ANTIOCH – For the second straight year, the Brentwood Bruins exited the ice in the final high school hockey game of the season, hoisting the Preds Cup with a 7-3 win over Hendersonville-Station Camp-Beech at Ford Ice Center in Antioch.
“I have no words,” Brentwood goalie Ryan Bobrow said. “It’s incredible, I’m just happy that we won back-to-back. It’s been a hell of a season, and I just want to say good job to Hendersonville and coach Rathert.”
It’s the third state championship in the last five years and the fifth overall for Brentwood. It’s also Brentwood coach Chris Orem’s fourth state title.
“They’re going crazy in there,” Orem said. “We have a big batch of blue and yellow cupcakes and they’re not eating them, they’re smashing them on each other and the cup. So, they’re pretty pumped up.”
HHS-SC-BHS beat Brentwood once during the regular season and they split their second meeting. Then, HHS-SC-BHS beat the Bruins 2-0 on Monday to force the winner-take-all game on Wednesday.
“I didn’t think they’d beat us twice in a row,” Bobrow said. “I thought they’d put up a good fight, but I didn’t think they’d beat us twice in a row. It’s just an incredible win.”
“It’s hard to beat a team three times in a season,” Orem stated. “It was the same way last year. We lost to MBA in that second elimination game, and with Hendersonville, we wanted them to have to beat us twice. I think about ¾ of them had been through this last year and knew what we had to do.”
HHS-SC-BHS drew first blood when Colson Leonard scored just 38 seconds into the game for the early 1-0 lead. The Bruins responded later in the period when Cosmo Sperduto scored unassisted to knot it 1-1 heading into the second period.
In the second, Matthew Siciliano gave HHS-SC-BHS a 2-1 lead with 9:34 left on an unassisted goal. From there, Brentwood reeled off three straight goals from Sperduto, Benjamin Wallace and Jacob Layne to take a 4-2 lead into the final period.
Cole Rexford extended the Bruins lead to 5-2 midway through the period, then Siciliano added his second of the night to pull HHS-SC-BHS to within 5-3.
However, with HHS-SC-BHS goalie Brandon Shaw pulled for the extra attacker, Brentwood added two empty net goals from Benjamin Biron and Tillman Horn to seal the 7-3 win.
Shaw stopped 30 of the 35 shots he faced for HHS-SC-BHS, while Bobrow stopped 29 of the 32 shots he saw. After the game, Sperduto was named the MVP. He had six goals and 10 points for the Bruins in six playoff games.
“Even if he’s not scoring, he’s a dominating puck handler,” Orem said of Sperduto. “He can change the pace of the game at any time, he plays with his head up and he’s just a smart player. He’s played some high-level hockey, we only had him this year because he wanted to graduate from Brentwood, but he’s been off playing in junior leagues the past couple of years.”