by Blake Krantz
Boys’ hockey upset number one-seeded Braintree in the second round of the state tournament Saturday in double overtime on a goal by junior forward Pat Mullowney, who senior Dante Leone, a captain with seniors Mike Hart and Thomas Joyce, said has been “on fire” with four goals in the team’s first two playoff games.
The team will now advance to the state semi-finals against Franklin on Tuesday night, a feat that has not been accomplished by the Tigers in over 20 years.
On the big win over Braintree, Leone explained that “what really went well was our work ethic. We came in with a state of mind that they may be better than us but they will not out work us, and that is what we did every shift.”
Joyce, who has been fantastic in net for the team, also was very positive on the team’s performance.
“Everything went well,” he said. “We were able to come together as a team and play our best. We had great leadership from everyone, and we played with confidence and fire.”
Joyce also added that a lot of the older players on the team have been playing together for many years, and this chemistry, in addition to “unbelievable coaching and leadership,” has proved to be a catalyst for the deep tournament run.
The Tigers were constantly “taking hits and blocking shots” on Friday, as Leone praised, key plays that the team needed to do to win the game.
Leone also said that, “We don’t just think about this team when we play, we also think about all of the previous teams that wore orange and black and called themselves Tigers, and we know how fortunate we are to be in the position we are in,” adding that “we are making history every time we step on the ice.”
However, despite the team’s success so far in the tournament this season, their work is not done, according to Joyce.
“It’s an amazing experience to make it this far, but we still have a long road ahead,” he said. “But we aren’t done yet.”