THURSDAY, MARCH 8
(at Gallo Arena)
No. 6 Marshfield 3, No. 10 Needham 1
Junior defenseman Kevin Buckley’s second-period strike stood as the game-winner as Marshfield (14-5-6) advanced to the Sectional title game. Junior James Kolar got the Rams off to a quick start with a goal in the game’s first two minutes. Needham closed to 2-1 on freshman Jack Kamke’s blast with 42 seconds left in the second period. Sophomore Max Burum iced it for Marshfield with 1:54 left in regulation. Marshfield also defeated Needham, 3-0, at the Coach Melchiono Showdown during the final week of the regular season.
Next up for the Rams is a date in the South Sectional title game against No. 12 Braintree Sunday at Gallo Arena (3:15). The Rams did not play Braintree in the regular season. Needham wrapped up a 12-9-4 season.
No. 12 Braintree 3, No. 8 Xaverian 2
Trailing, 2-0, after two periods, the Wamps (11-6-6) packed three goals into a three-minute span to open the third period and stun the Hawks. Aidan Flynn’s goal with 11:38 to play proved to be the game-winner. It followed quick strikes by Shawn Leslie (SHG) and Dara Canavan that pulled Braintree even. Xaverian seemed to have things under control, grabbing a 2-0 lead on second-period goals from Matty Ryan and Ryan Pomposelli (assist). Goalie Owen Cuddyer kept Braintree close and protected the lead down the stretch.
Braintree, the Bay State Carey Division’s third-place team, moves on to its match-up with No. 6 Marshfield for the Sectional title Sunday (Gallo, 3:15). Xaverian, of the Catholic Conference, finished 11-7-5.
Marshfield has won a pair of D1 State titles, in 2011 and 2006. Braintree is seeking its first State Championship.