By Jake Levin @JakeLevin09 

CONCORD — One year removed from leading Pingree in scoring, Tucker Spencer hadn’t yet found the back of the net as the clock wound down in the Highlanders’ season opener at Middlesex on Wednesday.

But Spencer needed only one goal to make his presence felt for Pingree (1-0), his tally with 1:31 left in regulation the difference in a 9-8 victory for the Highlanders in a nonleague match.


“That last goal was just all my teammates,” said Spencer, an attackman committed to the University of Vermont. “Ball work, off-ball picks, it was a really great way to win and it felt really good to start off the season.”

Pingree initially struggled to possess the ball, losing four of its first five trips to the faceoff-X thanks to the dominance of Middlesex’s Harry Friedman.

The Highlanders made their trips to the offensive zone count, however, never falling behind by more than two goals at any point.

“I thought we did a good job when we did get the possession to run the sets that we needed to run and be patient,” Pingree coach Kevin Tersolo said. “I thought we executed the offense when we had the possession and were opportunistic.”

The Highlanders overcame five goals from sophomore attack Will McCarthy, who wasted no time setting the scoresheet ablaze with his first strike 2:20 into the game for a 1-0 lead for Middlsex (0-1).

Will McCarthy – Middlesex

McCarthy scored at least one goal each quarter for Middlesex, including one last snipe with 2:18 left in regulation that evened things up at 8-apiece.

Enter Spencer, who Tersolo said was the focal point of Pingree’s ensuing ride.

“He’s a great finisher, so I wanted to try and get the ball in his stick to try and get that last opportunity,” Tersolo said.

The game featured five ties but only one lead change, which came 8:02 into the third quarter as David Taylor gave the Highlanders their first lead of the contest, 6-5.

That was part of a 4-0 run in the third for Pingree, which came to an end on McCarthy’s fifth goal of the game.

The Zebras tied it up at 7-7 just 21 seconds into the fourth quarter but could never reclaim the lead, as John Crehan’s second goal of the game snapped a scoring drought of more than five minutes to put the Highlanders back on top.

John Crehan – Pingree

Crehan lunged forward from behind the net to secure the goal which made it 8-7 for Pingree, a goal which Tersolo noted was supposed to look a little more graceful but was effective all the same.

“That’s part of a zone offense that we run, and he’s tough,” Tersolo said of Crehan. “He’s got good size and can really bull his way in when he needs to.”

Media (Video Clips and Photos)