Mic Curran had been crashing the net for most of the first two periods of Arlington’s matchup with Central Catholic in the Division 1A final at TD Garden on Sunday.
The Arlington senior had been getting hit hard by the Raiders’ defense, but he kept pushing until his efforts paid off. Curran potted the game’s first goal late in the second period, and the game’s last 15 seconds into overtime to give Arlington a 2-1 victory and make the Spy Ponders Super 8 champions.
“He was taking a couple of hits but he was making plays, so I just told him to keep coming and keep coming,” said Arlington coach John Messuri. “He played his butt off tonight, he played a man’s game.”
Curran’s overtime winner came on the first possession of the extra period. With the score knotted at one, he won a battle behind the Central Catholic net, and wrapped the puck around, deflecting it off the foot of sophomore goalie Matt Pasquale and into the back of the net. The Spy Ponders poured onto the ice in celebration as the Raiders (17-6-3) looked on in defeat.
“I was looking to throw it back door, I knew Peter [Scheschareg] was in front of the net, and it hit his skate and went in,” Curran said.
Curran’s first goal gave Arlington (22-2-2) a 1-0 lead late in the second period, as he converted on an odd-man rush with senior Kevin Ouellette.
Central Catholic junior Joseph Biddle knotted the score a minute into the third period with a laser over the glove of junior goalie Jack Pinard.
Central Catholic pushed hard late in the third period, but the Spy Ponders’ defense closed out regulation in strong fashion.
“It got a little hectic, but the defense held it down,” Pinard said. “I saw the shots and stopped it.”
Pinard rounded out his stellar tournament performanceby making 23 saves and letting in just one goal for the fourth consecutive game. Pasquale made 27 saves for the Raiders.
For Messuri and the Arlington seniors, the state championship marked the successful completion of a four-year journey.
“When the seniors decided to come to the high school, we weren’t so good,” Messuri said. “So those kids decided — and the young kids behind them decided to come. We talked about that before they game, ‘that’s why you did it, that’s why you’re here . . . now let’s go get it done.’ ”
Arlington becomes the first public school to win the Division 1A title since Hingham in 2010, and just the third in the 27-year history of the tournament. Reading won in 2008.
“I think it’s just good for all of high school hockey, that a group of seniors that could’ve left and played at any prep school and juniors, stay, and you can’t trade that,” Messuri said. “It’s a win for high school hockey tonight.”
Arlington 2, Central Catholic 1
at TD Garden, Boston
Central Catholic (17-6-3)
Second period: 1, , Mic Curran (Kevin Ouellette, John Pigott) 17:59.
Third period: 2, , Joseph Biddle :41.
Overtime: 3, , Mic Curran :15.
Saves: , Jack Pinard, 23, Matt Pasquale, 27.James Duffy can be reached at email@example.com.