MIAA Boys D1 South Final: Framingham bounces Braintree in 2 OTs, 2-1

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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Framingham 2, Braintree 1 (2 OTs)

The Flyers (16-6-4) repeated history Sunday night at Gallo Arena and first-year coach Will Ortiz came full circle in the process. A key member on the Flyers’ team that upended Braintree, 1-0, when Framingham won its last South crown in 2004, Ortiz was the guy making the decisions and sweating the outcome this time.

Ortiz pinpointed the key to winning: “Sticking to our game plan and executing. Our boys were prepared for every scenario that was thrown at us. The hours we put in going into the game proved to be a boost of confidence. When it came to OT, we were prepared and ready to go. Our guys found a way to play for each other and not the crowd. They believed in one another and trusted the process,” he said.

With the Bay State Conference Carey Division foes skating three aside in the second six-minute OT, Flyers’ senior captain Scott Swennes settled it, his top shelf snipe with 1:26 left sending the Carey Division runner-up Flyers to Sunday’s State title game at TD Garden (TBD). It was fitting that Swennes ended it after finding iron in the final minute of regulation.

“Scott has been clutch all year for us. When he has a chance to get a puck on net, he will shoot. He found the back of the net this time around,” Ortiz said.

Flyers’ junior goalie Alex Moore stood out in the first OT with six saves, including a breakaway denial of Braintree’s Dara Canavan. Moore has anchored a lockdown defense that helped the Flyers outscore four Sectional opponents, 11-2.

“We emphasized defensive coverage and making sure we play defense first, which will generate our offense. Our defensive zone coverage has been excellent starting with Alex throughout the playoffs,” Ortiz said.

Both regulation goals came in the second period – Ben Stefanini for Framingham at 3:16 and Brett Lockhart for Braintree at 11:23. Owen Cuddyer piled up 31 saves for the Carey Division champion Wamps, who finished 14-7-2. The teams split regular-season games with Braintree prevailing, 3-1, on Jan. 4 and Framingham winning, 3-0, on Feb. 1.

Framingham awaits the winner of tonight’s North Sectional final between St. Mary’s (L) and Andover (Tsongas, 7:30). Framingham’s previous State titles came in 1992 and 1961.

“It is an excellent opportunity for these kids to play for a state championship. The sacrifices and commitment they have demonstrated throughout the year is a testament to why we have gotten to this point. They deserve everything they have earned,” Ortiz said.

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