Lowell, MA – Neutral Zone was on hand virtually tonight to take in this Merrimack Valley Conference DCL 2 Championship game between the Chelmsford Lions and the Andover Golden Warriors. The two teams battled hard over a traditional three fifteen minute periods in a game that crowned a well deserving champion. The two teams have already played twice this year, with the games being played on back-to-back days and Chelmsford coming away with the only victory, as the second game ended in a draw.
This game started off hot, as both teams made it known they wouldn’t go down without a fight in their final game of the season. The goal scoring opened early, with the Golden Warriors getting on the board first. Senior forward Ryan O’Sullivan waited patiently on his shooting side for a pass to come to him, and when one did, he took full advantage of the opportunity, rifling a shot past the Chelmsford goaltender to make the game 1-0 Andover. Shortly after this, Chelmsford evened things back up. With 8:39 remaining in the first, senior forward Peter Mitchell intercepted an attempted outlet pass during an Andover power play, made a slick move around the Andover goal, and buried the puck to knot the game at one. The Lions weren’t done this frame, as mere moments later fellow senior Sean Stackpole found himself in the right spot at the right time. As the Golden Warriors failed to clear their defensive zone, the puck bounced around in the slot and ultimately onto the waiting stick of Stackpole, where he fired into a yawning net to give the Lions a 2-1 lead that they’d take into the second period.
Early on in the second, Chelmsford picked up where they had left off. Captain James Hill made an excellent move around an oncoming forechecker, fired a shot on net that was partially stopped by the Andover goalie, but ultimately trickled by him and into the net, giving the Lions a 3-1 lead. One thing that stood out throughout the game was the aggressiveness of the Chelmsford forecheck. Their tenacity led to a significant number of extra chances. Moments after the Hill goal, the Golden Warriors would cut into the deficit. Junior Tyler Walls made an excellent pass across the slot to senior Steve Ingram, who put home a second effort opportunity to make the game 3-2 Lions, a score that would hold into the third.
In the third period, tempers flared slightly. Andover pressed hard to even the score, but Chelmsford refused to give an edge. With seconds remaining and the goalie pulled for the Golden Warriors, controversy ensued as the Andover players felt the puck was covered by a Chelmsford player rather than their goaltender in the dying seconds. No call ruled, and the score stood until the final buzzer, a 3-2 MVC 2 championship win for the Chelmsford Lions.
- D James Hill, Chelmsford
- F Ryan O’Sullivan, Andover
- F Steve Ingram, Andover