By Avonlea Cummings
Hometown Weekly Reporter
The air was filled with nerves and excitement as the third-seeded Medfield Warriors dashed onto the ice heading into the first playoff game, competing for the state title. Their opponent, the 30th-seeded Old Rochester Regional Bulldogs, came out growling once the puck dropped. The Warriors tamed the Bulldogs in a 3-1 win to solidify their spot in the Sweet 16 round.
As the Warriors darted on the ice, the Bulldogs sprinted with intensity to match up against Medfield’s skills. Playing their powerful game, the Warriors maintained possession for the majority of the first period, ripping multiple shots onto their goalie. Building a robust defense against the Warriors, the Bulldogs closed off any goal-making opportunities, closing the end of the first period with a scoreless game.
As if the competition couldn’t get any hotter, the flames busted into the second period as the Warriors’ passes continued to get smoother and the urgency rose. With 11 minutes left to the second, Medfield’s junior, Michael Perachi swung up to his offensive end hurling the puck past the Bulldogs' tight defense. He slung it into the back of their net. Perachi’s goal was the Warrior’s first move of the competition, earning the team a 1-0 lead.
Barking with determination, the Bulldogs bit back just three minutes after the Warriors’ first strike. With just over eight minutes to spare in the third, Old Rochester’s Caleb Bousquet sniped back with a goal-making shot, tying the competition 1-1. Suddenly, within two minutes of the Bulldog’s attempt to lead, Medfield captain, Matthew Guidon flung the puck against the Bulldog’s goalie striking the back of the net. Guidon’s game-winning goal broke the Warriors free from the Bulldog’s grip with six minutes left to go in the third.
The whistle blew as the game clock dwindled as the teams skated across the ice, to the benches for a timeout. The atmosphere was tense as the Bulldogs scrambled to get another point on the board, and the Warriors’ staying collected continued to play with ease. As the Bulldogs pulled their goalie for another man on the ice, Medfield took their strong possession of the puck and used it to their advantage. Senior captain, James Tyer snagged the puck out from the Bulldog’s stick and blew it across the ice earning the Warriors their third goal of the night on an empty net. When the buzzer rang the boys rushed to their sophomore goalie, Charles Duggan, who saved 11 out of 12 shots put on the net. Boasting with excitement, the Warriors celebrated their 3-1 win over the Bulldogs as they advance to the Sweet 16 round of the playoffs.
Captain Guidon was thrilled to have had the opportunity to shoot and earn the Warriors the goal needed to lead them into the Sweet Sixteen of the playoffs. The boys outshot the Bulldogs by 46-12 shots, keeping possession for most of the competition.
“We prepared like any other game; we came in knowing we had to put 100% on the ice all the time. We kept on playing our game in the second and third periods we knew we just had to keep playing our game, and we did just that,” said Guidon.
Head coach Bill Ladd was proud of the boys when the game came to a close, as the Warriors kept their composure even while the Bulldogs got riled up from the competition.
“It’s tough to see the other team get frustrated and try to pull our boys into that frustration but all I kept thinking was for them to get out of there, don’t feed into them and I’m glad they didn’t. I think moving forward, we are going to keep working on our powerplay and trying to get an early start,” said Ladd.