When regulation time ended and more hockey was needed to determine the 2023 MIAA Boys Division 3 state champion, it was a familiar situation for Nashoba Regional.
Eight times this season the Wolves went to overtime. On their run to Sunday’s title game, they played an overtime game against Groton-Dunstable, a double-overtime game against Marlborough and won a shootout against Medfield.
That experience paid off with a 2-1 victory against top-seeded Scituate at the TD Garden.
“We’re pretty comfortable with overtime,” said Nashoba coach Matt Biggs.
Senior captain Joe Quinn scored the winning goal four minutes and six seconds into the eight-minute four-on-four overtime period, slipping a backhand into the Sailors’ goal.
“I just got a great pass from Ryan May,” Quinn said. “This is still sinking in.”
Nashoba (15-5-5) entered the tournament as the 11th seed. It’s the program’s first state title since 2016 when it won a Division 3A title under the MIAA’s previous format.
A year ago, Scituate eliminated the Wolves, 6-1 in the state quarterfinals.
“Selfishly, yes,” said Biggs, when asked if his team wanted another chance against the Sailors this year.
Scituate ended its season at 20-5-2. The Sailors reached the semifinals a year ago before falling to eventual champion Hanover. This was the Sailors’ first state final appearance since 2017 when they lost to Lowell Catholic, 5-4.
“They were a good team that won a lot of tough games,” said Scituate coach Brian Hurcombe. “It’s a tough feeling.”
Nashoba took the lead at 6:33 of the first period when Sam Mongeon scored on a low shot from the left of the goal, knocking in a rebound. Quinn and Nate Carter assisted.
The Sailors tied the score 48 seconds into the second period when Jimmy Sullivan scored a power-play goal from the top of the right circle. Johnny Donahue and Teagen Pratt claimed the assists.
In the third period, the Wolves pressured Scituate’s net early, placing 15 shots on goal. In the final four minutes the Sailors had two good chances. Donahue had a breakaway with 4:03 left and got off a shot that almost went past Nashoba goalie Charlie Mattocks. Mattocks got a handle of the puck just before it crossed the goal line.
“I just cleared my head this week and focused,,” Mattocks said. “I did almost lose that one. I looked and I still had it.”
Mattocks also denied Matt Seghezzi on a slap shot from the right of the goal with 2:46 left.
“We had a lot of good opportunities in the third period,” Hurcombe said. “Their goalie did a great job.”
Mattocks made 16 saves. Thomas McMellen made 19 saves for Scituate.
Nashoba allowed just five goals during the postseason.
“We have really good team defense,” Biggs said, “We have (captain) Dillan Lowe back there but it’s a really good team defense.”