for the 2-1 lead at 2:17 in the frame. Beverly junior forward Jesse MacLaughlin
was officially credited with the goal, but there was some debate whether it was him or Connor Irving
who last touched the puck for the Panthers.
Connor buried that one, MacLaughlin said.
I thought Jesse got a piece of it, Irving said. At that point, who cares whose it is? I looked at him and said, I dont care if its mine or yours. There are 12 minutes left, lets get another one so we can play more loose.
Beverly did not end up getting another, but junior goalie Tim Birarelli
made sure it didnt matter. A number of his 17 saves came in the waning minutes when Medfield was buzzing in Beverlys zone.
Hes a big boy. He covers the net so well, Gilligan said. There was a lot of odd-man rushes we should not have let go . . . and Timmy held tough. Side-to-side hes big, hes strong and he doesnt get rattled.
Beverly opened up the scoring at 2:25 in the first when senior defenseman Matt Hamor was working as the screen on the power play in front of Medfield's Graham. Hamor redirected junior defenseman Nick Albanos
shot from the right point for a 1-0 lead.
Just 22 seconds later, however, Medfield tied it up. Senior forward Justin Hirschfeld
capped a few seconds of chaos when he banged home a loose puck by the crease.
It was the only time Medfield beat Birarelli on the night. During the postgame ceremony, the crowd told the story again, chanting Birarellis name: Tim-my, Tim-my.
Its definitely cool that people recognize what you do out there, said Birarelli.
Originally published on the blog The High School Sports Blog
By the final minute of play in a long day of hockey at TD Garden, the crowd said it all: Beverly students screaming and feverishly waving orange towels behind the Beverly net, their Medfield counterparts standing near the other end, a few hopping nervously and almost all of them silent.
Seconds later, the opposing sections went further to their extremes. The buzzer rang and the Beverly boys hockey team celebrated a 2-1 win and Division 2 state championship.
It wasnt one of our prettier efforts, but the boys held tough, said Beverly coach Bob Gilligan. Im so happy for them. Theyve had a great run, and what a way to cap it off.
Its well deserved and its been a great group for the last four years.
For Beverly (22-1-1) and Medfield (18-4-3), the 2013-14 season a combined 49 games, 204 goals, and countless hours of practice came down to one bounce.
Early in the third period, Beverly was attacking the offensive zone when a shot appeared to deflect off a Medfield defender and by senior goalie