By Tom Joyce (@TomJoyceSports)
BOURNE, Mass. - Matt Doyle was the hero his team needed Wednesday night.
The senior forward for the No. 8 Middleboro/Hull boys' hockey co-op flipped puck over the No. 9 Cohasset Skippers goaltender's shoulder and into the back of the net for the lone goal in a shootout.
Thanks to Doyle's goal and strong play in net from Sachems senior goaltender Jonathon O'Donnell, who made five stops in the shootout, the Sachems topped the Skippers, 4-3, in the first round the MIAA Division 3 South Sectional playoffs.
For Doyle, making the shot was as big of a relief for him as it was for anyone in attendance.
"I was terrified," Doyle said. "The game's on the line. Everyone's watching me. I don't want it to be my last game. I knew their weakness was up top. That's what the coaches told up all game. So I went in, faked it, and put it right over his glove. It was probably the happiest moment of my life."
|Matt Doyle's shootout game-winner, captured beautifully by @Middleboroghtv.|
This was the third meeting of the season for the Skippers (11-7-3) and Sachems (12-6-3). Previously, they tied (3-3 on January 18) and the Skippers won another matchup (2-0 on December 17). But of any game his team could have won against their South Shore League foe -- who entered the game with an identical record to his team -- Sachems head coach Scott Drevitch is happy it was this one.
"The kids worked really hard," Drevitch said. "They did what we wanted them to and we came out ahead against a really good team. We knew they were going to come to play."
During overtime, both sides had numerous chances to end the game, but it quickly became evident that fatigue hindered the play of both teams. The Skippers had several undefended shot opportunities they were unable to capitalize on and the Sachems had trouble skating on a couple breakaways.
Like overtime, much of regulation was uneventful, the second period being the exception.
Early in the second period, there was five minutes of fury where both sides dominated the attack. In that span, the Sachems put up three goals; two from senior forward Kevin Donahoe and the other from senior forward Mike D'Errico.
Donahoe's first goal was a rocket from inside the left face off circle assisted by junior forward Alex Steinman and senior defenseman Nick Sclafan. His other goal came on a breakaway where he faked out a Skippers defender and then faked left and pushed the puck in on the right side for the score unassisted.
D'Errico's score came on a tip-in assisted by sophomore forward Ian Yeskewicz and senior defenseman Peter Reynolds.
The frenzy started on a Skippers power play when sophomore forward Conor Joslin flipped the puck high and into the back of the Sachems net, giving his team a 1-0 lead with 12:56 remaining in the second.
The Skippers other goal in the span came on an odd-man rush. Junior forward Ryan Losordo capitalized on the mismatch, unassisted and his goal tied the game at two apiece.
With under two minutes remaining in the second period, the Skippers tied the game at three all on Joslin's second goal of the game which came on a breakaway. Junior defenseman Mike Legge had the assist.
The Sachems move on to face the winner of the No. 2 Southeastern/West Bridgewater vs. No. 16 Dartmouth game in the Division 3 South Quarterfinals. That game will be played Saturday, Mar. 4 at 4:15 p.m. at Asiaf Arena in Brockton.