WOBURN — The majority of the crowd at O’Brien Rink was rooting for Winchester in the Division 1 North quarterfinal Saturday. After regulation and two overtime periods produced a 3-3 stalemate, it all came down to a shootout.
The crowd erupted as Nolan Redler beat St. Mary’s senior Bailey MacBurnie on Winchester’s second attempt of the shootout. St. Mary’s was unfazed, answering Redler’s goal and then earning a 4-3 win when senior Chris Donovan slipped one past James Offner in the eighth round.
“I use the same move every day in practice and knew exactly where I wanted to put the puck” said Donovan. “Offner has a great glove, so I faked glove side and went to my back hand to beat him blocker side.”
St. Mary’s had already overcome adversity as it faced a 3-1 deficit heading into the third period.
“I just asked my players if they wanted to practice on Monday and my seniors really responded,” said Spartans coach Mark Lee. “We have been down before and have proven we have the ability to come back late, so I wasn’t too worried.”
Clay Yianacopolus turned the momentum in St. Mary’s favor when he buried an even-strength goal off a rebound at 3:25.
The Spartans began to control the puck and Shawn MacBurnie tied the game with a power-play goal with 6:29 remaining, assisted by John Powers.
Bailey MacBurnie had a tough start, allowing a goal on Winchester’s first shot from Andrew Chalas. MacBurnie was beaten again minutes later and really started to hear it from the noisy Sachems crowd.
When Danny Marx added a third Sachems goal 3:17 into the second period it seemed like MacBurnie and the Spartans were in trouble, but he wasn’t beaten again in regulation.
“I got off to a really frustrating start and wasn’t playing the way I wanted. I tuned the crowd out and continued to play my game,” said MacBurnie. “The other seniors and I refused to let our last season end like this. We came into the third period confident that we could come back.”
In the other quarterfinal game, Reading defeated Melrose, 5-3. St. Mary’s and Reading will meet in the semifinals Wednesday night at Chelmsford Forum.