Seb’s Defeats Nobles In McCrae Williams Memorial Game

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By Jake Levin @jakelevin09

Photo Gallery by Ryan Kilian @masspreps

ALLSTON—Nobles middie Jett Dziama figured every one of his Bulldog teammates, as well as his opponents from St. Sebastian’s, knew it would be a good game on Friday night.

While No. 8 Nobles came up short against No. 1 Seb’s in the ISL opener for each team, a narrow 10-8 victory for the Arrows, the contest lived up to its billing as a great cause in the first annual McRae Williams Memorial Game.

“It was awesome to play out here in front of all these people and to play for McRae,” Dziama said of his former Bulldog teammate, who tragically passed away last fall while attending Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. “We think it was a great event and I just hope we raised as much awareness as possible for his foundation.”

Dziama, along with Nobles defenseman Sam Montgomery, were the organizers of the event, which took place on Jordan Field at Harvard Stadium. The Bulldogs put a legitimate scare into the top-ranked Arrows, including a 3-0 fourth-quarter run to pull within a goal.

Just as quickly as their lead seemed to be vanishing, Seb’s had an answer. Michael Swirbalus, on his fourth goal of the night, was able to create the breathing room which the Arrows needed, only 12 seconds after a coast-to-coast sprint by Andrew Johnson pulled the Bulldogs to within a goal.

“Coach [Adam White] always says, ‘dunks, not 3-pointers,’” Swirbalus said, a reference to his goal at 6:33 of the fourth quarter – the final goal either team would score in the game. “We try doing that; we did sometimes, we didn’t others – myself included. Everything happened to go our way.”

Each goal Swirbalus scored was of a timely variety. His first goal, coming at 9:04 of the first quarter, gave the Arrows their first lead of the night. After Nobles climbed back on top in the second quarter via Dziama, Swirbalus broke a 3-all deadlock with less than a minute to go in the first half to give Seb’s a lead heading into the half – a lead it wouldn’t give up for the rest of the night.

Swirbalus scored the first goal of the third quarter as well, just 1:42 into the frame on a feed from Brian Piatelli.

“It was patience, not just taking the first shot we see, but waiting for the right look,” Swirbalus said.

The Arrows scored twice in the first 1:25 of the fourth quarter, first on a goal which completed a hat trick for Peter Pickard and next on Peter Murphy’s second tally of the game to open up a 9-5 lead for Seb’s, its largest of the game.

Nobles wouldn’t let the game devolved into a blowout, however, not on this night.

Loring scored each of the game’s next two goals a little more than a minute apart, setting the stage for Johnson’s mad dash – a tally which came man-down, no less.

As White pointed out after the game, all Seb’s needed to do at that moment was to keep swinging the ax.

“We were just talking about making the next play,” White said. “We talked about it before the game. Nobles has that kind of capability on offense to go on a run. We knew they’d be playing with a lot of emotion, we knew it would be a big crowd and both teams were going to go on runs. We tried to weather the storm, essentially.

“We’ve got this ax we bring, we say ‘just keep swinging the ax. When good things happen, keep swinging, when bad things happen, keep swinging.”

The Piatelli-to-Swirbalus connection ensured the ax connected, giving the defending ISL-champion Arrows a 1-0 start to league play.

“Tonight was an ISL win and a great event, so being here and being a part of it was really an honor,” White said. “To come away with a victory… you need it. It’s just about a playoff game in the ISL, so to beat one of our biggest rivals is pretty huge this early in the season.”

Despite the loss, Dziama remained upbeat with his team’s performance, acknowledging how many new faces the Bulldogs are working into the lineup in the early going.

Nobles collectively gave the 110 percent Williams was so famous for giving, and in the end, that was all the Bulldogs could ask for.

“We talked about it before the game – we didn’t have to score any goals for him, we didn’t have to hit anybody for him or make any saves for him, but we had to give 110 percent the entire game for him, because that’s what he did every game,” Dziama said. “Especially in big games like this, he lived for these moments.”

 

 

Game Stats

Seb’s   2 2 3 3 — 10

Nobles 2 1 2 3 — 8

 

St. Sebastian’s

Michael Swirbalus – 4 goals

Peter Pickard – 3 goals, 1 assist

Peter Murphy – 2 goals

Will Plansky – 1 goal

Brian Piatelli – 2 assists

Matt DeSisto – 1 assist

Alex Gainey – 8 saves

 

Noble and Greenough

Nick Loring – 3 goals

Will Zink – 2 goals, 1 assist

Hayden Cheek – 1 goal, 2 assists

Jett Dziama – 1 goal, 1 assist

Andrew Johnson – 1 goal

Dan Donohue – 10 saves

 

Faceoff-X: Nobles 12, Seb’s 8

 

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