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Posted April 14, 2005
Southie Shamrocks Win National Title
By Joe Kelly

     After out shooting the previous five opponents 209 to 80 and cruising into the championship game Southie’s defense and goaltending stepped up to hold off a powerful Mid-Fairfield Blues lineup 5 to 2 in the finals, a score closer than that suggests. Southie jumped on top at the 5:08 mark of the first period on a goal by Greg Collins; Collins was the tournament-scoring leader with 22 points. The second started out similarly with Mark Flaherty tallying at 5:07, only to see Mid-Fairfield cut the deficit back to one 3 ½ minutes later. Midway through the period Mid-Fairfield picked up a costly penalty and Southie’s Nick Coskren scored on a power play 13 seconds into the advantage; Coskren led the team in goals with 11. As the third period began Southie’s Coskren received a penalty at the 19-second mark and the Blue’s John Mori scored his second of the game drawing his team to within a goal at 3 to 2 on the power play. After that Southie tightened up the defense and tallied twice in the final 8 minutes for the 5 to 2 victory. Goalie Daniel Beauregard came up big in only his second game of the tournament making 37 saves. It was the only game Southie was out shot on a their way to a perfect 6 and 0 record.

     Before the game South Boston head coach Ted Cunniff believed his team was ready for the challenge stating, “We have lots of respect for them (Mid-Fairfield), we just hope the Shamrocks bring us some luck”. After the game coach Cunniff said, “Mid-Fairfield is a good team, we knew that coming in”. “But this game was about pride for us. We were very motivated coming in”. Coskren added, “We knew it was going to be tough, they out shot us and had some great chances”. 

     The fabled Southie “Shamrocks” were with them the entire competition as they cruised through the early rounds coasting in the opening game against the Alaska Wolves 9 to 0. Eight different players scored with Greg Collins netting two for Southie as they out shot the Wolves 42 to 11 and goalie Rikky Bustin (4 and 0) picked up the win. In game two Southie took on the Pittsburgh Predators, which saw both teams get a little chippy as they totaled 36 penalties. The Shamrocks quickly jumped out to a 6-0 lead at the 2:00 minute mark of the second period behind two goals each by Paul Golden and Brian Gibbons and held on for a 6 to 2 win. Day three was like having a day off as the Shamrocks crushed the host Springfield Jr. Spirit 15 to 0 on two goals by Patrick Yetman and one each by Scott Simpson, Chris Miller and Bobby Cusack. On day four Southie came up with two victories advancing them into the finals. A 9 to 1 win over Colorado Springs, Colin Young, Yetman, Golden and Cusack 2 goals each. The final prep for the finals was a 12 to 3 win over Mercer also of Springfield MO with Coskren netting a hat trick.

     Coach Cunniff exulted his team, “These guys stick together, and they really grinded out a win here. It was a fun experience and I’m very proud of the effort they put out there, there is a lot of character on this team”. “I would like to give a special thanks to the coaching staff, especially Brendan Flynn and Carol Sullivan” added coach Cunniff.

     The Southie Shamrocks are, Daniel Beauregard, Colin Young, Mike Devine, Jamie Dahill, Brian Price, Paul Golden, Brian Gibbons, Bobby Cusack, Anthony Aiello, Scott Simpson, Nick Coskren, Greg Collins, Kev Richardson, Chris Miller, Mark Flaherty, Corey Griffin, Chris O’Brien, Patrick Yetman, Rikky Bustin and Andrew Doherty. Head coach Ted Cunniff, assistant coach Brendan Flynn, goalie coach Dan Lynch, manager Joe Rooney and treasurer Carol Sullivan.

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The Southie Shamrocks 18 and Under Team.