Massachusetts Boys D1 North Quarterfinals: Two defending State Champs ousted

Kevin Doyle
Kevin Doyle
Kevin joined HNIB in 1990 and is a Senior Writer and Director of the Northern New England and Mass/R.I. High School Division camps. A veteran editor/writer of 40 years in the print and digital mediums, he has edited and produced original content and coordinated production for local and global publications and websites. He holds degrees from Merrimack College and Boston University and won multiple industry awards as Sports Editor of The Daily News of Newburyport and News Editor of The Amesbury News. He is the 2016 recipient of the North Shore Lifetime Commitment From the Community award presented by Moynihan Lumber and a 2017 Newburyport High School Wall of Fame inductee. He resides with his family in Portsmouth, NH. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @kdoyle40

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This Sectional featured both the reigning Division 1A (Arlington) and Division 1 (St. Mary’s) champions – until both lost on Saturday after losing D1A play-in games earlier this week.

No. 7 Winchester 3, No. 2 St. Mary’s (L) 2

At O’Brien Rink in Woburn, the Sachems (14-7-2) opened a 3-0 lead and held on to eliminate the defending State Champion Spartans. Robbie Falso’s fluky power play goal made it 1-0 in the final minute of the first period. Sammy Vozzella re-directed a Luke Mix shot and Jim Kiley (from Falso) scored on the power play as Winchester expanded its lead to 3-0 early in the second. St. Mary’s closed on a pair of Colin Reddy goals but couldn’t complete the comeback. Winchester goalie Rob DiVincenzo stood out.

Winchester, the Middlesex League’s Liberty Division runner-up, takes on Cape Ann League champion Newburyport in Wednesday’s semifinal round at Tsongas. The Sachems lost to Newburyport, 1-0, in December. St. Mary’s, the Catholic Central Large runner-up this season, finished 12-8-4.

No. 8 Belmont 3, No. 1 Arlington 2

At O’Brien Rink in Woburn, the Marauders (12-6-5) ousted the top-seeded Spy Ponders in dramatic fashion in a meeting of Middlesex League Liberty Division foes. Belmont’s Justin Rocha jammed home a rebound to win it with 23.5 seconds left in regulation just 1:30 after Arlington’s Mike Callahan had tied it. Belmont grabbed a 1-0 lead on Dennis Crowley’s goal late in the first period and doubled its advantage on Ben Fici’s goal in the first minute of the second period. Arlington finally got on the board on a power play strike by Dara Conneely early in the third period. Belmont goalie Kevin Dacey was immense.

The win was Belmont’s first against Arlington since 2006. The Marauders advance to Wednesday’s semifinal against Walthem. The teams did not meet in the regular season. Arlington, which won both regular-season meetings with Belmont, finished 12-7-4.

No. 3 Newburyport 3, No. 6 Austin Prep 1

At The Chelmsford Forum, the Cape Ann League champion Clippers (13-3-6) took the measure of the Catholic Central Large kingpin Cougars for the program’s first-ever D1 tournament win. Team scoring leader junior Jacob Grossi-Hogg gave the Clippers a 1-0 lead in the first period. It remained that way until midway through the third period when senior Matt Babcock (assist) scored the GWG on a clean break-in. Kevin Urquhart gave AP life with less than five minutes to play but Newburyport goalie Ken Hodge held firm the rest of the way and Babcock’s ENG sealed it with seven seconds left.

Next up for Newburyport is Winchester in the semifinals at Tsongas on Wednesday. The Clippers nipped the Sachems, 1-0, in December. Austin Prep finished the season at 13-8-1.

No. 4 Waltham 2 vs. No. 5 Medford 0

At The Chelmsford Forum, the Hawks (15-5-2) won their first post-season game since 2013 behind goalie Kyle Penton’s seventh shutout of the season. Andrew Miller’s power play goal (from Connor Blanchard) at 8:21 of the second period was the game-winner. Brian Pescatore doubled the margin in the first minute of the third period.

Waltham now faces Belmont in Wednesday’s semifinal at Tsongas. The teams have not met this season. Medford finished 12-5-4.

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