BOURNE - Hockey is unique. Like all sports it takes a perfect combination of tactics, diligence and tremendous skill to succeed. But no matter how much one practices, prepares and strategizes for a game, there is always a potential that the outcome will be decided by one lucky (or unlucky) bounce.
Such was the case Saturday afternoon in Bourne, where the seventh seeded Oliver Ames Tigers were able to upset the second seeded Canton Bulldogs with a chance overtime goal in an extremely competitive MIAA Division II South Sectional quarterfinal matchup. OA’s Andrew Taylor scored the goal to defeat the Bulldogs 2-1.
The game was about as close as they come.
“It was really back and forth the whole game, each side won a period,” said Tiger Head Coach Dan Scott.
Both teams came ready to play, this being the third time they had faced each other this season.
“We know Canton very well,” said Scott, “that made it easy to plan for the game.”
“It’s a tough loss, we played very well,” said Bulldog Head Coach Brian Shuman.
Canton, this year’s Hockomock League Champions, had come out victorious in the previous two meetings, though Shuman stressed that those games did not play a factor in Bourne.
“No, I don’t buy that. Each game is its own thing. They’re a great team and tonight they had more legs than us.”
After three periods of intense hockey concluded, the score stood tied at one goal apiece. A twelve-minute period of sudden victory followed, where the first goal scored would end the game. Each team had plenty of chances, but the decider came in a frantic skirmish in front of Canton’s net about eight minutes into play.
In it Taylor, the Hockomock League MVP this year, was able to sneak a high wrist shot by the Canton defense and goalie Richard Nee. Taylor was no doubt the game’s MVP as well, having scored the Tiger’s first goal in the first period.
“He’s been phenomenal all year,” said Scott, “He gives one hundred per cent all the time. A class act on the ice and off.”
Though they came out on the wrong side in this particular game, Shuman noted that his team had still accomplished much this season.
“I’m so proud of our guys,” he said, “We have fourteen freshmen and sophomores and we were still the league champs. They played with so much heart all season. They’re great players.”
The Tigers will face the winner of the quarterfinal game between Franklin vs. North Quincy.