Grant Gardula scored with 3:09 remaining in the third period to lift No. 2 Wachusett to a 3-2 victory over No. 5 Groton-Dunstable Sunday in the Central Mass. Division 3 Tournament championship game.
It was the Mountaineers(16-4-3) first sectional title since 2013.
Wachusett will face Longmeadow (15-5-2) in a state semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Holy Cross. The Mountaineers beat the Lancers, 4-0, in early January.
Wachusett easily beat Groton-Dunstable twice during the regular season. But the playoffs were different.
Kevin Skagerlind set up Gardula’s game-winning goal. It came on a one-timer from the left circle.
After a scoreless opening period, Wachusett used goals from Jack Felicio during a power play at 8:58 and from junior Colin Moran (shorthanded) at 12:22.
Will Zinkann scored on a breakaway for the Crusaders. Brendan Ferrari’s power play goal tied the score at two apiece.