BOURNE — The fire simmering under the Wellesley girls’ hockey team — burning two years strong by puck drop Tuesday — finally scorched the ones who set it.
The second-seeded Raiders used a 32-save performance from junior Meghan King and one goal in each period to top third-seeded Falmouth, 3-2, at Gallo Ice Arena in the Division 2 semifinals. They will play Westwood in the state championship Sunday at TD Garden.
The win exacts revenge for Wellesley’s season-ending loss to Falmouth in the 2012 tournament, as well as the Raiders’ only regular-season loss during the 2012-13 campaign, a 4-2 decision in the finale.
“We went into this game saying this is more of an emotional game, just because of freshman and sophomore year,” said junior captain Cecily Docktor. “Finally beating them junior year, knocking them out of the tournament — it’s the best feeling ever right now.
“Yes, we’re going to the Garden, but we just beat Falmouth, so I’m so happy right now.”
Trailing, 2-1, entering the third, the Clippers (15-3-4) forced King to make 16 saves in the final frame, including seven in the first 2:17.
Junior Keely Corscadden gave Wellesley (20-1-3) a 3-1 lead with an empty-netter with 41 seconds left, but Clipper junior Kelly Ferreira skipped one past King from beyond the blue line moments later.
Wellesley’s D locked it down for the final half-minute.
“[King] gets back there and there is no sense of panic ever,” said Wellesley coach George Campbell. “She’s as solid as any goalie we’ve ever had. She’s been our backbone our entire season.”
Wellesley scored just 2:30 into the first when Docktor skated around the net and beat Falmouth goalie Madison Scavotto (14 saves) to the glove side.
Falmouth tied it at 11:58 when junior Madison Haberl sent a cross-crease pass to junior Maggie MacDonald. MacDonald one-timed it past King.
Boyle put the Raiders ahead, 2-1, just 40 seconds into the second when she banged home her own rebound.
“We just have to go in there [Sunday] with confidence and realize Westwood knocked us out last year,” Docktor said. “But use that to our advantage.”
Westwood 4, Sandwich 3 — Fourth-seeded Westwood vs. 17th-seeded Sandwich wasn’t decided until late.
Sophomore Kailey Jacobs’s goal with 29.3 seconds left gave the Wolverines (15-2-5) a victory over Sandwich (15-10-1). This is the third year in a row Westwood made it as far as the semifinals, but the first time it has moved on to the title game.
“I’m just so happy for those kids. You get knocked down, you get back up and get her again,” said Westwood coach Justin DeSorgher. “That’s a very happy locker room.”
Westwood led, 3-1, midway through the second on goals from seniors Kelly Healey, Catherine Barrett, and Ela Hazar.
At 7:47 in the third, however, Sandwich senior Maggie Layo — after assisting on the Knights’ first two tallies, both off the stick of senior Claire Gauthier — tied it at 3-3 when she picked up the rebound of junior Katie Lowry’s shot.
Up next is Wellesley.
“They’re the most dangerous team in the state,” DeSorgher said. “They have firepower up front, they have 2-3 defensemen that can bring it from the other end, and they have great goaltending.”