Stoneham, MA – In our final game of the evening, we popped over to Stoneham Arena to see yet another D3 top-shelf matchup. The 4 seeded Lynnfield Pioneers faced off against the 5-seeded Hopedale/Milford Blue Raiders tonight in the Quarterfinals. The winner of this one would advance to take on top-seeded Marlboro for a chance to play at the TD Garden on March 20.
Both teams came out ready to play in the first. Hopedale/Milford has smaller, quicker forwards who buzz around creating havoc while Lynnfield’s forwards bigger and more physical, this made for an exciting opening period. Lynnfield’s line of Chase Carney, Aidan Burke and Will Steadman dominated their shifts all period. They are very creative and made some great plays. Hopedale/Milford’s line of Cam Collins, Sean McGee and Tyler Lane were flying around and causing all sorts of issues for Lynnfield’s defenseman on the forecheck. There were not a lot of shots but Lynnfield had two point-blank scoring chances. At about the six-minute mark they also had a 3-on-2 break. Steadman ripped a shot on Hopedale/Milford goalie John Tomaso who made a kick save right onto Carney’s stick. It was sure to be a goal but Tomaso dove across and robbed him. Keeping the game 0-0. A couple of minutes later Lynnfield had a 2 on 1, Carney slid the puck over to a wide-open Burke and once again Tomaso slid across and made a great stop denying the chance. As a result, the period would end 0-0.
The second period was a bit more of an even period. Both teams seemed to have heavier legs for sure. Hopedale/Milford created more scoring chances than they did in the first, a couple of them coming off of turnovers by Lynnfield’s defensemen but Pioneers goalie Phineas Mitchener turned them all away. With 11:16 left Lynnfield would finally get on the board. Lucas Cook fired a puck from the point that was tipped in the slot by Burke. Tomaso saved the initial tip but Carney would collect the rebound at the corner of the net and bury it for the 1-0 lead. Both teams would have power play chances but came up empty with nothing to show for them. The period would end 1-0 Lynnfield.
The teams both came out for the third period and played like they wanted to win the game in the final 15. Lynnfield carried play in the first part of the period. They did a good job on their cycle, generating some prime chances but Tomaso was up to the task, making some great saves to keep his team in the game. Hopedale/Milford’s hard work started to tip the scales a bit in their favor. They got into a little rhythm and started getting some pucks through to the net. Mitchener made some good saves but none better than with a few minutes to go on the clock. A quick pass from behind Lynnfield’s net to a wide-open Hopedale/Milford forward looked to be the equalizer but Mitchener sealed the post and made a great stop preserving the 1-0 lead. Lynnfield’s Drew Damiani would eventually get the empty net goal and seal the win for his team 2-0. Lynnfield will advance to play Marlboro in the Final Four with a chance for a Garden party to boot.
- F Chase Carney, Lynnfield
- G Phineas Mitchener, Lynnfield
- G John Tomaso, Hopedale/Milford