MIAA Boys Division 2 Semifinals: Nick Dicioccio Gives Tewksbury Major Lift, Scores In Double OT To Deny Duxbury

Jim Clark
Jim Clark
Jim Clark joined Hockey Night in Boston in December 2019, and has covered high school hockey in Massachusetts for more than three decades. He also covers high school hockey and is a multiplatform editor for the Boston Globe, and previously spent two decades as high school hockey reporter at the Boston Herald, where he also served as the high schools editor from 2000-06. Clark was honored by the Mass. State Hockey Coaches Association with its William Stewart Award for contributions to the sport in May 2019, and also received the Joel Perlmutter Award for media coverage in 2006. A graduate of UMass, he also spent eight years as sports editor/reporter at the Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg, and has extensively covered high school hockey in Central and Western Mass. as well as Connecticut.

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Tewksbury was in command midway through Monday night’s Division 2 state semifinal at Loring Arena when a five-minute boarding major on the Redmen gave Duxbury the opening it needed to get back into the game.

Duxbury goalie Sam Mazanec makes save on this close-in scoring bid. Game went to double OT where Tewksbury prevailed, 4-3, to move on to the D2 final at TD Garden.

The game eventually got pushed into overtime, and then, a second extra session. Then given a five-minute major power play of their own during the 3-on-3 portion, the top-seeded Redmen made sure to return the favor.

Nick Dicioccio scored his second goal of the game with just 43 seconds left in double overtime, sealing Tewksbury’s 4-3 victory over the #4 Dragons. Dicioccio found plenty of room to skate into the slot and rifled a shot past Dragons goalie Sam Mazanec, clinching the Redmen’s return trip to the state final and TD Garden, where they lost to Canton in 2019.

Here is Nick Dicioccio’s winning goal:

Canton, the #3 seed, could be the opponent again if the Bulldogs get past #2 Gloucester in Tuesday’s other D2 semifinal.

Tewksbury never trailed, but had to battle to the finish against a Duxbury team that used special teams to its advantage. In addition to Brendan Bonner’s goal on the major power play that made it a 3-2 game, the Dragons got another man advantage with 57 seconds left in regulation and pulled Mazanec for a 6-on-4. They seized on the opportunity immediately, winning the faceoff and working the puck around to Mike Hussey at the right point. Hussey’s initial shot was stopped, but Dan Bird was right on the doorstep to knock the rebound past Tewksbury goalie Ben O’Keefe with 51.7 seconds left.

Duxbury scored all three of its goals on the power play. But by the time the Dragons got the first one, Tewksbury already was out to a 2-0 lead. Matthew Cooke scored just 2:16 into the game, and Jeremy Insogna doubled the lead before the game was six minutes old. Both goals were the end result of defensemen carrying the puck deep into the zone – as Caden Connors fed Cooke for the one-timer in the slot and Dicioccio did the same for Insogna.

Aidan Harrington got one back for Duxbury before period’s end, but Dicioccio restored the two-goal Tewksbury lead early in the second.

Dicioccio would have an even bigger goal left in store for later.

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