FALMOUTH, Mass. -- Hope is still alive for the Hingham Harbormen.
With a 4-4 tie against Archbishop Williams in the first round of the Buddy Ferreira Classic on Saturday, Hingham remains in the hunt for an MIAA postseason berth, by the skin of their teeth.
Hingham rallied back from two goals at the start of the third period to tie the game up late in the third period. They advanced into the winner’s bracket of the tourney when Matt Demelis popped in a rebound at 3:26 of overtime.
The MIAA does not sanction regular season overtime, so the game goes into the record books as a draw for Hingham. It doesn’t make things any easier though. The Harbormen must run the table going forward, starting with a Classic semifinal battle against rival Duxbury on Monday.
“I think the kids showed a lot in the third period,” Tony Messina said. “They knew what they were up against and sometimes when you play with desperation it works.”
Youngster Luke McInnis scored the biggest goal of his high school career to bring the Harbormen all the way back at 12:02 of the third period. The sophomore defenseman collected his fourth of the season to square the game at 4-4.
McInnis started the play in the defensive end. With his team looking low on gas, and chasing around the Bishops and the puck in their own end, McInnis came up with the puck and worked it through the middle of the ice, unloading a slapper just a stride over the blue line. His rising blast glanced off goalie Steve Jenner’s outstretched glove and chimed in off the bottom of the crossbar.
McInnis said he wasn’t trying to be a hero, he was just trying to get the puck into the Bishops’ zone and good things happened.
“I just got it out of the zone and skated it up the ice and took a shot and it ended up going in, got kind of lucky, I was trying to get it on net, get a rebound,” McInnis said. “It felt great, a great relief that we finally tied. Our whole team was battling, our goalie was playing good and it felt great to get a tie and a win in OT."
Early on it looked like the two teams were going to wear out the scorekeeper as they combined for five first period goals. Mike Sorrenti struck first for the Bishops just 70 seconds into the game with a one-timer from Mike Jessman. Less than three minutes later the Harbormen tied it up with a floater from the top of the left wing circle by Billy McNally that Matt McCaughey misjudged.
Hingham gained its only lead of the night, until overtime, at 6:52, when Pat Colpoys poked a pass from behind the cage inside the near post. That goal chased McCaughey from the game and brought Steve Jenner out of the bullpen for the Bishops. Jenner calmed things down and did not give up a goal until the third.
The Bishops rallied to tie it up at 2-2 a tad over a minute later. Jessman shoveled a pass from Kyle Leonard under the crossbar. Then, at 13:08, the Bishops went out front, 3-2, on a goal by Ryan Dunn, who also scored early in the third to make it 4-2.
Hingham dodged a bullet late in the second when Dunn had a bid for a hat trick. With just four seconds left in the period, Dunn broke in clean against Alex Bonn, off of a steal, but his backhander hit the crossbar.
McInnis said the players knew what they were up against.
“You could feel it in the room. Everybody was real uptight and everything. We just came out ready to play in the third and came back from 4-2,” he said.
Colpoys agreed, and had a big hand in doing something about the deficit.
“The captains were yelling, trying to get everyone fired up. Seventeen seconds later, we get on the ice and pop one,” Colpoys said.
It was Colpoys that made it a one-goal game. With his team opening the period with a power play, they won a draw in the leftwing circle. Colpoys switched spots with a teammate and went for the far post, where he camped out and jammed in a nice feed through traffic by Joe Personeni.
“We just reminded them that this was the end of the road for us for the tournament,” Messina said. “They knew that and they came out and played with a lot of heart. I’m very proud of them.”
Next up for the Harbormen is a do-or-die affair with their biggest rival, Duxbury. The Dragons, who won earlier in the day against Arlington Catholic, won the only meeting between the clubs back in late January, 5-3.
Hingham’s players said that they’re looking forward to getting another shot at the Dragons, and did not soft sell its importance.
“That’ll be an absolute war, I’m so happy for that game,” Colpoys said with a smile. “That’s going to be a good one.”