BOSTON -- Earlier this winter, Marshall Terres found himself a casualty of the numbers game, unable to break the roster of a deep Hingham squad.
On Sunday night, he found himself under the bright lights of the TD Garden scoring the biggest goal of his life, vaulting Hingham to a 3-2 victory over Arlington Catholic in the Division I title game.
The magical moment came with 1:21 left in a tie game when Dan Shea freed up a puck along the left wing boards and relayed it to point man Stephen Jacobs who fired a low, hard wrist shot that Terres tipped past AC goalie Dylan Morris.
“The puck was in the corner and Dan Shea was grinding it out in the corner and gets it to the point to Steve Jacobs and I saw him get out there and I said I had to get to the net to look for a tip,” said Terres. “I got the stick on it and it went down and I saw it go in the back of the net and it was surreal. As a freshman winning the game is pretty amazing.”
Hingham was without a key cog in their offensive arsenal with Matt Egan out of the game with a recent appendectomy leading Hingham to challenge their depth.
“We call it next man up kind of like the Patriots where you put a guy in who can handle it,” said Hingham coach Tony Messina. “We practice all year for things like this.”
Hingham (16-8-3) trailed 2-1 entering the third period but scored the tying goal just three minutes into the final stanza.
The tying goal was again generated from a shot from the point, this one off the stick of Mike Saleski whose rocket missed the net but caromed off a lively back board on to the stick of Dan Shea who beat an unsuspecting Morris to tie the game at two.
“We talked before the game about how the boards here are lively,” said Shea. “I saw the puck go to the point and I knew my position was out in front of the net. I was a little out of position so I just got in position and popped it in.”
From there, the third period tipped in the favor of the Cougars who hit two posts but could not crack the stone wall that was Hingham goalie Matt Personeni, who made 13 third period saves and 29 overall.
With 3:40 left in the third period and the Cougars pressing hard, AC sniper Bernie McGovern was free in the slot and fired one labeled for the top corner that Personeti snagged with the glove.
It seemed the puck luck would go the Harbormen’s way from the opening minutes when 1:33 into the game, Matt Demelis sent a pass that deflected off an AC defender, on to the top of the net, and behind a surprised Morris when Billy McNally batted it home out of midair for a 1-0 lead.
Just 57 seconds later, the Cougars would answer when Ryan Tierney pounced on a loose puck at the left post and beat Personeni to tie the game at one.
The second period played at a cautious and careful pace with AC pulling ahead 2-1 at the 9:32 mark when Andy Somerville sent a cross ice pass that hit a Hingham defender and came right back to his stick blade and he beat a sprawling Personeni.
Hingham drew even on Shea’s strike on a power play with 12:00 left and did not generate much offense in the third until Terres worked his magic in front of the net.
“Our drill is puck in the corner from the coach and out to the point and three guys to the net and look for rebounds,” said Terres of his net drive on the game-winner.
For the Harbormen, walking out of the TD Garden as state champions is a long way from a team which at one point this season stood at 7-8-2 after back-to-back losses, both in the games’ final minutes.
“We lost the Duxbury game with 35 seconds left and we lost the next game to St. Mary’s with 50 seconds left,” reflected Messina. “We told the kids between the second and third that we have been through so much adversity. It happened for us as the season went on and we kind of figured it out. We had contributions from all three lines and the defense played great as a unit and we had the goaltending. Any championship needs all of those factors.”