WESTBOROUGH – The third-seeded Westborough High School Rangers boys hockey team defeated the top-seeded Algonquin Regional High School Titans by a score of 3-0, becoming the Central Massachusetts Athletic Directors Association (CMADA) Class A champions on Friday.
Though Westborough eventually emerged victorious, it was Algonquin that started hot and dominated the opening period. The Titans outshot the Rangers 13-4 in the first period.
In a postgame interview with the Community Advocate, Westborough head coach Chet Hallice credited goaltender Will Yearick for “keeping the team in the game.”
“The first period didn’t go as well as we wanted it to, but we fought through it,” Hallice said. “[Will] kept us in the game and gave us a while to get our feet, and I thought after that we played very well.”
After a difficult first period, Westborough took control of the game. Late in the second period, Connor Cashman scored to put Westborough ahead.
Though Teddy Miller scored in the third period, and Colton McNamara added an empty-net goal with a minute remaining in the game, one goal would be all Westborough needed. The Rangers played tight defense all game, and Yearick made numerous saves.
“I thought we played extremely well early in the game,” Algonquin head coach Greg Cappello said, “but we just couldn’t get by their defense or goaltender in particular.”
Cappello was highly complimentary of what he called a “super disciplined” and “really determined” Westborough team.
“They did an unbelievable job shutting us down,” he said.
After the final period ended, Westborough players triumphantly skated over to their raucous fan section, which had loudly cheered for the team throughout the game.
For the Rangers, the CMADA Class A championship was extra sweet, representing a season filled with ups and downs.
“We had a lot of adversity this year… we had a huge illness go through the team midway through the season,” Hallice said. “Finally, we got our health back… [and] I couldn’t be more proud of these kids.”
As both teams eye the state playoff tournament, Cappello shared what he believes Algonquin must improve to be successful going forward.
“We’re used to being in close games, [and] we’ve been on the losing end of a few too many lately,” he said.
“We know games are going to be tougher and tighter, [and] we’ve got to keep finding a way throughout the game and not trying to pull it out of the hat at the end.”