The puck drops at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday when the Watertown boys’ hockey team looks to keep its magical tournament run going all the way to the Garden for the state final. Follow the action live below!
The Raiders (14-3-7) face a tough Norwell (21-1-3) team, the South Section champs in the MIAA Div. 3 state semifinal at Gallo Arena in Bourne.
Watertown has been on a tournament run deeper than has been seen since 1991, when the Raiders also reached the state semifinal. The Raiders beat Bedford in the North Section final, after avenging a section semi loss last year by beating Wayland 4-1. Watertown took care of Northeast Regional 4-1 in the section quarterfinal and beat Dracut 3-1 in the first round.
Watertown’s run has been helped by the stellar goaltending of senior Anthony Busconi. The Raider netminder has stopped all but four shots in the four tournament games, not allowing more than one goal against Dracut, Northeast Regional, Wayland and Bedford.
Junior Tyler Gardiner has provided the offensive spark for the Raiders, scoring five goals in four tournament games. Junior Tyler Poulin got both of his goals in the North Section final against Wayland and junior Nick Martino also has a pair of tourney goals.
Norwell has rolled over its tournament foes: 5-1 over Rockland in the first round, 6-0 over Bourne in the South quaterfinal, 3-1 over Cohasset in the South semi and 5-1 over Hanover in the South final.
The Clippers have plenty of scoring power of their own. Junior Grady Dole, sophomore Joe Trabino, and junior Cam Labadie have all had multiple goals in the tournament.
Norwell will be without one of its star players, David Talanian, who broke his leg in the South Section semifinal.
Sophomore goalie Sean McGowan has only had to make 24 saves in the Clippers’ four tourney games and let in only three goals.
The winner of Wednesday’s game faces the winner of the other state semifinal, Central champ North Middlesex or West champ Agawam (who play Thursday) in the state final at the TD Garden on Sunday, March 15.