Weymouth stuns CM
LOWELL -- With 2:01 to go in the game, half of the fans at Tsongas Arena rose in unison.
Weymouth's loud, fanatical supporters -- families, friends, students, town residents -- needed a better view.
They wanted to further confirm the sights in front of them. A sophomore goalie -- in his first career start -- deflecting shot after shot against the state's best team. An opponent continuously getting pushed away from the slot.
An opponent -- ranked first in the state from the opening weeks of the season -- that would be sent home in defeat.
What they saw was true. Fifth-seeded Weymouth (21-1 ), one of two public schools in the Super 8, defeated perennial power and 12-time Super 8 champion Catholic Memorial, 2-1, in the biggest upset of the season.
"People come to the tournament to see games like this," Weymouth coach Bob Donovan said.
Chris Daugherty made the first start of his career, replacing Weymouth starter Ryan MacAllister, who was out because of a team rules violation.
With each successful Daugherty save, block or cover-up, the Tsongas Arena crowd roared.
"I don't think I blinked the whole game," said Daugherty, who finished with 21 saves.
The Wildcats would have had plenty of excuses for folding. No. 1 seed CM (15-3-2) had destroyed its first opponent, Central Catholic, 10-1, Wednesday. It had toyed with plenty of teams throughout the course of the season. Yesterday's recipe -- Super 8 first-round game, a wide-eyed public opponent with a brand-new goalie -- seemed ideal for the Knights.
"We knew they're so dangerous from the slot," Donovan said, whose team stands at 2-0 in Bracket 1, and is well-positioned to advance to the semifinals. "That's one of their fortes. They get on you, bring it to the slot and it's up and in the net before you know it."
But Weymouth was in control yesterday, and it never let up. CM took 8:36 to take its first shot, while the Wildcats had an assortment of 2-on-1s and neutral-zone steals throughout the first period.
Just more than a minute into the second period, Weymouth senior Tim King raced hard into the CM zone, and slapped a shot at Knights goaltender John Jay. The puck went off Jay's glove and the crossbar before landing just outside of the goal line.
Weymouth's disappointment would be short-lived.
With 1:13 to go in the period, King had another opportunity on a power play. His one-timer went off Jay's mask before deflecting off of the senior's leg and skate and into the back of the net.
CM was in a hole, and it knew it. It came out strong at the beginning of the third period and tied it at the 12:00 mark. Senior Bryan Rosata received a pass in the left circle and fired it high past Daugherty.
Still, Weymouth was not deterred. It never got out of synch, regaining the lead just 46 seconds later.
On a perfect pass from the CM corner, freshman forward Charlie Coyle set up senior forward Joe Greene for a one-timer and 2-1 lead.
"After the first period, we realized we could skate with them," Greene said. "So we picked up the intensity."
CM wouldn't leave without a fight. It pulled its goalie with two minutes remaining and senior defenseman Michael Keenan had a hard shot slide through traffic . With each successive CM rush, however, Weymouth cleared the puck, putting the finishing touches on its most satisfying win of the year.
"Their team is better than ours," said CM coach Bill Hanson, whose Knights stand at 1-1 in Bracket 1 and will need a victory over Catholic Conference rival Malden Catholic (1-0-1 against the Knights this season) Sunday at Tsongas Arena. "They're just better than us, there's no two ways around it. They skated well the whole game. There's a reason they've only lost one game."