Central Catholic roared back from an early 3-0 deficit to defeat Hingham, 4-3, in overtime in the first of two Super 8 play-in games at Stoneham Arena Monday.
Corey Webber delivered the winner in the final two minutes of the sudden-death period.
“It’s unbelievable, I’m speechless. I didn’t know we could do that,” said teammate Nick Gorski.
The No. 8 Raiders (14-5-3) advance to the first round and a best-of-three series with top-seeded St. John’s Prep beginning Sunday at noon at Tsongas Center in Lowell. The ninth-seeded Harbormen (13-8-2) drop into the Division 1 tournament as the No. 2 seed in the South.
Junior forward Sam D’Antuono scored on Central goalie Colin Soucy just 27 seconds into the contest to put the Harbormen up, 1-0. They continued to build their lead when Matt Brazel scored a shorthanded goal 2:51 into the second period and D’Antuono added his second goal of the game just four minutes later to boost Hingham’s margin to 3-0.
Central Catholic showed signs of life at the end of the second period when junior defenseman Alex Lester crashed the net and was able to poke in the puck, beginning a momentum swing for the Raiders.
“Defensively, he was in the right place all night and was great on the penalty kill. He was able to get a lot of pressure and get a little jump up in the offensive zone,” Central Catholic coach Mike Jankowski said of Lester.
Gorksi got things going for the Raiders in the third period with a four-on-four goal that brought Central Catholic within one.
The Raiders continued to fight and were finally able to net the equalizer when Kevin Regan scored on a flurry inside the final two minutes, sending the game into overtime.
“We talked going in that nobody was giving us a chance. We showed great resiliency and character. It’s the depth on this team that’s why we’re here. Somebody steps up every night,” said Jankowski.
Malden Catholic 9, Archbishop Williams 1 — In the nightcap in Stoneham, freshman Matt Filipe had two goals as the 10th-seeded Lancers (12-6-3) moved on to a best-of-three series with No. 2 seed Springfield Cathedral starting Sunday.
“He will be a really good player,” said Malden Catholic coach John McLean of Filipe. “He’s already good now. He’s just fun to watch and he’s got a tenacity around the net.”
Malden Catholic, the two-time defending Super 8 champ, scored five goals in the first.
Archbishop Williams (12-5-4) will be the No. 1 seed in the Division 1 South tournament.