TEWKSBURY, Mass. — Despite trailing during two different occasions, Derek Petti put his team on his back, and he carried Tewksbury from behind to beat Boston Latin, 5-2, Wednesday night in a DCL/MVC Division 2 matchup.
“We have been down before, and we know how to keep our composure out there,” Tewksbury head coach Derek Doherty said. “It doesn’t matter if you are up or down a goal because we just have to keep playing hard out there.”
Petti finished with four points on the night as he scored twice and dished out two highlight reel assists. His first goal of the game proved to be the game winner.
“It took a little bit to get him jump-started in the third [period] because they were keying in on him,” Doherty said. “We spoke about it in between periods, and he realized he was going to have to play through it. That is what he did.”
Kyle Paquette stopped 13 shots to record the win in goal for the Redmen, and on the other end of the ice Latin’s Michael Murray turned away 14 of 17 shots (2 empty net goals).
Latin (8-6-3, 6-3-2) drew first blood as freshman Jimmy O’Leary fired a rebound into the Tewksbury goal on the man advantage.
“We had our second power play unit out there, and we just kept throwing the puck to the net,” Boston Latin head coach Frank Woods said. “Jimmy [O’Leary] got a rebound, and it was just really basic hockey.”
Tewksbury (13-2-1, 9-1-1) was struggling to create much of an offensive rhythm in the first period, so Tewksbury turned to its third line to create some energy.
Alex Hamilton lined up a gigantic open ice hit that with just under 1:30 remaining in the period, and, just 45 seconds later, the Redmen were able to get on the board.
“We play better when we are physical,” Doherty said. “We expect our third line to play physical, and keep the puck out of the net.”
Petti found his younger brother Ryan in front of the Latin goal, and the younger Petti smashed the puck home to draw things even heading into the second.
“We were one a two-on-one, so I knew that if I slid it over to Ryan he would put it in the goal,” Derek Petti said.
In the second period, both teams locked down on the defensive side of the puck not allowing either team to create many opportunities. Tewksbury’s Matt Donovan had one of the best chances of the period blasting a one-timer in on Murray, but Murray was able to slide over to ward off the shot.
Latin turned on the forecheck early in the third period, which led to Joe Gillespie sneaking one in past Paquette.
“We chipped the puck, and we were able to get down low on the forecheck,” Woods said. “We created a turnover, and Joe was able to put it home.”
Only a few minutes later and trailing, 2-1, Doherty called a timeout as the Redmen got a power-play opportunity.
On the power play, Derek Petti once again showed off his smooth playmaking skills by setting up Patrick Doherty for a back door one-timer that Murray had no chance on.
“It was a set play by coach to go to Pat on the back door, he has no problems finishing,” Derek Petti said.
With less than two minutes remaining, Derek Petti went into hero mode. He flew up the right wing and used his quick release to rifle the puck past Murray.
“I have been trying to use the defense as a screen all year, and I was able to use the defense as a screen to get a good shot off,” Derek Petti said.
The Wolf Pack went into desperation mode in the final minute of the game by pulling Murray. But Derek Petti and Patrick Doherty both added their second goals of the game hitting the vacated goal.