NEWBURYPORT — The Triton varsity hockey team’s season ended in heartbreak last night as the Vikings tied Andover 2-2 in the consolation game of the Newburyport Bank Bresnahan Division Tournament, when they gave up the season-ending goal with less than two minutes to play.
Coming into the game with a record of 8-9-3, Triton needed only one more win to qualify for the state tournament. The Vikings looked to be dead and buried just three weeks ago, but after winning four of their last five and taking a 2-1 lead over Andover late in the second period, it looked as if the Vikings were going to be able to pull it off.
But with 1:41 left to play, Andover freshman Matthew Quercia beat Triton goalie Spencer Norton to tie the game, and just like that, the dream was over.
“There’s a lot of emotion. I have a tremendous amount of pride for those guys, for the way they conducted themselves and carried themselves throughout the year,” said Triton coach Drew Wile after the game. “We walk out of this rink winners, because right now it’s more than just about a tournament. Over the last three weeks we had a tremendous amount of life lessons that we’ve learned from, good and bad.”
Had the Vikings held their lead, defenseman Andrew Sheerin would have been the hero. Sheerin scored the go-ahead goal with 1:46 to play in the second period, and as the Vikings held the lead throughout the third, the fans at the Graf Rink grew steadily louder as the clock ticked down to zero.
Even early in the game, it seemed as if it was going to be Triton’s day. A few minutes into the first period, Triton appeared to catch some of the same good luck the USA men’s team caught against Russia, when an Andover goal was waved off due to a dislodged net.