For the fifth consecutive year the Burlington Red Devil hockey team has won the Ed Cahoon Tournament, an end of the year tilt of which they are the host team, by beating Framingham 4-3 on Thursday night.
Burlington has now won the tournament seven times in its 19 year history and will hope to carry this momentum into the state tournament which is set to begin next week.
The Red Devils found themselves in an early hole after Framingham defenseman Zealin Cronk scored on a shot from the point just 1:21 into the game to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. The puck took a funny bounce in front on the net to get past Burlington goalie Derek DeCastro. This would be the only scoring of the first period and Framingham took the one goal lead into the dressing room.
Burlington came out in the second period and quickly erased the deficit they were facing. They scored at the 3:43 mark, with the goal coming from the unlikely source of Captain Shane Matthews. The senior is known more for his steady defensive play than his goal scoring abilities. He took a shot from the point that Framingham goalie Justin Lanzafane could not get a read on as the shot handcuffed him and bounced into the net. Joe Berardi picked up an assist on the goal.
The Red Devils took the lead a few minutes later when senior P.J. Vigneau scored. It appeared as if he wasn’t trying to shoot the puck but just center it in front of the net but it took a funny bounce and caromed past Lanzafane. RJ Caruso continued his stellar play this season by picking up the assist.
Framingham tied the score up at 7:15 into the period when Kevin Parker unleashed a slap shot from the right circle, after intercepting an errant pass, which found its way by DeCastro. The teams would go into the final period knotted up at 2-2.
Framingham scored first at 3:16 of the final period when Captain Robbie Averill scored on a one timer following a nice feed from Cory Gorovitz. After the goal Averill confused the for center court at Wimbledon when he took the time to bow for the Burlington fans, something the large and loud Burlington fan base did not appreciate.
Shortly after the goal Burlington committed an interference penalty, putting themselves in a man-down situation. Framingham spent most of the power play in the Burlington zone and it seemed as if a power play goal was imminent. But Captain Joey Centrella rose to the occasion, intercepting a pass and skating down the ice using his body to shield the defender and score on a backhand tying the game 3-3 with the shorthanded goal.
Framingham needed to win the game in regulation in order to qualify for the state tournament so they created tremendous offensive pressure as the third period wore down trying to get the decisive goal. With a minute to play the team pulled its goalie because they needed a win, the 1 point earned in a tie would do them no good. With the goalie pulled Berardi scored on the empty net with 10 seconds left in the game to give Burlington the victory.
DeCastro stopped 20 shots to get the win for Burlington while Lanzafane stopped 21 in a losing effort. Burlington will now wait and see to find out what team they will draw in the state tournament.