WESTBOROUGH – The Westborough High School boys hockey team held on through a hectic final few minutes to beat Ashland on Monday night, taking a 4-3 win at NorthStar Ice Sports in town.
Up 4-1 at one point in the third period, the Rangers saw the Clockers notch a pair of goals. That narrowed the deficit and set Ashland up with a chance to tie things with four seconds left in the game and a faceoff in Westborough’s defensive zone.
The puck found the back of the net after a scrambling effort. But officials waved the goal off, ruling that the final buzzer had sounded.
“I’m obviously happy with a win,” head coach Chet Hallice said in an interview moments later. “I wasn’t particularly happy with the last five minutes. We let a team back in.”
Rangers snag early lead
Westborough had scored early against Ashland, punching in a pair of goals in a matter of just 30 seconds in the first period.
They then went ahead 3-0 on a goal in the second period before Ashland got on the board with a goal of their own to send the game into the third period with Westborough ahead 3-1.
The Rangers scored first in the third period. But Ashland followed with two goals of its own, trimming the lead to 4-3 and nearly tying things with seconds left on the clock.
Continuing his postgame comments, Hallice noted a pattern of late goals by opponents this year.
“That’s something we’ve got to clean up if we want to go further in the season,” he said.
Coach circles areas for improvement
Hallice said he was pleased with his team’s effort, celebrating the performance on Monday, which included a highlight reel goal by Will Gravell in the third period that would eventually go down as the game winner.
“We had some nice plays,” Hallice said.
Still, he said, the team could have run up the score against Ashland.
“We need to start finishing a little bit more,” he said. “I thought there were a couple of opportunities where we should have scored and we didn’t.”
Westborough eyes remaining schedule
Past the halfway point of the season, Westborough now sits with a win-loss record of 6-3-1.
They’ll be back in action on Wednesday against Marlborough before taking on Hudson on Saturday.
With opportunities later in their schedule for additional wins, Hallice has a general goal for his squad.
“When we have someone down,” he said, “we’ve got to bury them.”