By RYAN D. MURRAY After going to Woonsocket and upsetting first-seeded Cumberland 3-1 on Friday night in Game 1 of the Boys Division II Hockey Quarterfinal, the No. 8 Cranston West Falcons fell 4-2 on Saturday night to the Clippers in Game 2 at Cranston
After going to Woonsocket and upsetting first-seeded Cumberland 3-1 on Friday night in Game 1 of the Boys Division II Hockey Quarterfinal, the No. 8 Cranston West Falcons fell 4-2 on Saturday night to the Clippers in Game 2 at Cranston Veterans Memorial Ice Rink.
That forced a decisive rubber match on Monday night at Adelard Arena in Woonsocket, and West beat Cumberland 6-4 in the Game 3 matchup.
West’s Cam Koretsky, a senior, and Andrew Martin, a junior, scored two goals apiece in Game 3, while senior Dylan Demers had one goal, and junior Jared Ainley, notched the game-winner.
Falcon’s goaltender Mat Corrente, a junior, made 41 saves in the series-deciding contest.
It may have only been the first round of the playoffs, but for West it seems as if they’ve been playing postseason hockey for a while.
“Since February 1st, our backs were against the wall just to get into the playoffs,” Falcons head coach Matt Brannon said. “We’ve been playing playoff hockey since early February to get ourselves into the playoffs. It’s just been a grind all season and they just don’t know how to quit.”
The Falcons came through with a road upset of a defending-champion Cumberland team that went unbeaten in D-II during the past two regular seasons.
“Our team has been battle-tested all season,” Brannon said. “To play in a hostile environment on the road and win two road games against a team who hasn’t lost at home in over two seasons. An eight seed, who had to battle to get into the playoffs on the second to last night of the regular season is a true testament to the group of kids we have. They didn’t want their season to end, and now we are playing another weekend of hockey, and are two wins from playing in a state championship.”
The victory moves the Falcons onto the D-II Semifinals where they will face No. 4 East Greenwich on Friday at 8 p.m. in Game 1 at the West Warwick Rink. Game 2 will be played at the Cranston Veterans Memorial Ice Rink on Saturday at 7 pm, and if there is a Game 3, it will be at 4:30 pm on Monday at the West Warwick Rink.
The Falcons almost handled the Clippers in two games after rallying back from two goals down in Game 2 of the Quarterfinal, but Cumberland’s Robbins registered the game-winning tally, three minutes and twenty-two seconds into the third frame, which came after assists from Aidan Clarey and Ryan Taylor and forced the pivotal Game 3.
Five minutes after Robbins gave the Clippers the 3-2 edge, Shea Bessette, a junior defenseman, earned Cumberland some insurance when he obtained a power play goal after an assist from Domenic Rousseau, which gave the Clippers the 4-2 victory.
The Falcons two goals were scored by Koretsky and Martin.
In West’s 3-1 Game 1 triumph, Ainley recorded the first goal following an assist from Martin. The second goal came from Tom Harper after a pass from Ben Kopsick, and the third tally was an empty-net goal from Koretsky after a dish from Demers.
Corrente made 34 saves in the Game 1 victory.