Squirt B Green falls to Duxbury in 6OT playoff thriller

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(Front row, l-r) Lizzie Tassinari, Chris Turano, AJ Thomas, Rylan Morgan, Owen Donovan, Adam Tabba, Jacob Crugnale; (back row, l-r) Coach Fitzpatrick, Jeff Fitzpatrick, Vinnie O’Brien, Jack Lauro, Will Ferrara, Aidan Connaughton, Eamon Kelly, Coach Donovan; (missing) Coach Connaughton

(Front row, l-r) Lizzie Tassinari, Chris Turano, AJ Thomas, Rylan Morgan, Owen Donovan, Adam Tabba, Jacob Crugnale; (back row, l-r) Coach Fitzpatrick, Jeff Fitzpatrick, Vinnie O’Brien, Jack Lauro, Will Ferrara, Aidan Connaughton, Eamon Kelly, Coach Donovan; (missing) Coach Connaughton

Canton Youth Hockey’s Squirt B Green team ended its season last Sunday in a heartbreaking 5-4 playoff loss to Duxbury after an incredible six overtime periods.

The kids showed up at Pembroke Hobomock Arena full of energy and ready to skate. They were missing two players, Adam Tabba and Chris Turano, so they knew they were going to have to work hard. The Bulldogs got on the board within the first minute when Eamon Kelly took the puck down the ice to beat the Duxbury goalie, making it 1-0.

On defense, Aidan Connaughton, Owen Donovan, Vinnie O’Brien and Lizzie Tassinari worked hard at keeping Duxbury from getting too close to the Canton net. Rylan Morgan held off the Duxbury offensive flurries by making timely saves with his flashing pads. Jacob Crugnale made a beautiful pass to Kelly, who scored Canton’s second goal to make it 2-0 Bulldogs.

The offense of Crugnale, Will Ferrara, Jeff Fitzpatrick, Jack Lauro, and AJ Thomas were constantly putting pressure on the Duxbury defense with many excellent shots on goal, only to be stopped by the hardworking Duxbury goalie. Duxbury scored to make it 2-1, but Kelly responded with his third goal, giving him a hat trick and pulling Canton ahead 3-1.

The third period saw Canton shorthanded and Duxbury was able to capitalize with two power play goals to tie the game at 3-3. Canton rallied and Thomas scored, pulling Canton ahead again 4-3. However, the last two minutes of regulation changed drastically for the Bulldogs. Duxbury started to pull their goalie to put a sixth skater on. Kelly stole the puck and broke away toward the opposing goal, so the Duxbury goalie turned around to defend his net.

The referees failed to notice that there were too many Duxbury players on the ice, much to the dismay of the Canton parents and coaches. Duxbury capitalized on this officiating error and scored the questionable tying goal. The Canton coaches pleaded the Bulldogs’ case with the referees, but the goal stood and the game went into overtime.

In the playoffs, consecutive five-minute, sudden death overtimes are the game format. Both teams came out playing hard, each having equal opportunities to try to score the winning goal. Morgan made save after beautiful save to help keep Canton in the game. Tassinari, O’Brien, Donovan, and Connaughton stymied the Duxbury offense time and time again. On the other end of the ice, Thomas, Lauro, Ferrara, and Crugnale kept consistent pressure on the Duxbury goalie.

The game became a battle of goalies as the Bulldogs completed one overtime period, then a second, and worked their way to the start of the sixth overtime period! The kids were very tired at this point but still gave it their best. Unfortunately, Duxbury was able to score the winning goal on a rebound shot, ending the game about one hour and 35 minutes after it started.

The Squirt B Green Bulldogs came off the ice exhausted and feeling very defeated. They fought hard to the finish to try to claim the victory that was rightfully theirs, and they never gave up. The coaches and parents are very proud of the kids. They took this loss and have turned it into a positive. While Duxbury may have walked away with the victory on paper, the Canton kids have walked away with a sense of pride and knowing that they are the true winners in every sense of the word.

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avatar Posted by on Apr 3 2014. Filed under Sports, Youth Sports.
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