Gloucester, MA-The Norwood Mustangs headed to Talbot rink to take on the Gloucester Fishermen in a DII quarterfinal matchup. The rink was sold out with no seats and fans four-deep along the boards. It was an amazing, exciting atmosphere from the very beginning.
The Fishermen held an early advantage in chances. Sophomore Emerson Marshall worked a pretty give and go with classmate Brett Cunningham for the opening tally. The Marshall score came just 2:53 into the game and was his 40th of the season. Marshall hit a post with 8:58 left as the Fishermen were buzzing. Mustangs’ senior goalie Nick Tarantino made some saves and then the game quickly changed. Gloucester went on the power play with five minutes left. Kevin Broderick intercepted a puck and flew down for a chance that sophomore Nick Tarantino stopped. However, Gloucester did not learn their lesson, exposed the puck again and Broderick made a great steal at the Norwood blue line and took off all alone. He scored the five-hole shorty and the game was tied with 4:09 left. With 42.2 seconds left, junior Conor Lydon grabbed a mishandle by Gloucester near their net and scored. It was 2-1 to end the period. Shots were even and the crowd seemed stunned.
Despite the Mustangs receiving three power plays, Gloucester and Tarantino took control of the game. Just 1:45 in, senior captain Jack Costanzo took a nice pass in the side slot and snapped the puck, top right to give the Fisherman an early spark in the second (we could not see who made the pass, it was a nice play off the wall.) The home crowd was back in the game. Big junior defenseman, Derek Elms fired a low shot home off a clean face off win by freshman Colby Warren. Gloucester had the lead again. Then, with 3:49 left, Costanzo struck shorthanded; in spectacular fashion. He took a pass from Jack Delaney and Costanzo dragged the puck behind his back, beat a Norwood defender, dipped to the net and scored in tight. It was 4-2 and the frame ended with a two goal Gloucester lead and all the momentum. Shots were 18-15 in favor of the Fishermen after two.
The third period was a wild one. Norwood struck on their sixth chance on the power play. Kyle Leger (Wentworth Lacrosse) ripped a shot through traffic to make it 4-3 with 11:23 left. He struck again with 7:51 left as Leger intercepted a pass, gained the zone and fired one on net. the puck hit something and snuck in the net. The game was tied at four. Costanzo, however, was not done with his time as a Fisherman. He took off on a breakaway and made a quick move and slipped the puck into the net for a five-hole score to take back the lead. (It should be noted that some heard a whistle from the stands and some players appeared to stop playing prior to the score. We did not hear it.) Hats rained onto the ice but Jack was not done yet. Gloucester took a late penalty, giving Norwood 5v4 and 6v4 chances. Jack Costanzo finished off the Mustangs with a shorthanded goal (his fourth) with an assist from Cunningham.
Gloucester will move on to the State Semifinals. Date, time and opponent TBA.
First: Jack Costanzo (Gloucester)
Second: Brett Cunningham (Gloucester)
Third: Kyle Leger (Norwood)
Photo Credit: Silver Fox