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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The Dover-Sherborn High School varsity boys ice hockey team concluded their 2016-2017 season this past week with a tough 6-1 defeat at the hands of Hanover in the MIAA Division III State Tournament on Tuesday night at Gallo Ice Arena in Buzzard’s Bay.
After going 7-1-1 in their final nine regular season games, the Raiders compiled an 11-8-1 (6-6-1 TVL) overall regular season record, and earned themselves the No. 11 seed in the tournament.
Senior goaltender Owen Webb stood tall for the majority of the first period on Tuesday night, denying chance after chance for Hanover. With less than two minutes to play in the period, however, the sixth-seeded Indians (16-2-3) nabbed their first tally of the night on a rebound in front to enter the first intermission ahead at 1-0.
Following the break, Hanover struck again just nine seconds into the second period on an odd-man rush off the opening puck drop, and the Raiders suddenly found themselves down a pair. Less than five minutes later, Hanover struck again to take a commanding 3-0 lead.
After the Indians extended their lead to five midway through the third period, senior forward Tarik El-Hilali was able to spoil the shutout and find the back of the net on a shot from the high slot. However, the deficit was too much to overcome for DS, and the Indians went on to win by a final of 6-1.
While the results may not have been in DS’s favor on Tuesday, what the Raiders did during this 2016-2017 hockey season deserves the highest of recognitions. Most teams would have thrown in the towel following a 4-6 start to the year, but DS did not. The Raiders battled back from their non-ideal start to the year by winning seven of their final nine games, earning at least a point in eight of them. A group that was led by its core group of seniors, forward Joe Paolatto, forward Kelvin Donoghue, forward Colin Murray, forward Tarik El-Hilali, defenseman Johnny Schroeder, and goaltender Owen Webb, will never be forgotten for overcoming adversity and getting the Raiders back to the state tournament.
Congrats to DS boys hockey on a successful season.