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The Masco Messenger

The Masco Messenger

The Masco Messenger



  The 15th-ranked Masco Chieftains defeated the 2nd-ranked Canton Bulldogs at Zapustas Arena on Sunday by a final score of 4-2. The Bulldogs had come into the game supporting a 15-4-2 record and had won their first tournament matchup against 31 ranked North Attleborough 6-1. As for Masconomet, their first tournament matchup was an overtime thriller against 18th-ranked Hopkinton, which the Chieftains won 5-4. 

  Despite the fact that Masco was considered the underdog coming into this game against the defending champions, their coaching staff was confident in Masco’s winning quotient. 

  “I really have to give my assistant coach Don Roach credit for the pre-game speech,” said Coach Andrew Boepple. “He talked about how we may be playing the defending state champions, but that we have champions in our locker room too. He even found an article about a time a bunch of our players won a championship in youth hockey. It was great and got us loose, but also confident for the game.”

  In the opening period of the game, goaltender Chris Sacco stood on his head, making 12 saves in the period on many high-quality scoring chances, keeping the confident Bulldogs team scoreless in the first.

  “Sacco has been great for us this year and strong goaltending is crucial in the tournament,” said Boepple. 

  Unfortunately for Masco, the pressure applied by the Bulldogs in the first carried over into the second period and eventually became too much to handle, as Canton sophomore Joey Ryan would get the scoring started early in the middle frame, making the score 1-0 Bulldogs. 

  Halfway through the second period, Masco would surrender another goal scored by captain Brendan Tourgee, who fired a shot from the left wing faceoff circle to put the Chieftains down by two goals for the second straight game.

  But, Masco didn’t allow themselves to hang their heads. Just over two minutes later, senior Johnny Mireault got by the line-changing Bulldogs and would snap a shot off of the goaltender who provided a juicy rebound for the net-crashing senior Ben Merrill, who buried the puck in the net, allowing Masco to cut the deficit to one going into the third period.

  For senior captain Anthony Cerbone, this time in between periods is where he felt the momentum shift in the game.

  “We all knew we were going to win, because we knew what it took to win,” said Cerbone. “Up and down the lineup, everyone wanted to win this game badly.”

  In the beginning of the third, Masco struggled to maintain the momentum they had gained in the second, forcing Sacco to make many clutch stops.

  “Sacco’s play is really the backbone of our success,” said Boepple.

  With four minutes remaining in the game, and Masco down a goal, their time to come back was coming to a close, but with the puck dumped deep into the Masco zone, Cerbone made a highlight reel play that would flip the game on its head. 

  “The play began behind the net with a Canton player chasing my inside. I noticed another Canton player hugging the strong side, so I took advantage of the weak side once I gained distance from the trailing player,” said Cerbone. “I look at a coast to coast play, like a running back in football, attempting to run through holes or openings that their lineman make and breaking through them. Eventually, you are able to build enough speed to pass the safety just before the end zone. Once passing the last defender, I saw the far side open, but my gut told me to go short side high, so I crossed my fingers and threw [the puck] up top. Thankfully, it found the net.”

  With Masco finding their stride at the perfect time, the defending champion Bulldogs began to press in their defensive zone and with 2:20 remaining in the game, senior Johnny Mireault would pick off an attempted breakout pass by the Bulldogs, having a clear lane to shoot, wristing it over the glove of Geogham for the go-ahead goal. 

  “There’s no better feeling in the world than seeing the puck hit the back of the cage,” said Mireault. “I knew we still had a couple of minutes to kill, so I focused on the defensive side of the puck until the buzzer sounded.”

  Merrill would go on to add an empty net goal in the last 2:20, as the Chieftains would complete the comeback and the upset, beating the Bulldogs 4-2.

  Cerbone was able to sum up the team’s strength to perfection. 

  “We may not be the most skilled team, and we may not even be ranked in the single digits, but we have the most heart in the whole tournament, I can guarantee you that.”

  Masco’s next game will be played on Thursday, March 7th at 5 in Stoneham.  

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