BILLERICA — Senior forward Matthew Babcock’s two-goal performance alongside senior goalie Ken Hodge’s 24 saves powered the third-ranked Newburyport Clippers to their first tournament win since 2010, a 3-1 defeat of the sixth-ranked Austin Prep Cougars in the Division 1 North quarterfinals at Chelmsford Forum.
Newburyport (13-3-6) advances to play Winchester (14-7-2), a team the Clippers beat, 1-0, on Dec. 27, at the Tsongas Center on Wednesday in the Division 1 North semifinals.
“Unbelievable game,” said Babcock. “In my four years, we haven’t had a tournament win so it’s a great way to start my final postseason. I couldn’t be prouder of the guys. We played all the way through.”
Junior forward Jacob Grossi-Hogg opened the scoring for Newburyport with 6:49 to go in the first period while crashing the net and backhanding the puck past junior goalie Robert Farrell (20 saves).
The Cougars outshot the Clippers, 8-6, in the second period but the score remained deadlocked.
“We kind of stood around [in the second period],” said Newburyport coach Paul Yameen. “[Hodge] bailed us out again. We got through it. We worked through it.”
Newburyport found its insurance goal with 8:39 to play in the third, Babcock scoring off a breakaway showing forehand, then deking to the backhand.
The Cougars climbed within one with 4:55 to play in the third on a goal from Kevin Urquhart (Burlington) from the slot. Babcock added an empty-net goal with 21 seconds remaining.
Division 1 North
Belmont 3, Arlington 2 — Sophomore Justin Roche scored with 23.5 seconds left as the Marauders (12-6-4) stunned the top-seeded Spy Ponders (12-5-4) in the quarterfinals at O'Brien Rink in Woburn, their first win over their Middlesex League rival in three tries this season. Arlington had tied the game with 1:53 remaining on Mike Callahan’s goal. The Marauders took a 1-0 lead with 3:59 left in the first period with a five-hole goal from senior captain Dennis Crowley. Just 10 seconds into the second period, freshman Ben Fici doubled the margin. On a third-period power play, Arlington junior forward Dara Conneely spoiled the shutout bid of senior goalie Kevin Dacey (27 saves).
Division 1 South
Needham 2, Catholic Memorial 1 — Paul Martin scored twice and Dylan Jones stopped 23 shots as the 10th-seeded Rockets (11-7-3) advanced to the semifinals at Asiaf Rink in Brockton.
Division 3 South
Hopkinton 7, Dover-Sherborn 1 — Will Abbott scored twice and added an assist to lift the Hillers (19-2-1) in the first-round win in Franklin.
Kimball Union 2, Rivers 1 — A goal by Zach Whitehead on a two-on-one chance with 31 seconds remaining left lifted the Wildcats into Sunday’s final at Saint Anselm College at 5. Logan Cash scored the other goal for Kimball Union.
Division 3A West
Belchertown 7, Chicopee 3 — Matt and Nathan Pacheco teamed up to score a pair of goals each to lift the visiting Orioles (7-6-4).
Lawrence Academy 3, Gunnery 2 — Neil Shea buried the winner to send the visiting Spartans to Sunday’s final at Saint Anselm (12 p.m.).