NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The seniors of Weymouth hockey had never once beat South Shore rival Hingham until this year. Now, it seems the Wildcats have the Harbormen’s number.
Faced with a one-goal, third-period deficit, No. 4 seed Weymouth scratched their way back into the game to come away with a 4-3 win over fifth-seeded Hingham in their first-round Super Eight tournament game at Merrimack College’s Lawler Arena on Saturday, marking their second straight win over the Harbormen.
“This says a lot about those kids and a lot about this team,” Wildcats head coach Matt Cataldo said. “We knew if we just kept working, we’d get the chances.”
Weymouth (18-3-2) was first on the board midway through the first period. Junior forward Jonathan Wilson had the Wildcats to a 1-0 lead with just his second goal of the season. Sophomore winger Ian Sheridan added an assist. But Hingham (13-6-4) tied the game with less than minute remaining in the period with Alex Pompeo’s seeing-eye slap shot from the point. Pompeo’s power-play goal was assisted by Steven Bellew and Matt Hughes.
The Wildcats got back to it in the second, reclaiming the lead in the third minute with Riley Flanagan chipping home a centering pass from Tyler Piacentini. Steve Bristol also added a helper on the play.
“Tyler’s done that all year long,” Flanagan said of Piacentini’s wizardry with the pass. “I don’t know how he does it, he just does.”
Hingham finished the second period with a flurry, however, and outshot the Wildcats, 9-2. Dan Griffin netted his fifth goal of the season with 6:24 to play in the second and the Harbormen struck once again in the final minute, for the second straight period, with Ryan Linehan redirecting James Gordon’s pass past Weymouth netminder Brian Brady (16 saves).
“The goal was to get the puck deep and forecheck the D before they could get the puck up,” Harbormen head coach Tony Messina said. I think we did that well for the first two periods.”
The ice shifted in the other direction during the third, however, as Weymouth outshot Hingham, 11-4. The line of Flanagan, Trevor King and Piacentini again left its imprint on the game. Midway through the third, Flanagan netted his second goal of the game, set up by yet another perfect touch pass (or was it intended as a shot?) from Piacentini.
Then, it was King’s turn to get in the fray. The converted forward, turned defenseman, turned forward again, potted the game-winner with 2:45 remaining with a set up from Flanagan, who completed his three-point game.
“We’ve had a big rivalry with them over the years,” Flanagan said, “and that was huge for us getting the split against them … That gave us confidence.”