LA News Archive
Groton, MA –With 3:59 on the clock in overtime, Austin Magera ‘17 buried a feed from fellow Class of 2017 forward Sam Swanson to give Lawrence Academy a 3-2 victory over St. Sebastian’s and the Spartans their first ISL Keller Division championship since 2012.
“I'm proud of the seniors especially,” said former LA standout turned bench boss, Robbie Barker ‘00. “They came in three years ago and believed in the program when we were a little down, and their commitment and their leadership has helped us to where we are right now, and helped create a new culture in the locker room.”
LA, ranked number one in the final USHR poll of the season, is now 20-4-1 overall (12-2-1 in the ISL). However, LA’s last loss saw the Spartans fall to St. Seb’s 5-3 on Feb. 10. Today, they trailed 2-1 late in the second period before LA sophomore Neil Shea knotted the score 2-2 with :36 remaining on the clock.
A scoreless third period, most notable for several near misses at each end of the ice, set up Magera’s heroics in the extra stanza.
“We were just trying to outwork them,” he said. “Just trying to get some dirty goals, put some shots on the net and try to figure out how we can score."
The Georgia-native did just that, as he followed Swanson, an Ohio-native, into the St. Seb's zone, and toward the opposing net.
“My linemate Swanson cut across [and made the first shot],” added Magera of the overtime game-winner. “I ended up getting the rebound.”
Barker said his players did exactly what the coaching staff asked them to do.
“It was the exact game plan that we’d been practicing all week,” he said, with a smirk. “It was a greasy, ‘garbage’ goal.
“Get pucks to the net and good things will happen.”
Postgame, when asked if he had expected to add another year to LA’s ISL championship banner, Barker just chuckled.
“Uh, no, absolutely not,” he said. “The league's so tough and it's a long season.
“You don't think about that until you're in games like this. But it's the hard work that the kids put in, it's the commitment.
“Whether it's in the summer or preseason, it just comes down to the leaders who, since the beginning, set a great example.”