FALMOUTH, Mass. – Not one of the teams that participated in the Cape Cod Cup yesterday left the rink feeling all that satisfied.
Both Archbishop Williams and Chelmsford were deemed winners in overtime in their respective games. However, since the MIAA does not recognize overtime until postseason play, those clubs, along with their respective foes, Westford Academy and Falmouth, played to ties.
No. 5 Archbishop Williams and Westford Academy’s game will go into the record books as a 4-4 draw, while Chelmsford and host Falmouth counts as a 1-1 deadlock.
Of the four tying squads, the Bishops were the ones that had the most to feel good about at the end of the day as they rallied from two goals down in the final minute of regulation to tie the score.
Even so, head coach Derackk Curtis was hardly jumping for joy following a game that saw Bishops’ sniper Nick Menzel complete a hat trick with two goals in the final 48 seconds, both with the goalie pulled for an extra-attacker.
“I thought we should have been able to dominate the game a little bit more. Nothing against Westford Academy, but coming off the Springfield Cathedral game I thought we’d come in here and have a little more success, a little more confidence,” Curtis said. “We finished the game strong, so there is a positive, because last year we don’t win this game. Last year, we don’t come back from this, because we didn’t have the confidence, we didn’t have the leadership, and the determination to finish it off.”
Westford Academy (0-1-1) looked like it’d be finishing off a win as the game got down to crunch time. Riding a standout performance by sophomore goaltender Kyle Martin (31 saves), the Ghosts held a 4-2 lead through 44 minutes and needed to just survive the last 60 seconds to earn their first win of the year.
Archbishop Williams put that first win celebration on hold, though. The Bishops went on to win in overtime, on a goal by Mike Davis two minutes and three seconds into the extra session.
Menzel and the Bishops were the better team for much of the game, but Martin kept making big save after big save. With the extra attacker out in the last minute, the numbers game caught up to the netminder and the Ghosts. Menzel popped his second of the game with just 48 seconds to play, as he camped on the right pipe and waited for a pinpoint pass off the far side boards that found him unmarked.
Archies then controlled the ensuing faceoff, got Steve Jenner out of the goal again, and went back on the attack. In a matter of seconds the puck was on the ice in front of Martin being whacked at by a gaggle of sticks. It was the one held by Menzel that made solid contact, and slipped it through the maelstrom to knot the score and leave the Ghosts stunned and the Bishops on Cloud Nine.
In the meaningless overtime, Archies dominated the proceeding as it accounted for all six shots that found the net, the last of which Davis popped in to make it 5-4.
After a scoreless first period, the Ghosts got hot in the second and tickled the twine three times to take charge. They struck first just 34 seconds into the period when Ryan Hesseltine completed a cross by Jay Drapeau. At 3:27 Andrew Gounaris buried a rebound, after Jenner stoned Tim Curran, to make it a two-goal game.
The Bishops answered 17 seconds later as Sorenti got his first of three in the game on a break-in.
The back-and-forth third period continued with Westford going up 3-1 on a gal by Anthony Gulliver, who found himself in the right place at the right time. The Bishops attempted to clear the puck out of their own end, without looking up first and sent a pass right to Gulliver in the high slot, who skated a stride in and then snapped a wrister past Jenner to the glove side at 6:15.
Four minutes later the Bishops made it a one-goal game on the first varsity goal of Cullen Lyne’s career. The sophomore, who had not played with the big club before the Cape Cod Cup, stepped into a regular shift when Eric Keefe went down with a shoulder injury early in the game. He popped a rebound up and over Martin, finishing off a break-in by Ryan Dunn.
In the third period it looked like Westford had the game in hand after taking a two-goal lead with 5:42 left in regulation. Hesseltine set up the Ghosts’ final tally with a brilliant lead pass out of the defensive zone, splitting the middle and finding Cam MacDonald in stride for a 2-on-1 break with Drapeau, who buried a cross to make it 4-2.
That set the stage for the Bishops’ late-game dramatics, whose plan was to get Jenner out of the cage with 100 seconds to play and try to wreak havoc. They did just that, and rallied to earn the draw, which felt like a win, and unofficially was one.
“They made a lot of good plays at the end, you have to give them a lot of credit,” Westford head coach Bob Carpenter said. “They really hung in there and made a lot of great plays on both goals, I thought. They’re good.”
Chelmsford 1, Falmouth 1
In the nightcap, the goals did not flow as freely as in the opener. Chelmsford (1-2-2) and Falmouth (3-1-1) each netted a goal in the second period, just 71 seconds apart, and that was it, other than an overtime goal by Mike DeDonato, that was set up by Matt Calnan with 45 seconds left in the extra session.
Paul Moore, the Clippers’ new head coach who replaced Massachusetts legend Buddy Ferreira this year, was upbeat about his young team’s performance against an opponent he sees as high quality.
“I’m so proud of the way that they played,” Moore said. “That’s a huge point for us right there and the effort from top to bottom was unbelievable. Cody Bailey had the game of his career, he got the game puck. Isaiah Lineaweaver, he could have gotten the game puck, too. I’m just so proud of there effort, we hung in there.”
While they weren’t exactly lighting it up, the two teams did light one another up with plenty of solid hitting in the open ice and solid defense all-around on both sides. The goalies were good, too. Falmouth’s Jake Beaton stopped 16 of 17 shots that he saw during regulation and his counterpart from Chelmsford, Tim Huggins, halted 17 of 18.
Beaton stopped two late first period shots, by Wes Phillips and Derek Adamson, which were definite scoring opportunities. Phillips’ bid hit a skate on the way to the goal, but Beaton stayed with the deflection and covered it up. He then dove to the far post with just 20 seconds left in the period to deny a wraparound try by Adamson that would have crossed the line if not for the lunge.
Chelmsford head coach Mike McGrath said he felt like his team left Falmouth off the hook early in the game. “I’m disappointed. We had four two-on-ones in the first period, and we had an opportunity to put them away early and we let them hang around,” McGrath said. “Right now we’re just struggling to score. We’ve only got four goals in the last three games.”
Huggins came up biggest late in the game, with Falmouth flying around in the final five minutes looking to bring the hometown crowd to its feet. He robbed Bailey on a break-in with six minutes to go in the game and then answered the bell on an Arlin Moore chance with 5:05 to play.
As for the goals that were scored, they both came late in the second frame. Chelmsford took a brief 1-0 lead at the 11:53 mark of the second when Jack Olson roofed a rebound over Beaton after the keeper had stopped a shot by Jesse Lye, but was left prone on the ice.
Shortly after they fell behind, the Clippers drew even as their leading scorer, Robbie Souza, found the back of the net for the fourth game in a row. The senior co-captain blocked a shot by the Lions and beat everyone else up the ice in a mad dash for the loose puck. Souza tipped it ahead to himself in the neutral zone and bore down on Huggins, beating the goalie from the high slot with a wrister to the glove side for his ninth tally of the young season.
All four teams will be back at tomorrow afternoon. Falmouth will face Westford Academy at 1 p.m., followed by Archies against Chelmsford at 3 p.m.