FALMOUTH, Mass. – It was something of a shot in the dark.
With about 15 seconds to play in Westford Academy’s opening-round matchup of the Cape Cod Cup against No. 16 Archbishop Williams at the Falmouth Ice Arena, Cam MacDonald skated in from the neutral zone against the world. He crossed the Bishops’ blue line face-to-face with a Bishops defensemen and with an Archies’ forward coming on the back check, MacDonald could’ve just taken a long distance shot in at goal.
Instead, the junior forward went it alone.
“I got a nice chip off the boards, so I went in one-on-one,” MacDonald said. “I tried to beat [the defenseman], but it got caught up in my body and I got a lucky bounce, I went to my forehand and I just took a hack at it.”
Then the puck went in, giving the No. 22 Grey Ghosts a 3-2 lead with 11 seconds to play in regulation. Westford held on, capping a string of three unanswered goals and, perhaps, just giving his team some needed early-season momentum.
“It’s nice, it’s a great win,” Grey Ghosts head coach Bob Carpenter said. “But maybe a win like tonight might help us to be able to get going.”
MacDonald factored in all three Westford goals, with two snipes and an assist on the Grey Ghosts’ first tally – a Ryan Bunyon strike at 2:29 of the second period.
However, Westford (2-2-0) was a bit sluggish to start, and had to pull itself from a 2-0 hole to claim the win.
Archies (1-2-1) outskated the Grey Ghosts in the first period and were rewarded for its effort on Jake Reardon’s goal at 10:21 of the first. The Bishops then opened to a 2-0 lead at 1:59 of the second on Nick Menzel’s tally, with Reardon picking up his second point of the game on the assist.
From there, Westford seized control of the action. The Grey Ghosts answered just 30 seconds later with MacDonald collecting his first of three points, setting up Ryan Bunyon.
With 6:04 remaining, MacDonald tallied the game-tier, banking home the rebound off Peter Hargrave point shot.
The Bishops and Grey Ghosts volleyed scoring chances in a wide-open third. Archies outshot Westford 17-16 in the period, with Grey Ghosts netminder Bill McLaughlin (32 saves) making high-degree-of-difficulty saves in the game's waning moment.
But the Grey Ghosts had the last laugh on MacDonald’s amazing finish.
“That’s just hard work by Cam, he just kept going,” Carpenter said. “He just has the competitive spirit that he’s going to get there.”