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Wilder’s late strike salvages Medfield tie

Senior captain and forward Chris Lawson (6) moves the puck into the attacking zone during Medfield's 6-6 tie at Ashland on Saturday night. Photos by Mike Flanagan.

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Medfield High School varsity boys hockey traveled to Loring Arena in Framingham on Saturday night to take on Ashland, as the Warriors (5-2-2, 4-1-2) looked to extend their point streak to seven consecutive games.

Early on, it was all Ashland. With 13:18 to play in the first period, Nick Fish flew down the left wing and put a backhanded shot on net that somehow found its way through Medfield goalie Garrison Schilling and into the back of the net, putting the Clockers (1-4-1) ahead, 1-0. With 2:27 remaining in the period, Ashland doubled its lead to 2-0, thanks to a back-door feed from Matt Milko in the corner and a tap-in at the doorstep by Nick Cibotti. Just 15 seconds later off the ensuing face-off, however, senior assistant captain and forward Mike Vachon responded for Medfield. Senior captain Phil Parker fed a beautiful outlet pass out into the neutral zone for Vachon, who won the race to the loose puck for a mini-breakaway before firing home a wrist shot upstairs to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Unfortunately, the momentum from Vachon's goal was short-lived for Medfield as Mark Milko put home a rebound off an initial shot by Jack Reardon with 1:14 remaining in the period to push Ashland's lead back to 3-1. Just 24 seconds later, Nick Fish fed a perfect saucer pass to Mike Milko on a two-on-one as Milko finished the play at the net-mouth, putting Ashland ahead 4-1 at the intermission.

In desperate need of a response, James Tyer delivered for Medfield and completely turned the game's momentum. Just 23 seconds into the second period, Tyer stole a breakout pass at the Ashland blue line before cutting in and firing home a wrist shot from the left hash marks that squeaked through the pads of Ashland goaltender Jack Rossi to make it a 4-2 game. With 17:21 to play and Medfield shorthanded following a roughing call assessed to Aiden Parker, head coach Toby Carlow turned to two of his senior captains in Phil Parker and Sam Palmer to kill off the penalty and keep the game within reach. Parker and Palmer did that and more, as some great forechecking down low by Palmer freed the puck in the slot for Parker. Parker corralled the loose puck and fired a shot on net from point blank that was initially saved by Rossi. Palmer crashed the net and deposited home a backhander off the post and in to make it a 4-3 game.

With 12 minutes remaining, Ashland pushed its lead back to a pair at 5-3, thanks to a great move and finish by Nick Fish on a two-on-one. Off the ensuing face-off, Phil Parker retrieved a loose puck in the neutral zone and split the Ashland defense for a breakaway. Parker fired home a quick wrister through the five-hole of Rossi to immediately cut the deficit back to a single goal at 5-4.

With 5:24 remaining, Ashland's PJ Kissane scored what appeared to be the dagger, burying a rebound in front off of a net-mouth scramble to make it a 6-4 game. With 1:14 to play, Parker fired home his second of the night, this time coming off a slap shot on a mini-breakaway to trim the deficit to 6-5. Following a pair of tripping penalties assessed to Ashland, Medfield was awarded with a six-on-three advantage with the goaltender pulled in search of the tying goal. Following consecutive clears by Ashland, James Wilder went coast-to-coast down the right wing before snapping a shot home blocker side with 35.4 seconds to play, tying the game at six and securing the Warriors a point for the seventh straight contest.

For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.

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