Green Wave sink ’Hawks in OT again
The Merrimack High School boys hockey team tallied two goals 58 seconds apart in the first period and tied the game at with 7:28 remaining in the third period of its Division II semifinal against Dover, but junior forward Kieran Lombard scored a power-play goal 7:10 into overtime to send the Green Wave to a 4-3 victory.
“(A great) game, Dover came at us pretty hard the entire time, they didn’t let up,” said Tomahawks head coach Matt Davis. “Our guys got tired but we fought a good game the entire time. (The shot totals for the teams was not) exactly what I wanted but we still hung in there obviously to get to halfway through overtime.”
Dover now will play in the Division II final at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. versus top-seeded Spaulding, which beat No. 4 Windham in Wednesday’s other semifinal.
The third-seeded Green Wave (16-4) scored 17 seconds into the game when senior forward Mitchell Welch found the back of the net assisted by sophomore forward Greg Stohrer.
The Green Wave went on the power play with 9:22 left in the first and senior goaltender Matt Brewster registered three saves on the penalty kill for the Tomahawks to keep the Tomahawks only down by one goal.
The second-seeded Tomahawks (14-5) answered when sophomore forward Tucker Twardosky scored with 4:48 remaining in the first period assisted by sophomore forward Jeff Gerhard and freshman forward Stephen Licata.
The Green Wave scored eight seconds later when freshman forward Eric Degregorio found the back of the net assisted by senior forward Cam Crowley and sophomore forward Steven Constas.
Senior defenseman Jason Fortin answered for the Tomahawks with 3:50 left in the first assisted by senior forward Shane Foye to even the game at 2-2.
“The entire season we haven’t given up and that (has) been one of our (positives) for sure,” said Davis. “We get down a goal and it doesn’t (demoralize) us, we keep fighting back. Resiliency is probably the No. 1 (quality) I would define our team as.”
Matt Brewster played well in net for the Tomahawks the entire night as he made 14 saves in the first period, 13 saves in the second period and 10 saves in the third. He also registered some big saves in the extra session.
“Matt Brewster is a great goalie,” said Davis.
The Green Wave, who defeated Merrimack 2-0 on Jan. 31, took a 3-2 lead with 14 minutes remaining in the game when Degregorio scored assisted by Crowley.
The Tomahawks, who defeated No. 7 seeded Kingswood 3-2 in the quarterfinals, tied the game with 7:28 left when sophomore forward John Tiano scored assisted by junior forward Tyler Brewster and Gerhard.
Merrimack had a power play with 3:30 left in regulation and registered a couple shots but neither team scored in the last 7:28 of regulation.
And then in the overtime session, Crowley and Stohrer assisted on Lombard’s game winning power play goal.
“We work on the power play a lot,” said Dover head coach Steven Riker. “To try to get it over to Lombard is one of our go to plays on the power play and I knew when he got it he was going to get a good shot off because he had some time with it. That might have been our best play of the night in terms of playing without the puck and moving it and settling it and looking patient with it.”
The Tomahawks will be graduating four seniors which include Matt Brewster, Fortin, forward Aiden O’Brien and Foye.
“All four seniors are (great) players, they worked (hard) the entire time,” said Davis.