STONEHAM — Catholic Memorial defeated BC High, 3-2, Wednesday night in a shootout in the Super 8 tournament. In a physical, brutal game that forced two players to the dressing room early, the hero was the smallest player on the ice.
Timmy Weinstein was seated all the way at the end of the CM bench, his 5-foot-6-inch, 125-pound frame hardly noticeable as coach Bill Hanson surveyed his arsenal of talented weapons with the sudden death shootout close to expiration. So too was CM’s season. The Eagles held a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
None of the Knights knew who would get the call. A game they led at one point, then relinquished with 28 seconds left in regulation, was riding on one more shooter.
“Where’s Little Timmy?’’ Hanson shouted.
Those in packed Stoneham Arena waited.
The timid, confused freshman turned his head, looked up at Hanson and whispered, “What?’’
The orders came in: “Get out there and win a hockey game.’’
Weinstein had never scored a winner in a shootout. He wasn’t supposed to be here.
In December, when Hanson looked at his squad and noticed a drop-off in talent compared with the Knights teams of the past, Weinstein hardly saw any game action. In each of the first seven contests, Hanson gave him just one shift.
The test was merely procedural. Hanson knew Weinstein would pass.
“You’ll see him playing Division 1 college hockey someday,’’ Hanson said. “I know it.’’
With 28 seconds left in Wednesday’s game, BC High freshman Ryan Shea poked in a timely rebound as the Eagles, with their goaltender pulled for an extra attacker, tied the game, 2-2.
In overtime, chances went back and forth, with CM goalie Brendan Collett (39 saves) matching, if not exceeding the efforts of BC High goalie Peter Cronin (28 saves).
Shea and Tom Besinger scored in the shootout to put BC High ahead, 2-0. CM’s Jack O’Hear and John Maher scored do-or-die attempts to force sudden death.
Tim Larocque missed for BC High.
Weinstein’s turn. He took the puck from the center circle. He kept repeating the same phrase to himself: “Low, glove side. Low, glove side.’’
Weinstein moved Cronin to his right, fired a wrist shot to his left (glove side) and watched the puck find twine to even the series.
“Indescribable,’’ Weinstein said. “I’ve never done anything like this.’’
Weinstein rushed to find his ride home. It was his 16th birthday. He hadn’t yet studied for his permit test.