FALMOUTH, Mass. – As Tyler Powers’ second-period slap shot trickled across the goal line, you could feel Hingham’s postseason chances slipping away.
The Harbormen needed to win their final three games of their regular season to qualify for the postseason, a tall task in itself when you take a glance at their remaining schedule. It started with Duxbury and includes an impending date with No. 7 Central Catholic.
But after their 2-1 loss at the hands of the Dragons in the Buddy Ferreira Classic semifinals, those hopes have vanished and, for the first time since 1998, the MIAA tournaments will be without the Harbormen.
As for Duxbury, the Dragons earn a date with BC High in the Buddy Ferreira Classic Championship game on Thursday at 7 p.m.
“We really wanted to get to that championship game down here,” Duxbury coach John Blake said. “We have 11 seniors that want to play in meaningful games in February and we were going to do everything on our end we had to do.”
At 11:26 of the second period, with the Dragons on the man-advantage, the puck found its way to Powers at the right point. He took a few steps in and unleashed a shot that deflected off the helmet of a Harborman and slowly trickled and painfully over the goal line for what would be the game winning goal.
“Something we were emphasizing all game was getting pucks to the net,” said Blake. We were just trying to get anything to the net we could and there it goes it bounces off a helmet and goes in. It certainly wasn’t pretty.”
The Harbormen started off the third period with 1:10 on the power play and as Duxbury was prepared to weather the storm that Hingham was about to throw at them.
But rather it was the Dragons that controlled the puck in the final stanza, outshooting the Harbormen, 10-7.
“I saw we had a lot of chances to get the puck out of the zone we didn’t really execute and had a little trouble with our wings along the board.” Hingham coach Tony Messina said. “We were just panicking a little bit.”
Hingham goalie Alex Bonn did everything he could to keep his squad in the postseason hunt, but was on the wrong end of a couple unlucky bounces.
Just 1:46 into the first period, Duxbury’s Kevin Corcoran got off a backhander in the slot through the legs of a defender and right through Bonn’s pads.
“I thought the first goal was painful,” said Messina. “It went through the goalies pad and I don’t even know if it reached the back of the net.”
Hingham responded well to the early deficit and outshot the Dragons 8-4 in the opening period. 8:09 into the period, Patrick Colpoys got the equalizer when his long wrister from the right boards beat Tucker Kelly and snuck inside the far post.
Rhythm-less offense: As expected when fighting for your playoff lives, emotions ran high in Monday afternoon’s game. Eleven minors were called in the game, seven alone in the second period to go along with two misconducts. It kept both offenses from establishing any consistency on offense.
“Absolutely disrupted the whole flow of the game I think on both sides not just for us,” said Blake. “I think Hingham had trouble too establishing any type of flow, we did too. It felt like a ping pong match.”
Ferriera finale: The Buddy Ferreira Classic features some of the best teams in the state year in and year out, which means the championship game features the best of the best. This year is no different as the Dragons square off with BC High, Thursday night.
It will be a tall task, but win or lose, the Dragons will get a dose of what their competition will be come tournament time.
“We saw them today, we have to figure out how to sow them down,” said Blake. “They look like a well-oiled machine. We are a heavy underdog going into Thursday night.“