Tuesday Thriller Decides Champion
AYER — If you were looking for a good lacrosse game to watch Tuesday night there was no better place to be than at Ayer Shirley Regional High School, where Lunenburg and the Bromfield/Ayer Shirley co-op program collided with the league title on the line.
The game certainly lived up to its billing, featuring exciting comebacks and chippy action, at points, all culminating a wild, 10-9 double-overtime victory for Bromfield that locked up the Mid-Wach D title.
“These past two games were big wins for us,” Bromfield coach Patrick Fredrickson said. “We secured a playoff spot last game with a goal with four seconds left, and then won the league title in double-overtime today. It feels great, especially considering how tough this season has been for us. We haven’t been able to play on our home field all season and we’re very young.
“Max Larson the young man who scored the game-winner, is only a seventh-grader and Greg Cannon, he had two goals today, he’s only an eighth-grader. I think those guys are coming along thanks to our older leadership. Our goaltender, Logan Reid has been an outstanding leader for us.”
Lunenburg drew first blood with a Donovan Powell goal in the bottom left-corner to get ahead 1-0, but Bromfield punched back quickly with an Ian Miller goal and then another goal 15 seconds later, as a faceoff win became a goal-scoring fast break to put Bromfield ahead 2-1.
That forced Lunenburg to call a timeout, and the Blue Knights came out aggressive after the break, playing hard defense. Ethan Wippell laid down an extremely hard hit that elicited a large crowd reaction, but was called for unnecessary roughness as the ball went back to Bromfield for the power play.
It didn’t much matter to Lunenburg, though, as the visitors scored the next goal, again from Powell, to tie the contest at 2-2.
Greg Cannon answered to give Bromfield the lead once again, and the Trojans made it back-to-back tallies when Sam Hillis found the back of the net. Hillis added another tally shortly thereafter, and it was a 5-2 Bromfield advantage.
And yet Powell was not done, as the Lunenburg superstar made it a hat trick with a goal that brought the Blue Knights within 5-3.
Emotions were running hot toward the end of the half, as some jostling led to words being exchanged between the two sides.
Lunenburg seized the momentum and struck for a goal off the stick of Peno Montomoro, cutting the score 5-4.
Bromfield wisely called a timeout, then took the offensive when play resumed, as Hillis recorded the hat trick and Jackson Ewa scored with 17 seconds left to take a 7-4 lead into halftime.
Lunenburg answered in the second half almost immediately as Nick Huntington scored to cut the cap to 7-5. Dawson Powell, Donovan Powell’s brother, then scored his first of the contest to make it a 7-6 deficit.
Lunenburg finally pulled back to all-square at 7-7 after Huntingtonscored his second goal of the day, running through an absolute mob of defenders to tie things up. Lunenburg scored again to take its first lead since the beginning of the game, as Declan Fitzpatrick’s tally put the visitors ahead, 8-7.
Despite allowing four unanswered goals and giving up the lead, Bromfield refused to despair, calling another timeout to restore order.
Bromfield came out on fire in the fourth quarter, peppering Lunenburg goalie Zach Pearson with shots. Pearson turned away the first two he saw, but the third time was the charm for Bromfield as Hillis registered his fourth tally of the day to bring things all-even at 8.
With emotions running hot on both sides, Bromfield’s Cannon scored his second goal of the game to give the Trojans a 9-8 lead, jumping in the air with a fist bump to celebrate the tally.
Lunenburg wasn’t ready to quit, using a fast break in the final moments to score a desperation goal, making it 9-9.
With three seconds left, the contest seemed destined for overtime, but first a penalty allowed Bromfield to have the ball in front of Lunenburg’s net. Bromfield was able to get a shot off, but a beautiful save byPearson forced the extra session.
Overtime rules call for four minutes of sudden victory. After neither team was able to score in the first four minutes, the game moved into its second overtime period.
After three minutes of play, it seemed as though the game could be heading into it’s third overtime, but a wild turn of events flipped the script.
Pearson blocked a shot from Bromfield, but no Lunenburg players were in the area to gather the bouncing rebound. Pearson took a risk and left his post to get the ball, but Bromfield players swarmed the area, and Max Larson was able to fire a shot on-target into the open net.