just outside Cushing’s blue line. Breen made a slick move to go around the Cushing defensemen and then slid a pass back door to Joe Dunlap, who one-timed the pass between the sprawling Cushing goaltender’s legs. Three minutes after Dunlap’s second goal of the game, Cushing scored on the power play to take back the lead. In the final seven minutes, New Hampton did everything they could to try and even the score, but they were unable to find a way to get the puck across the goal line. Despite battling extremely hard against a very good Cushing team, the Huskies lost 3-2. Matt Sayles was excellent in net, making several key saves to keep things close throughout the game. New Hampton will now start preparing for the Lakes Regions Playoffs. The Huskies are the #2 seed and will take on the #3 seed, Vermont Academy, this Friday, February 23rd at the Jake.