It’s ice, so it’s no surprise how Stoneham hockey coach Paul Sacco described Nick Feliciano, the hero of the Spartans’ 2-1 win over Boston Latin in the Division 2 North title game at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.
“He’s slippery,” Sacco said of Feliciano, whose power-play goal with 7:11 to play Sunday gave Stoneham the win. “We tell him to shoot the puck more, but he’s always coming up with that big goal. He’s always pushing the offensive zone, and he’s dangerous any time he’s got the puck on his stick.”
With the victory, Stoneham (18-4-2) advances to the Division 2 state title game Sunday against Plymouth South, a 6-3 winner over Medfield in the Div. 2 South final in Bourne.
It also means the No. 11 jersey has one more trip to make.
That jersey belonged to James Luti, the 16-year-old Stoneham defenseman who passed away last November. His jersey has been with the Spartans since the season began and it was proudly on display as the Spartans celebrated on the Tsongas Center ice.
“It means the world to us,” said Sacco of the No. 11 blue jersey. “James was a special player, a special person and the kids are just rallying around him. They’re playing for him.”
The game didn’t start well for Stoneham. A penalty 13 seconds into the contest led to a Boston Latin (13-8-3) power-play goal by Devin Gallagher at 1:36.
But Stoneham tied it on a goal by Nick Deltrecco with assists going to Brandon Stewart and Jake Burridge. It was 1-1 after one, and with no scoring in the second period the stage was set for Feliciano’s winner.
Peter Barry finished 23 saves for the Spartans. Dan Sebo had 16 for Latin.
Division 3 North final
Swampscott 7, Wayland 2 — Last year Swampscott entered the MIAA hockey tournament as the top seed and promptly lost its first game. For the Big Blue, it was a lesson learned.
Sunday at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Swampscott soundly defeated Wayland to win the Division 3 North boys’ title. The Big Blue, this year’s No. 8 seed, advances to play South winner Hanover on Wednesday in Stoneham.
“Last year we had the team that we really thought could make the Garden run,” said Swampscott coach Gino Faia. “We harped about that all year long and our main goal was to get to the tourney and then just win one game and see what happens from there. I’m really happy and proud of the guys.”
Swampscott led 4-1 heading into the third after goals by Chris Henriques, Stevie Santanello and two from Brett Benoit.
But with Wayland (12-9-3) on a power play, there was still hope for the Warriors. Swampscott’s penalty kill unit was up to the task, however, and it wasn’t long before the Big Blue added another score with Conor Donovan making it 5-1 at 7:03.
It was desperation time for Wayland, and coach Rian Murray pulled goalie Ryan Nolan with less than seven minutes to play. With 2:07 left Wayland’s Aidan Chitkara scored to cut the margin to 5-2. The Warriors continued to take chances and in the last minute Swampscott (13-5-6) made them pay with back-to-back empty net goals by Drew Olivieri, each assisted by Jack Poska.
Swampscott also got contributions from Dom Codispoti (two assists) as well as senior goalie Dan Johnson (34 saves).
Division 1 South final
Marshfield 1, Braintree 0 — After a defensive struggle, Marshfield junior Paul Rorke scored less than 50 seconds into overtime to send the Rams to the state final for the first time since the 2012-13 season.
“It doesn’t feel real. Johnny [Jordan] gave me a great pass. I buried it,” said Rorke. “Nothing better than getting a goal to send your team to the Garden. It’s a dream come true.”
While the Rams (15-5-6) dominated the game at the Gallo Arena in Bourne, they couldn’t solve senior goalie Owen Cuddyer (27 saves) until the extra frame.
“When you have that kind of goalie you know that you only need that one break. We just couldn’t get it today,” said Braintree coach David Fasano. “It wasn’t for lack of effort. All of our kids, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors laid it all on the line today. We’ll be back. We have a lot of good, young kids.”
In the second period, Marshfield peppered Braintree (11-7-6) with 17 shots. Late in the period, Cuddyer came up with two game-changing saves, stopping Rorke off the rush and making a diving glove save to stop sophomore Tim Doyle’s rebound bid that was labeled for the top of the cage.
After a scoreless third, Jordan, the sophomore defenseman, opened up OT by denying a Braintree entry into the zone. Rorke turned up ice, when he looked down, Jordan had laced a pass to his tape.
With a quick backhand to the blocker-side, Rorke secured the win for Marshfield.
“We’re a young team. No one thought we would even make it past the first round. But everyone believes in each other,” said Rorke. “We came out, we gave it our all. Coaches believed in is. We’re here, we’re heading to the Garden.”
Division 2 South final
Plymouth South 6, Medfield 3 — Plymouth South senior Sean Colbert scored two goals to lead the Panthers (19-3-2) to their first sectional title and state title berth in program history.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Colbert. “We’ve been saying since the beginning of this year that we wanted to get this and we knew had the potential to do it. We all believed in each other and we got it done today.”
Colbert’s tallies highlighted a three-goal third period that helped secure the victory in Bourne.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said South coach Mike McCosh. “No team in Plymouth High School history, whether it be Plymouth North, Plymouth South, or way back to Plymouth/Carver has ever come this far.
“This team worked. They just worked, they grinded. It’s amazing. It’s awesome.”
Senior captain Joey Van Winkle scored the opening goal 2:09 into the game off a screen, and the Panthers took off from there.
Colbert added the eventual winner with about 2:42 left in the first period. Sophomore Mike Tyler, senior Ryan Johnson, and sophomore Charles Spence scored for the Warriors (14-6-3).
When the clock struck zero, an emotional Plymouth South team rushed the ice. After the team celebrated with the trophy, McCosh held it high in front of the South fans as he left the ice.
“I always thought it would come,” said the 22-year veteran coach. “Every team that plays for me, they give it everything they have. But this team was extra special.”
“This is an unbelievable team, an unbelievable year,” said Colbert. “It’s something we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.”
Division 3 South final
Hanover 6, Rockland 0 — Senior Zach Taylor and junior Lucas Lanagan scored two goals apiece to power the Indians (23-0-1) to the South crown in Bourne, the program’s second in three years.
The power play was key for Hanover, with the Indians going 3-for-4 on the man advantage.
Hanover junior goalie Kevin Chandler (16 saves) was solid in net, and was a key factor for the Indians early in the game. Rockland (20-3-3) opened with heavy pressure in the Hanover zone, but Chandler stood tall.
“Kevin is just one of those kids that doesn’t say much, but he’s a hell of a goalie,” said Hanover coach Jonny Abban. “He’s had a great year. He’s starting to get recognized for how well he’s playing.”
Once Hanover got settled, Taylor swept momentum from the Bulldogs with a far-side snipe below the circles with 12:26 left in the first. Lanagan notched his first goal of the game six minutes later, on an assist from Taylor.
In the second period, Lanagan scored his second goal with a power play strike. Taylor added a tally with 1:53 left in the period. After two, it was 5-0 Hanover.
“We battled through. I’m proud of the kids. It’s been a long year with them,” said Abban. “They’re great kids off the ice. We have some great leadership, hopefully we have a couple more games left.Lenny Rowe reported from Bourne, Bob Holmes from Lowell. For more highlights, go to bostonglobe.com/schools.