MIAA Boys Division 4 Semifinals: Mason Andrade, Watertown Score Big Victory In Rubber Match Against Stoneham

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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Watertown coach John Vlachos billed Monday night’s showdown with Middlesex Freedom rival Stoneham as a matchup of the #2 Raiders’ rock-solid defense against the #3 Spartans’ dangerous offense.

But the Raiders have shown of late that they can also score in bunches, and get the timely goal when it really matters. It was senior captain Mason Andrade who took care of the latter part of that equation, scoring the tiebreaking goal with 11:15 to play Monday night at Tsongas Center. Then it was up to the defense and junior goalie Casey Williams to put the finishing touches on the Raiders’ 4-3 win in a Division 4 state semifinal.

Watertown will play for its first state title since 2015 when it meets either #1 Norwell or #4 Sandwich on Sunday at TD Garden.

On the winning goal, Andrade chipped the puck to Alec Banosian coming out of the zone. Banosian, who already had a pair of goals, skated up the left wing and, when a Stoneham defender sprawled in the faceoff circle to try to break up the play, skated around him and then cut toward the left post. Banosian’s hat trick bid was stuffed by Stoneham goalie Aidan Goulding, but Andrade quickly popped in the rebound.

Watertown’s Mason Andrade snaps home winning goal on a rebound in third period of Raiders’ 4-3 MIAA D4 semifinal win over Stoneham.

It was the 24th goal scored by Watertown in four tournament games.

Banosian opened the scoring 3:10 into the game when he buried a feed from Anthony Venezia, who curled out of the right corner toward the net.

Jack Heneghan pulled Stoneham even when he took a centering feed from Danny Storella and fired it between the pads of Williams.

But the Raiders tacked on two more in rapid succession. Banosian broke into the zone with Venezia and, when he fanned on his initial attempt, it seemed to fool Goulding and catch him sliding out of position. Banosian quickly hit the open net for a 2-1 lead.

Stoneham’s Jack Heneghan battles for puck with Watertown’s Michael Cormier as Spartans defenseman Harrison Scheel moves in.

Just 53 seconds later it was Michael Cormier making it 3-1, taking a feed from James Erickson in the high slot and rifling it home with 1:40 left in the first period.

Much of the second period was quiet until Kolby Horgan banged home a rebound of a Gavin Tobias shot from the left point, on a play started when Storella carried it around the net to the left corner and fed it back out.

Then it was Storella’s turn, jumping on a turnover at the defensive blue line and breaking 2-on-1 down the left side. Cutting a bit toward the slot, Storella let go a hard wrister that beat Williams low inside the right post.

Watertown had allowed only 10 goals in its previous 10 games, three of which came in its lone loss during that stretch – a 3-1 setback to Longmeadow in the opener of the Spartan Cup.

But the Watertown defense and Williams didn’t let Stoneham get No. 4. Instead it was Andrade that did, punching the Raiders’ ticket to the state final.

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