The Duxbury boys’ hockey team took a 3-2 lead late into the third period on Saturday night at The Bog, but surrendered a goal to Pembroke’s Ryan Shea with 2:10 left to play and had to settle for a 3-3 tie with Pembroke.
It was a game of ebbs and flows, as Pembroke blasted away at Duxbury netminder Conor Charland in the first period with 12 shots on net. Fortunately none of them got by the senior goalie who made his biggest save of the period on Shea with 7:10 remaining.
The Dragons had little luck getting just two shots on Pembroke goaltender Bobby McElligot with senior Jeff Gaita’s blast from the left wing almost getting by McElligot with 2:21 remaining.
It was a complete turn-around in the middle stanza, but only after the Titans grabbed a 1-0 lead on a Cullan Fitzgerald tally at the 11:28 mark with assists to senior captain Tom Cahill and freshman Mark Indelicato.
Helped by a penalty-filled second period, the Dragons caught fire and were relentless in the Pembroke end, peppering McElligot with a rash of shots he turned aside until freshman forward Luke Stevens tied the game at 1-1.
Breaking into the zone along with senior defenseman Ken Jacobson and senior forward Cam Daley, Stevens was in front to knock home a rebound and add to Duxbury’s offensive momentum.
While the score didn’t reflect the Dragons’ second period dominance, the stat sheet showed Duxbury with 17 shots in the period while limiting the Titans to five.
While neither team could do much with its scoring chances, they figured out a way to break out of their offensive doldrums in the final 15 minutes, as Pembroke broke the tie with 10:04 remaining when junior Josh Golden poked home a rebound just inside the left post after a Charland save.
With hitting picking up on both ends of the ice, the refs hit both teams with roughing penalties with 5:43 left in the game. Just 10 seconds after the face-off Jacobson rushed into the offensive zone and started a play that Gaita finished after getting an assist from Stevens and tying the game at 2-2.
No sooner had Duxbury got itself back into the game when sophomore Nick Marrocco deflected a Jacobson shot past McElligot with 4:06 to go for a 3-2 lead.
Hoping to protect their lead with four minutes remaining, the Dragons made life more difficult for themselves as the Titans went on the power-play with 3:32 left on the clock. Following a Pembroke timeout, the Titans tested Charland right away, forcing the Duxbury goalie to make a diving save that protected their one-goal lead.
With eight seconds left on the power-play Duxbury’s luck ran out, as Shea took a pass to the left point and buried a screamer over Charland’s shoulder and up and under the crossbar to tie the game at 3-3.
“We had our struggles and were sloppy in that first period,” said Coach John Blake. “We had no discipline. We took some bad penalties, made some mistakes, and they made us pay for them. I do have to say our red line of Gaita, Stevens, and Daley had a great game. They were all over the ice and moving their feet.”
On Wednesday night the Dragons will continue with Patriot League play when they travel to North Quincy to take on the Red Raiders at 7 p.m.