SALEM — After backing into the MIAA State Tournament with a 1-3 record in their final four games, the Triton Vikings hockey team saw their season come to a close with a 2-1 loss to the Winthrop Vikings in the first round of the North Division 2 bracket.
Triton was able to outshoot Winthrop 23-19, but had trouble finding the back of the net through the game’s first 44 minutes as they were kept off the board until pulling goalie Devon Shuman (17 saves) in favor of the extra skater.
Following the game, Triton coach Drew Wile shared his disappointment that his club didn’t play the entire game with the sense of urgency they showed in the game’s waning seconds.
“For the most part, in the first period we were all over them territorially, and just didn’t get our noses dirty enough,” Wile said. “You gotta play this game like you have the pulled goalie and you’re down a goal all the time, and we didn’t, unfortunately.”
Triton was forced to play from behind very early on, as in the game’s opening minutes, Winthrop’s Pierce Lamberton intercepted the puck in the Triton zone and found Pat Todisco in front of the net. Todisco was able to draw Shuman into an awkward position and bury home the goal with 10:06 remaining in the first period.
Just over five minutes later, it looked as if Todisco would put Triton into an even bigger hole after beating Shuman again. The goal was waved off, however, due to a goalie interference call that went against Winthrop.
Winthrop coach Dale Dunbar didn’t see eye-to-eye with the referees on the call, and let them know his frustration during the first intermission.
“(I told the referees) don’t be the show, there’s no time for that,” Dunbar said. “If a call’s made like that, he should be adamant about it. Go announce it, and come right to me with an explanation. I don’t think anybody saw what that possibly could have been.”