February 7, 2013

Prep Journal: Governor's Ferriero has footsteps to follow

By Mike Zhe

Nathan Ferriero will play alongside his brother Cody at Northeastern next season. (Dave Arnold Photography)

BYFIELD, Mass. – In the lobby of Whiston-Bragdon Arena is an array of framed photographs on a Wall of Fame, great players from Governor’s Academy who’ve gone on to do great things in college and pro hockey.

About three quarters down the row are the images of Essex, Mass., brothers Benn and Cody Ferriero, the former just finding his way with a new team after being traded to the New York Rangers and the other enjoying a breakout sophomore season at Northeastern.

On the ice Saturday was the youngest Ferriero brother, Governor’s senior forward Nathan, who will try to add a few more wins to the family’s legacy here before joining Cody on Huntington Ave. in the fall.

“It’s really important,” he said. “Obviously, I’ve been around here a long time and I want to finish it the right way, as an individual and as a team. I don’t want to have any regrets.”

Nothing’s come very easy for Governor’s (9-8-4) this season, and Saturday’s game against Thayer was no exception. During a five-minute penalty assessed to the Tigers midway through the second period, it buzzed and buzzed but couldn’t produce the equalizer in a 2-1 game.

But one single sequence showed fans the prowess of the youngest Ferriero. First, he curled out from behind the net and tried to tuck a backhand behind big Thayer goalie Rob McGovern. Seconds later, he was cutting in front of the crease, getting a stick on a shot from the right point and deflecting it wide. Then he took pass in the high slot and snapped a quick wrister that sailed barely over the crossbar.

Eventually, Gov’s pulled ahead, with tying and go-ahead goals by senior Cam Laughlin in the third period, with Ferriero and senior Lucas Bombadier assisting on the winner.

“Our team is obviously not the most skilled team, but we do the little things and work hard, and that’s what got us the win,” said Ferriero.

The win extended the team’s unbeaten streak to five games, a run that’s coincided with the return of top goalie Brendan McMenimen (22 saves) from a hamstring injury.

“Frankly, I thought we were going to start better as an entire team,” said second-year coach Leon Hayward, the former Northeastern winger. “But we lost (tri-captain) Ryan Scarfo to injury. I think we’re getting back to where we thought we’d be the entire time.”

For the team – and Ferriero – better late than never.

“All the time, the goal is nothing less than to go all the way,” said Ferriero. “That’s what we set out for at the beginning of the year and it’s not over yet. We’re going to grind it out until the very end.”

Game of the Week

Salisbury vs. Cushing, Sunday, noon

A pair of top-10 squads from different leagues will take the ice at the Mullins Center at UMass-Amherst.

NEHJ New England Power Rankings

1. Kimball Union (22-1)
2. Berkshire School (16-2-3)
3. Belmont Hill (18-2-2)
4. Gunnery (18-3-3)
5. Avon Old Farms (12-4-3)

6. Kent School (11-4-3)
7. Salisbury School (11-5-2)
8. Dexter School (13-2-3)
9. Cushing Academy (17-5-1)
10. Choate (11-5-3)

11. St. Sebastian’s (14-7)
12. Westminster (10-6-2)
13. Brooks School (10-5-5)
14. Rivers School (13-6-2)
15. Phillips Exeter (11-6-3)

16. Buckingham, Browne & Nichols (13-6-2)
17. Middlesex School (10-5-2)
18. Kents Hill School (14-6-1)
19. Governor’s Academy (9-8-4)
20. Loomis-Chaffee (11-6)

Mike Zhe can be reached at mzhe@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeZhe603.