- Scott Barboza, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOURNE, Mass. –- Even though Marshfield went into the first intermission down one goal, Rams head coach Dan Connolly wasn’t discouraged.
And he didn’t worry either when his team fell behind by two goals.
“I thought we played well and we carried the play,” Connolly said. “They just capitalized on both their chances.”
Then, as though a switch had been turned on, the Rams took off. After falling behind second seed Barnstable 2-0 midway through the second period of Friday night’s Division 1 South semifinal at John Gallo Arena, No. 3 seed Marshfield rallied to score three goals in three and a half minutes and pull out a 3-2 comeback win over the Raiders.
“The attitude in the locker room after the first period, they were a little down,” Connolly said. “But we told them they played well, there was nothing to be ashamed of. We just had to keep playing the way we were and they were going to go in eventually.”
Barnstable (14-4-4) took a 1-0 lead with 9:04 remaining in the first when Zach Wells redirected a Will Toffey point shot.
The Raiders were also able to neutralize the Rams’ team speed through the first period, playing a 1-2-2 defensive trap.
“They kind of played that trap on us and we knew if we skated to them and we manipulated one guy to come over, there would be another guy open,” Rams junior forward Chris Perry said. “And that’s what happened.”
Toffey helped Barnstable to a 2-0 lead in the second, stripping a Marshfield defender with a persistent forecheck and then walking into the slot and letting off a wrist shot at the 8:56 mark.
The Rams (17-3-5) began their comeback 11 seconds later, straight off the ensuing faceoff. Joe Admirand raced up the left wing boards and slid a cross-ice pass to Jon Fraser, who buried the one-timer.
Ty Martina tied the game with 2:30 to play in the second, unleashing a slap shot from the right wing circle that appeared to be deflected by a Raider defenseman’s stick. Ryan Connors and Jimmy Connors had the assists on the play.
Perry then tallied the game-winner before the period was out. With 25 seconds remaining, Perry put back the rebound off of Ryan Connors’ shot from the off wing. Connors’ blast ricocheted off the post, but back in the direction of Perry, who then finished top shelf.
“It was a great play by my linemate Ryan Connors,” Perry said. “He was flying around everywhere. It came off the back post right to me. I was lucky.”
The Rams defense held through some tense final minutes of the third period, with Kyle Moran making seven saves.
Freshman Sean Cleary also turned in a strong performance in net for the Raiders with 23 saves.
Marshfield will face top-seeded Springfield Cathedral at Gallo on Sunday for the sectional championship. The puck drops at 4:45 p.m.
“They’re deep, they’re big and they’re fast,” Connolly said of Cathedral. “Hopefully, it’s a good one.”
Top-seeded Springfield Cathedral’s been in this territory recently.
Two years ago, the Panthers lost a Super Eight play-in game and then rebounded, tearing through the Division 1 South tournament en route to the state championship.
Cathedral has followed through on that trajectory this season, advancing to the D-1 South final with a 5-0 win over No. 13 seed Duxbury during the early game at Gallo.
The Panthers (14-10-1) jumped on the board four minutes into the first with Frank Crinella one-timing Mickey Foley’s feed through the slot. Dante Christofori also picked up an assist on the play.
Christofori tallied his second point of the game, finding the back of the net 1:19 into the second period, providing Cathedral with a 2-0 lead. The Panthers ran their lead to 3-0 three minutes later with Matt Peloquin cashing in after camping out on the high slot with Griffin Foley providing the feed.
“Me and Frank have been connected all year long and Dante came on our line two weeks ago,” Mickey Foley said. “He’s really fit the spot. We had an empty spot and he’s really stepped up to the plate. He’s getting open and giving good passes. We’ve connected really well.”
Cathedral carried play through the second and Duxbury was held without a shot for the first 13 minutes despite having two power play opportunities sandwiched together midway through the period. The Panthers outshot the Dragons, 9-1, in the period.
Duxbury (9-8-8) was unable to cash in on four power play chances.
“We went into the third talking about staying out of the box,” Panthers head coach Brian Foley said. “We gave up two man-up opportunities, but we practice those situations a lot and it was nice to see the execution on the power play and the penalty kill.”
Stephen Metayer had the Panthers to a 4-0 lead in the third, exhibiting some quick hands, picking up a loose puck in the slot and letting off a wrist shot. Sean Kavanagh rounded out scoring with a power play goal with 6:15 remaining.