Swampscott Wins With Seconds To Spare
Nunzio Morretti's Goal Sinks Buccaneers, 3-2
Things were starting to look bleak on the Swampscott side, as the clock ticked near the two minute mark and Bedford, up 2-1, intent to smother everything that crossed the blue line.
Swampscott had other ideas, though. Turning up the offensive heat with aggessive--one might say desperate--skating, the Blue loosened the Bedford defense, through which Chris Carman found a seam and tied the game with a wrist shot from the slot that beat Bedford goalie Abram Grainger.
Overtime seemed the likely destination--and maybe Bedford was feeling good about it. After all, the Buccaneers advanced in the tournament by knocking off top-seeded Lowell in a quarterfinal game that stretched through a 12-minute overtime period and an 8-shot shootout before the prevailed.
Swampscott wasn't interested and kept pressing. A dump behind the net from center ice gave Swampscott one more try, and as the clock ticked inside the final ten seconds, Nunzio Morretti circled to Grainger's left, found himself staring at a loose puck in the midst of Grainger and Bedford defensemen Derek Koundakjian and Kevin Cowles, and pushed a forehand shot to Grainger's stick side. Grainger might have lost sight of the puck for a split second, for by the time he lunged to his right side the puck slid across the goal line, igniting an explosion of joy on the Blue side.
Final score 3-2, and Swampscott is the Division III North champions. They will have to wait, however, to learn their opponent. The weekend storm pushed the South title game between Pembroke and Medway to Monday evening. Though the MIAA website still lists the semi-final for Tuesday night at Harvard, an MIAA source said the game will be rescheduled to either Wednesday or Thursday.
Whenever they play it, Swampscott will be ready and rarin', and they are on a roll.
To see more of Bob Marra's photography check out his website.