BOURNE, Mass. – Hingham High School scored three goals in the second period and rolled to a methodical victory over second-seeded Wellesley on Sunday night at Gallo Ice Arena, taking a 4-0 decision over the Raiders.
Hingham, seeded 10th in the sectional, improved to 13-8-3 win the win while Wellesley's year ends at 15-3-4.
The Harbormen will face the winner of Monday night's game between third-seeded Barnstable and 11th-seeded Marshfield in the semifinals on Thursday night at 8 p.m.
During the tournament so far, Hingham's goals have tended to come in spurts. They strung together four quick ones in their first round win against Wellesley in the first period. Against Wellesley in round two they bunched three goals over a seven minute span in the second period. After nearly a half-game with no goals, Hingham broke the proverbial seal and poured in a troika of goals to gain control of the game. They added one more in the fourth to account for the final score.
Senior Ethan Iaria put the first goal on the board by being in the right place at the right time. With his team starting to create some excitement offensively, Iaria slid through the slot and was in position to unload on a loose puck that had flew off the stick of teammate Marc O'Rouke, hit off of a Wellesley defender and landed at his feet. The hard slap shot beat Jack Maxwell (17 saves) to the glove side.
Seconds later Wellesley had its best scoring chance to that point in the game. Forward Peter Hereu sped through the slot and got off a tough shot against Hingham keeper Andrew Ehler that was labeled for the near side corner. Ehler got the edge of his skate on it, though, sending the puck out of harm's way.
“You forget about that when you win 4-0, but that could have changed the momentum. When we need a save, he makes a save,” head coach Tony Messina said of his starting goalie, who watched teammate Matt Personeni earn the win in the previous game.
Ehler finished the game with 16 saves to earn the shutout. He stopped four in the first, eight in the second period and four more in the third period.
The goaltending duo has been a great luxury for the Harbormen, although having to decide between them can be tough.
“It's unbelievable, the two of them, they're good to each other. We have trouble trying to decide which one goes in there. They're different styled goalies, and we try to match it up to who we're playing. It's been working, so we're going to stick with it.”
At 9:35 Hingham got its second, capitalizing on a power play chance. With Connor Morton in the penalty box for a hooking infraction that didn't really look like a hooking infraction, the Harbormen made the most of their opportunity and doubled the lead on a blast from Matt Demelis that came from just above the hashes. Dan Shea assisted on the goal.
Hingham got a back-break late in the period, opening up a commanding three-goal lead on their prettiest goal of the three in the second frame. Iaria broke up the middle with speed, took the puck to his right and then slid a beautiful feed to the slot for Shea, who touched it under Maxwell to up the lead to 3-0 at 13:16.
In the third period, Hingham picked up a penalty with 9:17 left. With their offense sputtering, Raiders head coach Paul Donato opted to pull his keeper to attack with a 6-on-4 advantage with hopes of finally getting something behind Ehler. The ploy did not work.
Just seconds into the power play, Hingham netted an empty-netter to ice the victory. Billy McNally rolled one down the length of the rink to make it 4-0.