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Arlington boys’ hockey scores long-awaited win over Pope Francis in dramatic late comeback

Arlington was unable to settle things with Pope Francis two seasons ago, but finally given the chance Wednesday night the teams turned in a game worthy of the postseason, complete with late drama.

The fifth-ranked Spy Ponders rallied with two goals in 58 seconds, capped by sophomore Brendan Hirsch’s game-winner with exactly 2:00 to play to beat No. 8 Pope Francis, 3-2, at Arlington’s Ed Burns Arena.

Junior Ryan Gilbert tied the game with a blast from the right point under the crossbar with 2:58 left. Then it was Hirsch’s turn as he finished off a pretty passing combo with juniors Jake Russell and Drew Fecteau on a 3-on-2, beating Cardinals senior goalie Ryan Rhodes (26 saves) between the pads.


“[Russell] slid it over to me and I got the job done,” Hirsch said. “It’s a really good feeling.”

The other three goals came on the power play. Senior Brendan Flynn cashed in a back-door feed from Fecteau with 1:34 left in the first to put Arlington (9-1-1) on top, but freshman Bryce Russ tied it for Pope Francis (5-3-0) with 14.9 seconds left in the period.

It stayed that way until the third when freshman Matthew Bolduc gave Pope Francis a 2-1 lead on the power play with 5:39 to play.

“I told [Pope Francis coach Brian] Foley after the game, it wouldn’t have mattered when they were up 2-1, it was just a really good high school hockey game,” Arlington coach John Messuri said. “Obviously we’re pumped to come out on the winning side, but both teams played really well.”

Junior Jake Davies made 18 saves for Arlington.

Although there were just 11 total players from both sides remaining from two seasons ago, when the teams shared the Super 8 championship after the state final was canceled at the start of the pandemic, the incentive remained Wednesday night.


“It was a big win,” Hirsch said. “I think going off two years ago, when they didn’t get to play in [TD] Garden, it was a really big game for the whole program.”

Burlington 1, Watertown 0 — Senior goaltender Chris Bosby recorded 23 saves for his first varsity shutout and senior captain defenseman Anthony Androlo scored the lone goal at 2:27 of the third period in the Middlesex League win for the Red Devils (2-6-1).

Cambridge 3, Methuen 0 — Special teams ended up being the difference in the third meeting of the season between Dual County/Merrimack Valley 3 rivals Cambridge and Methuen. Senior Chris Gould and sophomore Jack Toner scored on both ends of a 5-on-3 power play in the second period, and Cambridge’s defense and junior goalie Oliver Ransom did the rest at Simoni Memorial Rink. Ransom finished with 24 saves for the Falcons (6-2-4), who killed all six power plays for the Rangers (8-3-2), including a 5 on 3 spanning 1:26 early in the third period. Senior Caleb Jaffe scored the final goal for Cambridge with 2:37 to go. The teams previously battled to a pair a ties in a span of six days in December, including in the championship game of the First Responders Cup at Simoni (won by Methuen in a shootout). Senior Owen O’Brien had 20 saves for the Rangers.

Catholic Memorial 4, Malden Catholic 3 — The Knights (8-1-1) survived a late surge from Malden Catholic (4-4-0) for the Catholic Conference win at Warrior Ice Arena. MC struck first in the second period with a shorthanded goal from Joe Gaffney. With one second left on a power play, sophomore Connor Fryberger tied the game, 1-1, off a pass from freshman Matt Harvey. Evan England put CM on top with a shorthanded strike to finish the period. Early in the third, James Koo pushed the lead to 3-1. Gaffney answered for the Lancers. But that was short-lived, when captain Ty Magliozzi gave CM a 4-2 lead. Seamus Condon scored with 25 seconds left for the 4-3 final. “We are 2-0-1 in the Catholic Conference, and every game in this conference is going to be tight,” CM coach Larry Rooney said. “We had to grind it out, and it was nice to finally have our full team back and healthy,” said Catholic Memorial coach Larry Rooney. Ssophomore netminder Nick Hubbard (39 saves) was sensational for MC. “Despite losing one-goal games, one common constant is that our effort has been there,” said MC coach Chris Kuchar. “We had a few breakdowns, and in the Catholic Conference, breakdowns are what cost the team games.”


Central Catholic 4, Chelmsford 3 — Andrew Duval netted the winner in overtime on a feed from A.J. Songin in the MVC/DCL 1 win for the Raiders (4-3-1) at the Icenter.

Framingham 6, Newton North 1 — Sophomores Robbie White, Brendan Peck and Jeremy Auren netted their first varsity goals as the Flyers (2-3) earned the Bay State Conference victory at John A. Ryan Skating Arena.


Franklin 7, Taunton 1 — Senior Christian Shabbick recorded a hat trick, sophomore Ben Paterson tallied four points (1 goal, 3 assists) and senior Dylan Marchand added two goals to lead the Panthers (8-5) to a Hockomock League victory over the Tigers.

Norwood 10, Dover-Sherborn/Weston 2 — Junior Ben McDougal scored his first varsity goal as the No. 13 Mustangs (7-2) roared past the Raiders in a Tri-Valley League win at the Skating Club of Boston.

Waltham 3, Andover 0 — Senior goalie Jack Perry stopped 26 shots for the Hawks (5-2-1) in the MVC/DCL 1 win at Valley Forum.

Wellesley 2, Belmont 0 — Junior goaltender Reagan O’Neil made 14 saves to secure the nonleague win for the Raiders (4-1-2).

Whitman-Hanson 7, North Quincy 2 — Senior goaltender Erik Dean made 29 saves to lead the Panthers (6-4, 4-3) to a Patriot League win at the Quincy Youth Arena.

Jim Clark also reported from Cambridge. Carson Tully reported from Warrior Ice Arena. Sarah Barber, Ethan McDowell, Joseph Pohoryles, and Vitoria Pojoe contributed to this story. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235 or email hssports@globe.com. Tweet scores @GlobeSchools.

Jim Clark can be reached at jim.clark@globe.com.