— Nick Redden (@nickredden23) March 15, 2016
Last night, Algonquin Boys Ice Hockey battled for the Division III Championship title. It was another hard won victory in their journey to states.
The Boys took on 2nd seed Groton-Dunstable. Coming out of 2nd overtime with a 1-1 tie, things were again settled by shootout. This time, it took 8 rounds to clinch the win.
The Telegram covered the action interviewed the teams:
“You kind of knew coming into this game it was going to be an absolute dogfight like it was out there,” said G-D coach Brendan McCann. . .
neither team scored through the first six rounds of a scheduled five-round shootout.
Then the goals came in succession with junior John Paterson going five-hole for Algonquin and sophomore Liam McDonough roofing one home to stave off elimination for Groton-Dunstable before sophomore Sean Prendergast regained the advantage for Algonquin thanks to a dose of puck luck.
“There was a lot of pressure there,” admitted Prendergast, who turned 16 on Monday. “I just tried to go in with speed because he wasn’t going back all the way. I kind of lost the puck, and it happened to squeak through.
“I was shocked. I just thought I lost the puck, and then the crowd reacted, so that’s how I knew it went in.”
Then senior goalie Michael Tascione (24 saves) made his final stop of the evening and the Tomahawks were on top for the first time in program history.
Tascione allowed one goal on 11 attempts in two tournament shootouts, but felt the situation Monday night was more difficult than Algonquin’s knockout of Shrewsbury in the semifinals last week.
“Honestly, this one was a lot more stressful,” he said. “I didn’t expect it to go (eight) rounds, and they’re good shooters, I got lucky with a couple of posts and whatnot. But we did everything we needed to do, and we got the win.” (read more)
This Thursday, the team heads to the semi-finals against Westfield. They’ll be in uncharted territory for Algonquin Hockey and facing a program with three past state titles, the most recent in 2013.
Westfield entered their tournament bottom seed with a losing season. But they turned it around with semi-final upset, beating top seed Longmeadow in 2nd overtime.
The game is set for March 17, 5:30 pm at Mass Mutual Center. The winner will head to TD Garden on Sunday.