The Red Devils have done it again.
One day shy of the anniversary of its 2012 state championship win over Milton, the Burlington boys’ hockey team topped Marshfield, 4-2, Sunday night at TD Garden to claim its second straight Division 1 state title.
“It’s two years in a row, which I think is incredible considering we lost nine seniors last year,” said Burlington coach Bob Conceison. “It was on our minds all year, but who knows if you can do it? It’s a tough, tough road to get here.
“It’s great for our town; you saw the town here. It’s great for our school; you saw the school here. More importantly it’s great for those 22 athletes in there who dedicated their season to playing on the last night of the winter season.”
Senior forward Sean Murphy netted a pair of second-period goals to lead the Red Devils (14-6-5), while senior netminder Derek DeCastro (25 saves) took care of business at the other end.
The tallies for Murphy, a first-year varsity player, were just his fifth and sixth of the season.
“It’s unbelievable. It felt great,” a near-speechless Murphy said. “It was unreal. We had momentum going into the third period, so getting those two goals was huge.”
DeCastro made a number of key stops, particularly on multiple breakaway chances by Marshfield captain Michael Carbone in the first period and early in the second.
Burlington opened the scoring at the 2:16 mark in the first when senior captain Joe Berardi’s shot from the top of the right circle sneaked by Marshfield goalie Connor Lemieux (15 saves) stick-side for the power-play goal.
Just 28 seconds later, however, Marshfield (20-7-0) got it right back. Carbone took a pass up the left wing and found the back of the net with a shot from the faceoff dot.
But the second period was all Burlington. Murphy took a pass and ripped it from low in the slot at the 6:11 mark for a 2-1 lead.
When Berardi (one goal, two assists) ripped a shot from the slot 2½ minutes later, Murphy was there again to redirect it five-hole on Lemieux on the man advantage.
Then the Red Devils started to pile it on. At 9:40 of the middle frame, senior forward J.P. Scola opened the lead to 4-1 when he stuffed a rebound created by senior captain C.J. Grinnell’s off-angle shot.
Lemieux, who entered the game with a 2.78 goals-against average, slammed his stick in frustration after the third gritty goal of the period and Marshfield coach Dan Connolly called a timeout.
The Rams settled down a bit, and even narrowed the gap to 4-2 in the final minute. Senior forward Pat Burchill sent a pass up to junior defenseman Matt Burchill from the bottom of the left circle, and the latter promptly snapped a shot from the slot by DeCastro.
Marshfield put on the pressure in the third, but the Burlington defense was up for the challenge.
Outside of one anxious moment with about six minutes left — a Ram collided with DeCastro and the netminder was down for several moments before play resumed — the Red Devils controlled play.
The Red Devils killed two late Marshfield power plays, including a 6-on-4 when Marshfield pulled its goalie.