FALMOUTH — The thrill, as it’s been sung, is gone.
Riding the momentum of last night’s exhilirating victory over Chelmsford, the Falmouth High boys hockey team (1-4) nevertheless fell to the Westford Academy Grey Ghosts this afternoon, 5-2, in the finale of the Cape Cod Cup at the Falmouth Ice Arena.
But it was not a game without exceptional and gutsy effort and moments as exciting as any thus far this season.
Case and point, Falmouth’s Jake Miller. Miller, a sophomore wing, who helped in a huge way in last night’s win with the game-winning goal, rode that adrenaline straight into this afternoon’s affair. Just over 60 seconds into the first period, Miller took a Nick Marston feed and lit the lamp past Westford Academy goalie Matt Restuccia to make it 1-0. Junior defenseman Marc Rocheleau also assisted. It appeared that the worm had finally turned for the Clipper icemen as the first frame ended, Falmouth 1, Westford Academy 0.
But not so fast.
At the outset of the second period, the Clippers somehow lost a scramble for the puck in their own end, the Grey Ghosts kicked it out to senior defenseman Tom Egan at the point and Egan fired it past Clipper senior goalie Kyle Storey to tie it at 1-1. Still, there was some momentum left in the Falmouth tank.
Nearly five minutes into the second period (10:30) and still deadlocked at 1-1, Cam Tobey couldn’t get an open pass from the blue line and opted to take it himself along the left wing, turned the corner to Restuccia awaiting him at the goal and the sophomore wingman buried it for the unassisted, go-ahead goal at 2-1. The arena was rocking.
But there is a reason why senior forward Gounaris is the sole captain for the Grey Ghosts. Gounaris, who ended the day with a hard-earned hat trick, scored his first of three goals just as time was set to expire in the second period. It was the most inopportune time for the host Clippers because it breathed life into the Westford Academy icemen and it was a jolt of energy they carried over into the third period, tied 2-2.
And it was a jolt that Gounaris himself would capitalize upon.
Keeping the puck himself on a lightning-fast two-on-one breakaway, just over five minutes into the final frame, Gounaris netted his second goal of the day when he sent the puck airborne over Storey’s shoulder to make it 3-2. It was Westford Academy’s first lead of the game and it was a lead they would not relinquish. The momentum had shifted and dramatically so, against the host Clippers.
Close to the halfway mark of the third, with a hustling Isaiah Lineaweaver battling him for the puck, forward Joey Schultz made it 4-2 when he wristed it past a flustered Storey and it was as if the air of the Clipper faithful had been sucked out of its collective lungs. Clipper head coach Paul Moore called time out.
But with just over three minutes left in the game, Schultz assisted on the game’s final goal when he dished it to the captain Gounaris who made it a trifecta. Game over.
But the Grey Ghosts had nothing but good things to say about their hosts following the hard-fought ice battle, a battle that saw Falmouth take 23 shots on goal compared to Westford Academy’s 22.
“They were very hard working,” Restuccia said. “And physical.”
— Sean Walsh is the sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm