It’s way too early in the season to consider this a turning point, but instead, it was truly an upset, as Needham recorded two goals during the final minute of regulation to beat Catholic Memorial, 2-1 at Babson College on Wednesday.
“They were much stronger on the puck all night long,” said CM head coach William Hanson. “When you give them a chance [to score during the final minute], they’re a good team, and they’re going to score goals.”
The win preserves the Rockets undefeated streak, as well as provides the squad with a great deal of confidence heading into Saturday’s matchup against Hingham High School.
“It’s a great win. It’s about time we knocked off another top team,” said Needham senior co-captain Lucas Davis.
Davis continued by saying, “It’s been tough the past couple of years trying to knock off the top teams, but we finally did it.”
Needham and CM battled for two scoreless periods, as well as combined for 38 shots in 30 minutes until the Knights recorded their first and only goal of the evening when junior forward John Maher connected with junior forward Jack O’Hear, who whipped the puck past Needham’s senior goaltender Connor Murray, (20 saves).
The Rockets then responded after head coach Bill Guisti called a timeout with 1:04 remaining in third period before sophomore defenseman Shaymus Colman rifled the game-tying goal past CM’s junior goaltender Shane Starrett, (30 saves) at the Knights blue line.
“Well, we knew that we needed to get the puck back, and usually we’re trying to work one of our little face-off plays, but in a situation like that where we pull the goalie, I had Lucas [Davis] out there, Timmy [Parlato], and then our two top [defenseman], Brendan [Joyce] and Shaymus, and I told them to try neutralize the draw, get it back to our points, try to go d-to-d, spread Shaymus out a little bit, and get a shot through, and have everyone else kind of funnel to the net,” said Guisti, when asked to describe what he discussed during his team’s final timeout.
After Needham tied the game, it appeared both teams were destined to decide the outcome in overtime. However, the Rockets didn’t seem interested in providing the Knights with a few extra minutes, so Davis crashed the net and deposited a deflected shot by Parlato to secure victory with nine seconds remaining on the clock.
“Timmy Parlato came up, the puck was loose, he dove, stopped it, and the [opposing goalie] came out, the puck got to me, and I finished it,” said Davis.
Davis continued to describe his game winning goal when he stated, “Give all the credit to Timmy Parlato.”
The Rockets will certainly enjoy this win, which could help them for the remainder of the season, but for the meantime, Guisti and Needham will return to the ice on Thursday to prepare for their next game against the Harbormen at 1:30 on Saturday at Pilgrim Arena.
“[This win] gives us a lot of confidence,” said Guisti.