Patriot League rivals Hanover and Scituate split a pair of meetings during the regular season, and a third matchup to settle the championship of the Gould Memorial Cup over February vacation turned into a glorified scrimmage when Hanover had to forfeit because of a scheduling snafu.
But Tuesday night they were able to settle things, in what was a rare postseason matchup between the South Shore rivals.
Senior Robbie Hanna scored 1:35 into the second period and the No. 3 Hawks survived for a 1-0 victory over the No. 2 Sailors in a Division 3 state semifinal at Gallo Ice Arena.
Hanover returns to TD Garden for the first time since 2018 and will face top-seeded Marlboro in Sunday’s state final. The Hawks were declared co-champions with Longmeadow in 2020 when the title game was canceled at the beginning of the COVID outbreak.
While Scituate and Hanover each have had their share of postseason success in the 2000s, this was actually the first time they squared off in a tournament game since March 2, 1999, when both were in Division 3 South. Hanover won that meeting, as well.
In this one, it was Hanna who finally solved Scituate goalie Cole Coyne (28 saves) after a scoreless first period. Hanna skated the puck over the blue line toward the top of the right circle, then used a screen to fire a wrist shot that beat Coyne glove side to the top right corner.
The score never changed thanks in part to Coyne and his Hanover counterpart, Liam Monahan, who finished with 15 saves for his third shutout of the postseason. The Hawks have allowed only one goal in their four tournament games.