Newburyport, MA – The Triton Vikings and North Reading Hornets skated in a playoff matchup in the Cape Ann League from Graf Rink in Newburyport. Neutral Zone was in attendance via LiveBarn to catch the action.
The first period started off with a feeling out process between the two teams. There was back and forth zone play and one penalty against Triton. It would be a stalemate between the Vikings and Hornets at the end of one.
The second period began with more pace than the first. Triton came out with a heavy attack in the beginning minutes of the period. The Vikings sustained good zone time and created some early chances from attacking the cage. North Reading did not back down from Triton’s attack and fired back with some nice chances off of the rush to counter. As the period progressed, Triton began to build momentum. They capitalized on this with a goal off a faceoff from senior defenseman Trevor Quigley. The draw was won back to Quigley where he walked the line and got a puck through traffic to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead. Triton built off the goal and kept the pressure on North Reading, but could not capitalize again in the period. North Reading fought back and created some offensive zone time against Triton at the end of the period. But, the Hornets got into penalty trouble and would end the period on the kill. The score at the end of two was 1-0 in favor of Triton.
The third period began with Triton on the man advantage for around a minute. The Vikings could not capitalize on the opportunity and it gave momentum to the Hornets. North Reading’s penalty kill was largely successful because of their goaltender Marty Pierce. He made an outstanding cross-seam save where he sprawled out and stoned the shooter on the weak side. He gave a jolt to the Hornets to find the equalizer. As the period progressed, North Reading was still in the hunt for the equalizer but got into some penalty trouble again. Triton found their way to the box during this time which set up 5-on-4, 4-on-4, and 4-on-3 situations. Neither team could capitalize on the man advantage. This set up a dramatic final five minutes. North Reading would not give up in their chase for the equalizer. The Hornets capitalized with 1:12 remaining in the period. Senior forward Jonathan Patch attacked the net coming off the half wall. He drew a defender towards him and made a move to pull the puck away from him. He threaded the needle to find senior forward Francis Brachanow for the tap-in goal.
Regulation would not be enough for these two teams. Four-on-four overtime would come next to break the tie in the Cape Ann League playoff. Both teams began the overtime with a feeling out process again. Triton eventually began their attack, but could not capitalize early on. Senior forward Cael Kohan had a beautiful self-effort where he weaved through defenders and attacked the net. Marty Pierce said no once again with a desperation save to keep it going for the Hornets. North Reading countered but found themselves in penalty trouble again with 47 seconds left in overtime. Shortly after, Triton capitalized for the overtime winner. Senior forward Aidan Lowry started the play with a nice entry attacking the net. The puck found its way back to the point where Trevor Quigley shot for a rebound. Lowry went to the front of the net and found the rebound. He tried to jam it home but ran out of net. He took the puck behind the net and pulled off the wrap-around for the game-winner. 2-1 final in favor of the Triton Vikings. They advance to take on Newburyport in the Finals on Friday at 4pm.
- F Aidan Lowry, Triton
- G Marty Pierce, North Reading
- D Trevor Quigley, Triton