This win feels like a defeat
Harbormen won’t go back-to-back
NORTH ANDOVER — Hingham’s minus-8 goal differential entering yesterday’s Super 8 round-robin game against Central Catholic made advancing to the crossover round and defending its Division 1A crown all but out of the question.
In the face of what were insurmountable mathematical odds, the Harbormen played with intensity, beating Central Catholic, 2-1, at Merrimack College, and, in the process, helping eliminate the Raiders from the tournament.
“We were playing for pride,’’ said Hingham coach Tony Messina. “It’s tough to play these games knowing you have nothing to play for. I am happy the crew stuck with the game plan.’’
Central Catholic was eliminated because of the loss and Malden Catholic’s 5-4 win over Weymouth. Hingham, Weymouth, and Central finished round-robin play 1-2. The first tiebreaker for advancing to the crossover round is goal differential. Since Weymouth and Central each had differentials of minus-1, it went to the second tiebreaker which is total goal quotient (goals for divided by goals against). Weymouth’s goal quotient was 9/10 while Central’s was 6/7, allowing the Wildcats to advance.
“I am disappointed that we got eliminated,’’ said Central coach Mike Jankowski after he learned of his squad’s fate. “We knew going in that we needed a win, but we lost. We needed Malden Catholic to win by two goals, but Weymouth played a great game and congratulations to them.’’
With time winding down and the Raiders trailing, 2-1, Jankowski decided not to pull goalie Kyle Williams.
“There was never a thought of pulling Kyle,’’ said Jankowski. “We were trying to play the math.’’
The Raiders did mount some offense with five minutes left in the game. They peppered Derek McInnis, but the senior reverted to the form that helped his team win the Super 8 title last year. James Gordon notched the winner for the Harbormen with 6:51 remaining in the second period. He took a pass from Alex Pompeo and slid a wrister underneath Williams’s pads.
Immediately following the goal, Hingham seemed destined to add to their lead, but every time, Williams stood in the way. Tyler Mahoney walked in alone but blocked the shot with his shoulder.
“Kyle is a great goalie,’’ said Messina. “We had some point-blank chances that we just missed.’’
The Harbormen took a 1-0 lead eight minutes into the game. Steve Bellew took a pass from Pompeo at Central’s blue line, deked right, and roofed a backhand past Williams.
The Raiders tied it up with 3:23 left in the first. Tommy Evangelista unleashed a snap shot from the left faceoff circle that got past McInnis. Mike Kelleher and Nick Leonard collected assists.
Woburn 2, Needham 2 – John Concannon’s goal with 5:28 remaining helped the Tanners salvage a tie in both teams’ final round-robin game.
Since both teams failed to qualify for the crossover games, overtime was not played.
“In a tournament like this, you need to get those hard-working goals and [John] got one of those,’’ said Woburn coach Jim Duran. “Both teams had their chances and it was a good showing from both teams.’’
Concannon’s strike resulted from a mad scramble in front of the Needham net. After an initial shot was stopped by Rockets goalie Connor Murray, the puck trickled into the crease. Concannon was able to sweep the puck in after a tap pass from Jake Secatore.
The Tanners had a bounty of quality scoring chances, but came up empty on the majority of them.
“You have to make your own breaks,’’ said Duran. “We got our chances, but couldn’t capitalize.
“We weren’t able to get that goal that changes momentum.’’
Alex Holland had two golden chances in the third period, including one where he fired the puck on an open net, only for it to hit the skate of Needham’s Timmy Parlato before it crossed the goal line.
The Tanners struck first on a goal by Daniel Holland. He chipped a rebound over Murray with 10:14 to play in the second period.
DJ Walsh knotted the score just 32 seconds later. Walsh tipped a Scott Atkinson point shot and banged home the rebound.
Parlato gave the Rockets a 2-1 lead with one second remaining on a power play. Parlato’s wrister from the point took a funny bounce and sneaked past Woburn goalie Cam McGlashing’s left pad.