Senior captain defenseman Steve Simoes had two goals including the game-winner to lead Hopkinton to its first MIAA Division 3 South sectional championship at Gallo Arena as the Hillers downed TVL rival Ashland, 6-2. The teams had split two regular season games.
Junior Tommy Hamblet was all over the ice with a hat trick and two assists. Junior Kyle Rogers had a goal and two assists, and junior Sean Walsh added three assists.
Senior goalie Cole Thomas stopped 20 shots in the win.
Hopkinton scored with 13 seconds left in the opening period – Walsh to Simoes – to go ahead, 1-0.
Rogers to Hamblet opened things up. Dan Kirk found Simoes for a 3-0 lead. And only nine seconds later, Rogers took a feed from Hamblet and gave the Hillers a 4-0 lead.
Another last-minute goal came from Hamblet, whose second of the day with 29 seconds left in the second put Hopkinton on top, 5-0, heading into the final period. Just two minutes later, Rogers found Hamblet for a 6-0 lead.
Hopkinton (16-6-2) has now outscored foes, 20-2, in the postseason. The team lost four of five in February and hasn’t lost since. The Hillers are on a six-game winning streak, outscoring foes, 32-6.
The Hillers move on to a state semifinal game against North sectional champion Lowell on Wednesday at Tsongas Arena, 7pm