Lowell and Cambridge certainly are no unfamiliar foes on the ice. The teams were rivals for years in Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual County League 3, before Lowell was bumped up a tier starting this season.
But the Red Raiders’ postseason status didn’t change, and they were back to defend their sectional title from 2019. And they did just that at the expense of the second-seeded Falcons, scoring a 3-1 victory in Sunday’s Division 3 North championship game at Stoneham Arena.
It’s actually the third title in four years for Lowell. The program also previously made consecutive trips to the Div. 3 North final from 2004-06, winning it all in 2005.
But one thing the Red Raiders haven’t been able to accomplish is getting past the state semifinal level. They will try to do that Wednesday when they return to Stoneham Arena to face South champion Hanover, seeking their first-ever trip to TD Garden and the state final next Sunday.
Ninth-seeded Lowell needed just 2:36 to take the lead, with Shawn Spring banging home a loose puck. There was a bit of a delay before the officials signaled the puck had gotten behind Falcons goalie Lukas Foley-Fiore, setting off the Raiders celebration.
Cambridge got the equalizer 49 seconds into the second as Paul Magalhaes broke down the left side on a 3-on-2 and snapped a hard shot to the far top right corner over the glove of Lowell goalie Jake Vieira.
But Vieira and the Raiders wouldn’t be dented again. Cam Trull provided them the winning tally later in the second, not long after a sequence of penalties on each team had expired. Owen Goulette occupied a pair of Falcons along the left boards and slipped a pass to Trull coming into the zone. Trull made a nice deke to get free into the slot and beat Foley Fiore for the 2-1 lead.
With Foley-Fiore out for the extra attacker, DeMarco finally did convert into the empty net with 46 seconds left to seal the latest sectional title for Lowell.
Cambridge, then known as “Cambridge Latin,” won a state championship in 1958. But this was the deepest run by the Falcons program in the MIAA sectional era.