WOBURN -- All good things come to an end. For Pentucket, it was just a little sooner than they hoped.
The Sachems playoff run fell short in the Division 2 North quarterfinals with a 5-0 loss to Stoneham on Friday. Following the comeback thriller just days before, it was a run for the group to be proud of.
“They gained momentum right away, but like it’s been all season, I knew we could come back,” said Sachems coach Mark Morreale. “I just tried to keep the kids focused, and they did a pretty good job.”
The second-seeded Spartans were a tough matchup, clogging shooting lanes and making it difficult for Pentucket to get shots off. Hazen Pike still managed a couple of opportunities, while Richie Hardy also had several shots reach net.
The first Stoneham shot of the game went through. Nick Feliciano then blasted a shot from the blueline that snuck in just over a minute into the game.
Both goals helped Stoneham take a 3-0 lead after the first period.
The Spartans had three power play chances without scoring, and a shot with two seconds on the clock with the man advantage gave them their third goal.
In the second, Connor Melone stood tall in net, making seven saves, but the Sachems couldn’t get the puck down ice, even with two more power plays.
Just over six minutes into the frame, A.J. Sousa scored his second goal of the game on a blast from the blueline while on the power play to give Stoneham a 4-0 lead.
At the very end of the period, it looked like the Sachems had notched their first score, but with time running out, it was waved off and the teams headed to their rooms.
One final goal would be scored in the third, and that would be it for the Sachems.
“It’s tough, but you have to move on,” said Morreale. “No one thought we’d get this far, we played the underdog role all season. Even losing, I told them hold their heads high .They did special things all year. They should be proud, because I am.”
The future stays bright for the Sachems, whose freshman trio on the top line led the Cape Ann League in points. With their return, and projected growth, the Sachems should return better than ever.
“The sky’s the limit,” said Morreale “These kids worked their butt off all year and earned all the respect they got .We’ll miss the seniors, but I’m already excited for next season.”
Stoneham 5, Pentucket 0
Pentucket (12-8-2): 0 0 0 — 0
Stoneham (15-4-2): 3 1 1 — 5
Division 2 North Quarterfinals
Saves: P — Connor Melone 17