With every remaining game on the Dragonsâ€™ hockey schedule being crucial to its playoff hopes, the visit by St. Peter-Marian (2-9) was a welcome sight when forecasting wins and losses in the final nine games.
Despite dominating play throughout the evening, Duxbury had to rely on junior Will Siefertâ€™s goal with 1:14 to go in the game for a 4-3 win over the Guardians that brings Duxburyâ€™s record to 4-4-5.
The Dragons looked to be in control after first period goals by Siefert and senior captain Nick Buonvicino gave them a 2-0 lead. But a goal by St. Peteâ€™s Nate Spinney cut the margin to one after a weird bounce eluded goaltender Derek Williams and made it 2-1 after the first period of play.
It took just 19 seconds for the Dragons to continue their dominance when senior Kane Haffeyâ€™s shot off the left wing was defected past the Guardian goaltender for what looked like a comfortable 3-1 lead.
The Dragons would spend three minutes killing off Guardian power-plays in the middle of the second period and it didnâ€™t seem to affect their play, as Williams was rarely tested. Duxbury seemed to reverse play in the final two minutes, as Siefert was robbed on a solo break-in and they held a power-play advantage of their own.
What appeared to be a comfortable existence for the Dragons entering the third period took just 39 seconds to reverse itself.
With Duxburyâ€™s power-play coming to an end, the Guardians caught the Dragons off guard when Dan Blute fired a shot on Williams that hit a stick out front and popped over the goaltenderâ€™s shoulder at the 14:31 mark to make it 3-2.
Just 10 seconds later, the game was all tied at 3-3 when Spinney scored his second of the game coming down the left side and firing on Williams, as the puck broke through his pads.
The action would go back-and-forth throughout the rest of the period with neither team having any serious scoring bids.
With 1:36 remaining in the game and the puck in the St. Peteâ€™s end of the ice, Coach John Blake called a timeout. Whatever was discussed never took place, as the Guardians stole a pass intended for the point and raced up ice, only to see their chance for a win broken up. With his forwards behind the onrushing Guardians, the puck was sent up ice from Tim Harrison to Evan Jackson, who spotted Siefert for a break-in and the game-winner.
â€œI thought for the most part we carried the play,â€ said Blake. â€œWe said at the end of the second period not to let them get back in it, but they scored two quick ones and we thought it was going to be one of those nights. But I thought we showed some character by finishing on the last rush. We still need to put together some solid 45 minutes of smart, disciplined, physical hockey. Once we do that weâ€™ll be fine.Â We play well in spurts, but we still havenâ€™t played that full 45 minute game. With some of the teams we have coming up like Woburn and Xaverian, if we donâ€™t play those types of games, we donâ€™t have a shot.â€