BILLERICA -- Last night, in one of the underdog matches of the Super 8, it was Weymouth vs. Malden Catholic. Public vs. parochial. David vs. Goliath.
In a tournament dominated by Catholic schools for the past 15 years, Weymouth scored one for the publics with a gritty 3-2 win at Chelmsford Forum, keeping hope alive for those crazy enough to root for a non-Catholic school to make a run at the Super 8.
"We got three games," said Weymouth coach Bob Donovan. "I told my kids to enjoy it while it lasts."
In playing the role of David, Weymouth goalie Ryan McAllister's stick was his slingshot. McAllister was dazzling, racking up 33 saves and serving as a one-man penalty kill.
He said he was nervous before the game -- Weymouth hadn't played Malden Catholic this season -- but as soon as he stepped on the ice, something happened. "All the pressure went away," said McAllister.
McAllister wasn't fazed when the Lancers scored on a lucky bounce 5:11 into the game. Malden forward Tony Serino was controlling the puck behind the end line and intended to slide it past to a teammate in front of the net. Instead, the puck was redirected off a skate among a sea of bodies in the crease and found its way to the back of the net.
Weymouth didn't need to rely on such luck, scoring its first two goals on manmade opportunities. In the waning minutes of the first period, during a Weymouth power play, Tim King collected a rebound in front of the Lancer net and slowly wrapped the puck around the goalie until he found enough daylight to slide it in for the score.
Halfway into the second period, Weymouth's Anthony Dalesandro took a feed off a draw from Mike Wilson and slapped a screamer that hit nothing but net to make it 2-1.
McAllister had a virtuoso performance in the period, stopping 13 shots while getting peppered more than a Philly cheesesteak.
"I just tried to control the rebounds," McAllister said.
Weymouth's final goal came from an unlikely source. Toward the end of the third, freshman Charlie Coyle collected a loose puck and skated down the right side. As he neared the net, he put on the brakes, saw a defender fall, and switched the puck to his backhand. With clearance top-shelf, Coyle shoveled the puck upward as he was falling. Goal.
When asked if he knew Coyle was capable of such a highlight-reel goal, Donovan pulled out his shootout card. Coyle was listed as the seventh shooter.
And as Coyle talked to reporters, Donovan interrupted his 14-year-old star, saying, "If you can't get a date now, then there's no hope."