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Last-minute drama pushed Needham Rockets into Super 8 hockey tournament

Posted by Your Town  February 27, 2011 09:09 AM

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The Globe reports this morning that the Needham Rockets' spot in the Super 8 field came after initially being voted out in the first round.

In the first round of voting, writes Jake Seiner, the selection committee voted 4-3 against Needham as a team to consider for further rounds of voting.

Paul Podolski, the Dedham hockey coach and voting representative for the Massachusetts High School Coaches Association, had nominated the Rockets, and asked the committee to re-evaluate its stance after the vote.

Podolski made his best pitch for the Rockets, pointing to recent victories over Weymouth, Central Catholic, and Springfield Cathedral, as well as ties against Hingham and BC High.

The committee re-voted, and pushed Needham into the next round of consideration in unanimous fashion. The Rockets are the sixth-seed.

“Paul really went to bat for us,” Needham coach Bill Guisti said. “Paul’s a Bay State League guy. It’s great that we’re in the top six, and Paul did a great job standing up for us.”

Seiner's story says Malden Catholic, an old Needham nemesis, is a favorite to win the whole thing this year.

See the whole field here. There's more info at boston.com's Super 8 Central.

The Rockets finished 12-6-4.

The Rockets beat Springfield Cathedral last week 4-3 after leading 4-1 in the third period. Needham fell to Malden Catholic in boys hockey on Thursday, losing 3-1.

Brendan Collier tallied two shorthanded goals to push the No. 1 Lancers (16-2-2) to the Cathedral Tournament title.

Malden Catholic beat Needham in the first round of last season’s Super 8 tournament, and fans were hoping the game would bring the Rockets into the prestigious Super 8 tournament this year.

As we reported Friday, the boys and girls basketball teams are also heading into post season play.

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