With 11 seconds left in the game, junior Derek Butler rattled a shot off the crossbar, nearly sending Natick to the Division 1 South quarterfinals.
This time, Butler made sure not to ding any metal as he rifled the puck into the back of the net four minutes into overtime, lifting the Red Hawks to a 3-2 victory against Framingham at Loring Arena Wednesday night.
"That's what high school hockey is all about," Natick coach Karl Infanger said. "There wasn't a seat in the place – it was rocking and it was just a madhouse. To take that win was special for the kids."
Butler's late-game heroics helped stave off a furious comeback by Framingham. Junior Jack Murphy scored a pair of goals to give Natick a 2-0 lead, but the Flyers scored two in the third period to even the score.
Framingham sophomore Drew McKinnon delivered the game-tying score with 3:30 left in the final stanza.
"They know you can never be too high and never be too low," Infanger said. "And [in overtime], emotionally, they went to work."
On Sunday, Natick (No. 9) will face No. 1-seeded Archbishop Williams (12-5-4) which lost to Malden Catholic in the Super 8 play-in game.
"They're going to play hard," Infanger said. "We're going to have to bring our A-game and keep it going. No matter who you play, you're in for a fight."
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.