BOURNE, Mass. -- A packed house full of Barnstable fans was ready for the nightcap at Gallo Ice Arena. The Red Raiders’ fans were plentiful and loud. And just 91 seconds into the game, those fans were even louder when Colin Jones gave Barnstable (14-5-4) a 1-0 lead.
The fans’ joy would be short-lived.
Hingham stormed back into its Division 1 South semifinal and scored eight straight goals to advance to the sectional final with an 8-1 win. Junior forward Matt Brazel (two goals, six assists) had his hands in each of the team’s goals.
Hingham head coach Tony Messina was able to smile and make jokes after his team’s dominant performance on Wednesday night.
“I’m going to go back there and tell him [Brazel] that he played just alright,” Messina chuckled.
He added, “Today we played with some emotion. I knew that [Barnstable] would come out strong and they did, you know, they scored the first goal. We kind of took it over from there.”
Brazel scored twice in the first period, and laid off an assist for Justin Ryder, to get Hingham back into the game. The captain ended the night for Barnstable starting goalie Kevin Huska with a great move on a clear breakaway, which made it 3-1 at the end of the first.
Hingham (16-7-2) allowed Central Catholic to come from behind and steal its Super 8 play in game, but this time the Harbormen showed no mercy. They tacked on four goals in the second period, all assisted by Brazel. Junior Sam D’Antuono continued his goalscoring streak with a pair of goals around a score by Stephen Hughes. Freshman defenseman Luke McInnis added the team’s seventh just before the end of the second period.
“We told our kids after the first period that we were lucky to be ahead three-to-one,” Messina said about the team’s second-period explosion. “They like to throw that long pass forward off the boards. When that doesn’t work and we stop it, then we had the advantage on the transition and that’s what we did.”
John Carlson added the eighth Hingham goal early in the third period when he finished off a two on the goalie break with Brazel. Following the goal, Messina emptied his bench to assure that none of his stars picked up injuries or penalties once the game was out of hand.
With his team coming together and making a run at the Division 1 title, Messina believes that the difficulties that the team encountered this season have prepared it for tough tournament games.
“Just kind of quirky stuff has happened to us all year long. You know, if we’re not tested tough by now then we’re never going to be,” he said.
Hingham will await the winner of Archbishop Williams and Marshfield in the finals.