For the first time in 35 years, the Kimball Union Academy boys’ varsity hockey team captured the New England Prep School Championship, courtesy of a 6-2 win over Rivers on Sunday at St. Anselm’s in Manchester. KUA won the original NEPSAC Elite-8 back in 1982, and this victory marks the second time that the Wildcats have been crowned the best high school hockey team in New England.
The game started well for KUA, with senior defenseman Sean Thomson getting the Wildcats on the board with a one-timer from the slot just minutes in. A few minutes later, senior Roope Hirvonen buried a one-timer of his own from the slot to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Not long after that, junior defenseman Bryce Dolan put a shot on net that deflected in and allowed KUA to take a 3-0 lead into the locker room at intermission.
The second period saw Rivers push back and score to cut the lead to 3-1, but some great saves by KUA goalie Sean Dynan and strong defense from players like Jordan Harris allowed the Wildcats to weather the storm and take a 3-1 lead into the third.
In the third, KUA took control once again and Hirvonen converted his second goal of the game off a great faceoff play and pass from senior Bobby Young. Rivers scored a shorthanded goal to make it 4-2, but that was as close as they would get as Dynan shut the door the rest of the way and empty net goals by Kyle Shero and Andranik Armstrong iced the victory, and the championship, for the Wildcats.