The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of -- Tewksbury High Hockey Team Wins State Championship
TMHS Redmen top Franklin, 2-1, in an overtime thriller. Mark Petti scores the game winner.
The stuff dreams are made of came to life Sunday afternoon at the TD Garden in Boston.
Senior forward Mark Petti slapped home the rebound of a Frank Mazzei shot just 52 seconds into the overtime period as the Tewksbury High hockey team captured the Division 2 state championship with a heart-stopping 2-1 win over Franklin High School in front of thousands of cheering Tewksbury fans.
"Oh my God, it was unreal. I can't believe this. It was a dream come true," said Petti to a crowd of reporters after the game. "To finish my high school career with a state championship, that's awesome.
"I still can't believe it," Petti added. "It's a dream come true."
It would be difficult to conjur up a more dramatic story than the one that unfolded on Garden ice Sunday, as the Division 2 North champion Redmen fell behind 1-0 on a "lucky bounce" goal with just two seconds left to play in the first period. Many athletes, older and more mature than high schoolers, would have let that momentum turning goal get them down, but not so the Tewksbury High Redmen. They regrouped in the locker rooom, and came out stronger than ever in the second period.
"It was the worst first period we had played in the tournament," said Tewksbury coach Derek Doherty. "But we regrouped and came back and I thought the kids played very, very well in the second and third."
"We started off slow," agreed senior captain Ryan Doherty. "But coming into the locker room at intermission we talked about how we had been playing this whole tournament; physical, taking shots from everywhere. It was important that we came out here and we played our game, and if we were going to play our game we were gonna come back and win."
The Redmen pressured the Franklin net for much of the second period, and finally broke through with four minutes to play, tying the game at 1-1 when senior center iceman Frank Mazzei scored a power play goal, assisted by Derek Petti and Ryan Doherty.
Inspired, the Redman defense silenced Franklin the rest of the way, as senior netminder Niko Cunha came up with save after spectacular save. The third period was an edge-of-your-seat scoreless tie, and the state championship game went into a nerve-wracking overtime period.
But the Tewksbury skaters didn't give the fans a lot of time to worry, as Mazzei took a wrap-around shot at the Franklin net just 52 seconds into the extra period, and Petti jumped on the rebound to score the game-winner.
It was Petti's second huge goal for Tewksbury in the tournament. The senior winger scored the game winner in the 3-1 win over Saugus in the Division 2 North Sectional title game just over a week ago.
"Mark Petti again," Derek Doherty marveled. "He came up huge twice for us. Saugus and now this game here."
Petti's goal unleashed a chaotic scene, as the Redmen stormed the ice and the Tewksbury fans roared their approval.
"Oh man, I'm telling you," Derek Doherty said. "It's been a lot of sleepless nights. I'm just proud of the kids. They played hard."
"It's unbelievable," said senior defenseman Rob Pruyne. "This was an unblievable ride. It just couldn't have ended any better.
"You dream of this ever since you're a little kid," he added. "But to actually get here and win a state championship, it's unbelievable."