BYFIELD – Seconds after Pentucket tied the game at nine with less than a minute to play, Triton senior captain Larry Cuddy got the ball in front of the net, but before he could get a shot off, he was flattened by two defenders and left on the ground in a heap.
Play was stopped so the trainer could attend to the fallen Triton player, but after walking off the field under his own power, Cuddy came back in and got another look at the net, this time hitting the crossbar with two seconds left.
But about a minute into overtime, Cuddy wouldn’t be denied. The senior attacker broke free and scored the game-winning goal, giving his team a hard fought 10-9 victory while putting the Vikings on the verge of a playoff berth.
“Larry told me when he came out of the huddle ‘I can take them,’ so I just said go do it then,” said Triton coach Sean Parsons. “He’s a tough kid, he wants to win. He knows that if he was really hurt, he knows he can’t go in, but if he can walk, that kid is going to play.”
Cuddy’s goal in overtime capped off a dramatic, back-and-forth affair in which neither team was able to get ahead by more than two goals. From the second period on, each team traded goals one after another, with Triton (8-7) tying the game and Pentucket (10-5) retaking the lead over and over again.
Pentucket finally broke the cycle late in the third period when the Sachems got two straight goals from Connor Beaton to take a 7-5 lead, the second of which came off a bad turnover in the middle of the field. Triton regrouped after the second goal and then scored three straight goals to take its first lead of the game. Senior midfielder Dalton Tzitzon scored right at the end of the third period off a nifty spin move, senior attacker Justin Spillane scored early in the fourth to tie it, and then Tzitzon scored again to make it 8-7.