BILLERICA — The Raiders battled to the final buzzer, but the Watertown High School boys hockey team could not find the back of the net for a third time, Saturday, and fell 3-2 to Dracut/Tyngsboro in the MIAA Div. 3 North quarterfinal.
“It is disappointing because I feel like when we play a complete game we can beat anyone,” Vlachos said. “But the bottom line was (Dracut/Tyngsboro) was the better team tonight. They came out and scored. It’s as simple as that.”
The fourth seeded Middies got on the board first, just 2:19 into the game when senior Jake Callery scored on assists from sophomore Brian Workman and sophomore Jared Debruin.
The Raiders, the 12th seed, conjured the scoring touch and scored twice in less than a minute of game time to take a 2-1 lead with 4:59 left in the first period.
First, Watertown senior Brett Sutherland tied it up on a goal assisted by freshman Mason Andrade and senior Luke Murphy. Then senior Alex Egan scored 22 seconds later. Assists went to freshman Nathan Master and eighth-grader James Grady.
The teams battled during the first half of the second period, but neither team budged. Then, Watertown took back to back penalties, first a too-many men violation followed by a 5 minute major assessed to Murphy. The penalties overlapped for 51 seconds, but the Raiders were able to kill off the 5-on-3 advantage.
With 4:06 left in the second, Callery struck again, this time on the power play. He was assisted by senior Kyle McManus and Workman. Watertown was able to kill the final 1:19 of the penalty to keep the score tied 2-2.
“The major penalty was a big hit for us,” Vlachos said. “Actually, I was happy they only got one goal, instead of two.”
Watertown had its chances in the third period, but it was the Middies who broke the deadlock. With 3:16 left in the third, Dracut/Tygsboro junior Pat Crowley scored on an assist from sophomore Mike Collett.
Watertown called timeout and pulled junior goalie Kevin Greene for the final 1:35, but could not score.
“We were in it to the last second. We only need one shot to tie that up,” Vlachos said. “I thought our boys came back and had a great third period — just couldn’t put the puck in the net.”
Watertown’s ends the season with a 9-9-4 record, and a first round state tournament victory over fifth seed Wayland on Thursday night. Still, the locker room was full of frowns after Saturday’s game.
“We’re young. There are a lot of unhappy campers in there,” Vlachos said. “Hopefully, that will be the motivation for next year.”