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Wolverines fall just short in thriller

Senior defenseman John Techiera (24) snaps a shot from the point. Photo by Mike Flanagan.

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Following a brief pause due to COVID-19 contact tracing, Westwood High School boys varsity hockey returned to the ice on Saturday as the Wolverines (2-2-0, 1-2-0) traveled to Pirelli Arena in Franklin to take on rival Medfield. Westwood looked to pick up their third win of the season against the Warriors (4-2-0) after winning, 1-0, at Medfield on opening night, followed by a 4-3 win at Canton Ice House on January 9.

At 18:14 of the first period, sophomore forward Danny Sullivan picked up a loose puck at the left face-off dot and snapped home a wrist shot through traffic to put Westwood ahead, 1-0.

With 8:24 to play in the period, Sam Palmer responded for Medfield, picking off a pass in the high slot and firing home a wrist shot into the top-left corner to tie the game at one. Palmer's tally began a three-goal run for the Warriors. Aiden Perachi shot home a goal from an odd angle down in the right corner to give Medfield a 2-1 lead with 2:41 to play in the period. Just 58 seconds later following a strong forecheck by Liam Ladd, Phil Parker picked up a loose puck at the net-mouth and snapped home a shot under the glove of Westwood goaltender Declan O'Leary to make it 3-1 at the intermission.

With 16:49 to play in the second period, senior forward Brendan Fay responded for Westwood, snapping home a one-time feed from senior captain Nick Horsfall in the high slot to cut the deficit to 3-2. A little less than three minutes later, senior forward Mike Vachon smacked home a backhander on a net-mouth scramble to put Medfield back ahead by a pair at 4-2 with 13:52 to play. With Westwood pressuring, Medfield senior goaltender Garrison Schilling made a series of massive saves with 10 minutes to play to keep the game at 4-2.

With 2:25 remaining, Horsfall broke through for Westwood and earned his second point of the contest, snapping home a loose puck from the left hash marks to get Westwood to within a goal. With under a minute remaining and still trailing by one, Westwood pulled O'Leary from the net for an extra attacker in search of the tying goal. With 19.6 seconds to play, senior forward Chris Lawson buried an empty-netter from deep in his own zone for Medfield, putting the Warriors ahead 5-3 and sealing the victory.

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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