BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – Where the hearts goes, the body will follow.
Entering Saturday’s Division 1 South quarter-final matchup against No. 2 seed Archbishop Williams, Norwood senior captain Jack Sheehan kept an altruistic mentality.
“We had to believe, first off, that we could do it,” he said.
The No. 7 seed Mustangs got the start they needed, taking a 2-0 lead to the first intermission. But, after a lackluster second, they found themselves down a goal entering the third.
That’s when Norwood showed its heart, climbing back and finishing out a 5-3 win.
“We had to win those one-on-one battles and get the puck to the net,” Mustangs head coach Bill Clifford said. “We did that and I thought we had a great third period.”
Fresh off a double-overtime loss to Xaverian in a Super 8 tournament play-in game, the Bishops (12-7-3) look jetlagged in the first as Norwood (13-5-4) jumped out to a two-goal lead.
Mark Powers was first on the board at 12:32 of the first, with a nice cutback shift to the slot and a stick-side wrister. Just 58 seconds later, the Mustangs worked for their first of two power-play goals with Sheehan letting go a slap shot from the point.
However, with a power play that spilled into the second, Archies was able to get right back in the game with a power-play goal of its own 32 seconds into the period on Ryan Dunn’s redirect of an Ed Riley point shot. With the goal, Dunn hit the 100-point plateau for his career.
Midway through the period, the Bishops pulled even on a Mike Davis goal at 7:06, before Sean Keenan’s go-ahead goal at 12:48, with Dunn picking up his second point of the game on the assist.
“The second period was rough for us and we got down,” Sheehan said. “But our first period was great, that might have been the best period we’ve had all year that first period.”
Norwood drew even with its second goal on the man-advantage at 3:16. Matt Hajjar hit Jake O’Rourke with a back door pass, allowing O’Rourke to step in and beat Bishops goaltender Matt McCaughey gloveside.
John Galvin score the game-winner at 10:55, sneaking behind Archies’ blue-liners on a sneak away pass from O’Rourke, and beating McCaughey on a partial break.
Sheehan capped scoring with his second of the game on an empty-netter with 19 seconds play, while fighting off the forecheck of a Bishop defenseman.
“Their forwards are very quick and they like to get it up to their forwards right away,” Clifford said. “We were very weary of that. I thought our defense did a good job of staying up on our blue line and forcing them to try to dump it in, instead of carrying it in all the time.”
The Mustangs advance to play Barnstable in the D1 South semifinals at a time to be announced.