Nauset’s Hockey Playoff Run Ends In Final Seconds Of State Quarterfinals
By: Brad Joyal
Topics: Hockey , Nauset Regional High School
ORLEANS — It was one of the most memorable hockey games played recently at Charles Moore Arena. The result just didn’t go the hometown Nauset Warriors’ way.
The fourth-seeded Nauset boys hockey team saw its season end in heartbreaking fashion after it suffered a 3-2 loss to fifth-seeded Watertown-Wayland in the Division 3 state tournament quarterfinals March 8 at Charles Moore Arena.
The visiting Raiders netted the game-winning goal with just five seconds remaining, when Watertown junior Mauricio Souza capitalized on a breakaway with a wrist shot through Nauset freshman goaltender Arthur Figueiredo’s legs.
Souza collected the puck inside the Warriors’ zone after it was kicked forward by Watertown sophomore Domenic Movnihan from the Watertown-Wayland’s blue line after an errant Nauset shot from the blue line.
“You’re setting yourself up to go to overtime with 15 seconds left,” first-year Nauset coach Connor Brickley said. “We obviously didn’t do the right things there, leaving one guy at the blue line and giving them an opportunity to go on a breakaway.
“It was a great playoff game. It sucks to end that like that, but our guys worked hard all season.”
Nauset overcame two different one-goal deficits to tie the game at 2. After Watertown senior Anthony Venezia scored to give the Raiders a 1-0 advantage 5:44 into the game, Nauset sophomore Logan Poulin answered with his 29th goal of the season to even the score at 1 with 1:43 to play in the opening period.
Just 59 seconds later, Watertown junior James Erickson found the back of the net to put the visitors on top 2-1. Nauset junior Cam Connery netted the equalizer with 2:09 remaining in the second period and the teams traded scoring chances the rest of the way until Souza’s winner.
The game, which was played in front of a sold-out crowd and saw many ticket buyers turned away at the door, showed just how much the team meant to the local community.
“The crowds speak for themselves,” Brickley said. “We had a lot of support, which was absolutely amazing. It was a lot of fun. The kids had a blast playing in front of their community. They worked really hard every day in practice and in the games and I couldn’t be prouder of the group.”
Although the team will move forward without the eight seniors on this year’s squad, Brickley said the group will be remembered for the leadership they provided this winter.
“It was a great season for those guys to leave Nauset hockey in a great place,” Brickley said. “Individually, they all had great years. We had an opportunity to have some young guys play in our lineup, and they were great role models, and they were great mentors and teammates to allow those guys to feel comfortable within the team and to make them feel a part of the team.”
Brickley said the mission going forward is “all about the culture and the change we’re trying to make.”
“We obviously have a good number of seniors that will be leaving us, but we have some young guys coming up and a good young core and nucleus that are on the team right now,” he said. “I think they understand what to expect moving forward, so those guys are going to be the next guys up. They’re going to be the mentors and the leaders moving forward. They know exactly what we want, so they’ll just carry on the tradition.”
Email Brad Joyal at email@example.com.