BOURNE, Mass. -- For one fleeting second everything stopped.
With Norwood down one and the clock winding under 30 seconds, a freak bounce put the puck in John Galvin’s wheelhouse and Hingham goalie John Grenier completely out of position. Galvin whiffed on the shot and Hingham held on to win a wild 5-4 Division 1 South quarterfinal yesterday at Gallo Arena.
“They played a great game, with intensity and fired up,” Hingham coach Tony Messina said of the Mustangs. “For some reason we didn’t. I told them we have to work the whole first period. They came back every single time. They weren’t very hard shots but they got through. It’s tough to explain.”
Hingham set the tone early.
Sam D’Antuono scored 3:07 to put the Harbormen up early. D’Antuono and his linemate, Matt Brazel, combined for six points on the afternoon.
Norwood answered late in the period with goals from Dan Wiseman and Jack Sheehan to go up 2-1 after 15 minutes.
D’Antuono scored 28 seconds into the second period to tie it, and Hingham continued to control much of the possession, but Norwood was able to capitalize on their chances. Mike Roy scored midway through the second to tie it.
Brazel scored 73 seconds later to put Hingham up 3-2.
“They’re go-to guys, it’s obvious,” Messina said of D’Antuono and Brazel. “That line was out there the all the time.”
Justin Ryder buried a rebound at the 5:53 of the third to put Hingham ahead to give Hingham its third lead of the game. Norwood’s Jordan Davis stepped up between the pipes, turning aside 26 shots, but the Hingham attack was too much.
Luke McInnis tipped a shot in with just under two minutes to go. Sheehan scored 27 seconds later with an extra attacker on the ice, which led to the frantic final minute, but it wasn’t enough.
“We hung tough, kept plugging away,” Norwood coach Bill Clifford said. “If John gets that one at the end we’re tied at five.
“I told them to keep their heads up. They’re champs in my book. They won their league, and went down swinging.”
FORGETTING THE PAST
When asked about transitioning to the South tournament after the loss against Central Catholic, Messina smiled and said “What loss to Central?”
Messina said that his squad has taken a water-under-the-bridge attitude to the game and is full committed to winning D1 South and the state title.
“I think they probably think about it every day, but we tried to refocus the next day,” Messina said. “We’ve have had two games in this tournament so far so I’m hoping they’ve refocused and forgotten about that game.”
After Hingham won a defensive zone faceoff with nine seconds left, one of the Harbormen pinned the puck to the boards and killed the final seconds. In the ensuing scramble Norwood’s Rourke Flynn was dropped from a hit from behind.
Flynn took exception to the hit and after some pushing and shoving he, and Hingham’s John Carlson, dropped the gloves and started fighting while a fracas involving at least half a dozen players broke out that took over a minute to bring under control.
Flynn was assessed a game misconduct retroactively while Carlson was not assessed any penalty.