Pinkerton Astros Boys Ice Hockey '18-'19

Roux, Salem advance to state semifinals

HOOKSETT, N.H. — With well earned sweat dripping from his brow and a smile from ear to ear, Brady Roux summed up the moment in two perfect words.
 “Anything’s possible!” said the ecstatic Salem goalie.
Roux delivered the performance of his life, making 42 saves to protect a one-goal game until the final 1:05.
And as the final buzzer sounded, the netminder was mobbed my his teammates after No. 9 Salem shocked top-seeded Pinkerton 3-1 in the New Hampshire Division 1 quarterfinals on Saturday night in front of a rowdy overflow crowd of about 800 crammed into the Hooksett Ice Den.  
“This is amazing,” said Roux. “This just keeps on getting better! The boys have been working so hard, and to get this win is just so exciting. There were times during the season we didn’t think we could get here and beat a team like Pinkerton. But it happened, and it’s incredible.”
The upset sends the Blue Devils (11-10-1, 10-9-1 Div. 1) to the New Hampshire Division 1 semifinals on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.) against No. 5 Trinity  (13-6-0 Div. 1) at JFK Rink in Manchester. Pinkerton closes out the season 16-3-0
“This is why I play this game!” said Salem tri-captain Brandon Paiva. “It feels amazing to come in as the underdog and upset one of the best teams in the state of New Hampshire and show what we’re about. We came into this game with a lot of confidence, and knew if we played our game we could win.”
This marks the second time in three seasons Salem has advanced to the Division 1 semifinals. The Blue Devils are now one win from their first state title appearance since 2004-05.
“This team is really starting to come together,” said Salem coach Mark McGinn. “We have believed in this team from the start. Because of injuries, and this and that, we hadn’t had a full team until recently. In the preseason we thought we could be here, even if others didn’t. I told them it doesn’t matter what seed you are.”
Salem took the lead 5:51 into the first period on a shorthanded goal. Chris Wilson tapped a pass ahead to Anthony Survilas, who skated in on a breakaway and slid the puck home for his eighth goal of the season.
Pinkerton tied the game with 5:33 to go in the first, on an Ethan Burgess tally. 
But Salem took the lead right back 1:26 into the second. Ryan Pappalardo fired a pass in front to Ryan Allard, who tallied his 10th goal of the season.
“That first goal was huge because it shifted the momentum to us and gave us the upper hand for the entire game,” said Paiva. “Then, after they scored, we just had to get our head right and put in another goal. And we did it.”
From there, it was all Roux.
Pinkerton continued to pressure the sophomore goalie throughout the game, managing a few huge flurries of shots. But Roux simply would not relent.
The crowd went wild when Roux kicked away a breakaway shot with his right foot. Then, he turned away eight shots in the final moments as the Astros had two power plays.  
“I just tried not to think about that we were only ahead by one goal,” said Roux. “I just had to track pucks and make saves the way I can. The guys in front me were making it a lot easier, even if I saw 42 shots.”
With the clock ticking down, the Salem fans chanting his name on two occasions.
“Our goalie was the difference today,” said McGinn. “He was calm and seeing and anticipating well. He was naturally there for a few tough shots. We knew he had it in him. A lot of stuff has to happen in front of him, and everyone played great.”
After Pinkerton pulled its goalie, Austin Salvetti iced the victory with 1:05 left, scoring an empty net goal from the opposite blue line.
“There was no lack of effort from our guys,”said Pinkerton coach Sam Littlefield. “But they played very well, and their goalie played terrific. He was outstanding, and you can’t beat a hot goalie like that.”
After the celebration, Salem set its eyes on the semifinals, against a Trinity team that beat the Blue Devils 6-2 on Dec. 22
“We never doubted ourselves,” said Roux. “We’re going to focus on that game, and start preparing. It should be a great game and it will be amazing to be there.”
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