Lowell, MA-The #3 seed Stoneham Spartans and #2 seed Watertown Raiders renewed their fierce Middlesex League rivalry on a bigger stage at Tsongas Arena in the D4 state semifinal. Senior Aiden Goulding started in net for the Spartans and junior Casey Williams for the Raiders.
The first period played out well for the Raiders. Just 3:10 into the period junior Anthony Venezia flew in on the forecheck, took the puck and set up sophomore Alec Banosian for the low wrister home. It was 1-0 Raiders early on. Stoneham evened the score on a Jack Heneghan rip. Junior Danny Storella assisted at the end of a dominant shift. Kolby Korgan also added a helper. With 2:33 left, Watertown regained the lead as Banosian cut to the middle, fanned on a shot but stayed with it and fired his second attempt for a goal. Venezia assisted. Less than a minute later, Michel Cormier tipped a James Erickson shot into the net and it was 3-1 Watertown after one period. Shots were 10-8 in favor of Stoneham. The Spartans made a goalie change late in the period. Freshman Shea Allen entered the net.
The second period ultimately belonged to the Spartans. They played even hockey until mid-way through the frame when Stoneham put together a very good power play. After that, they seemed to gain confidence and took over. First, Kolby Horgan popped a rebound home of a Gavin Tobias shot. It was 3-2 with 5:25 left. With 2:49 remaining, Storella cut back and whipped a slick shot home to tie it up. John Daly added an assist. Watertown needed to get to the locker room and they did. the period ended with the game tied 3-3. Stoneham outshot Watertown 13-7.
The third period, Stoneham had multiple chances but Williams was up to the task. the Spartans outshot the Raiders again in the third and had some great late chances but it was Watertown who punched their ticket to the Garden. With 11:15 left, senior Mason Andrade jammed home a rebound, short side off a Banosian net drive. That stood as the game winner in a well played, competitive game. Final score was 4-3.
First: Alec Bonosian (Watertown)
Second: Anthony Venezia (Watertown)
Third: Danny Storella (Stoneham)
Photo Credit: Chip Offtheglass