The boys’ hockey team entered Wednesday night’s contest against Foxboro with a 0-5 overall record, having been outscored 26-4 and shutout twice.
Against the Warriors, the again found themselves looking for offense, trailing, 1-0, in the game’s final five minutes.
Then Stoughton showed true character and determination scoring two goals in a two-minute span, to overtake previously unbeaten Foxboro, 2-1.
The Black Knights’ first win of the season was even more meaningful, as it came on the road, at the Foxboro Sports Center, and it was the first Hockomock League Davenport Division (small schools) contest.
Stoughton (1-5 overall, 1-1 Hockomock League and 1-0 Davenport Division) defeated Foxboro despite being outshot, 34-17. Stoughton’s sophomore goaltender P.J. Sheehan had another strong game with 33 saves, 19 coming in the final period with the game on the line.
“We got great goaltending, but our seniors came through for us and continue to do a great job leading this team and bringing our younger players along,” said Stoughton coach Dan Mark. “Our freshman defensemen played very strong and we got good performances from all three lines. We kept it simple and we finally got a break at the end.”
“It was a hard way to lose, but it was due to us making some bad decisions and mental mistakes in the defensive zone,” said Foxboro coach Jim Genovese. “It was our first loss and it was our first league game and it was a game that we controlled and let slip away. We need to learn how to put teams away when we have the chance.”
Foxboro was a team that suffered through a 19-game losing streak into the middle of last season. The Warriors then won five games, in the second half of last season, and have carried their success into the first four games of this season with three wins and a tie in non-league contests, completely turning the program around.
With the loss, the Warriors now stand at 3-1-1.
The teams battled to a scoreless stalemate after an evenly played first period that saw Stoughton outshoot the Warriors, 7-6.
Over the final two periods, Foxboro had a 28-10 shot advantage and dominated the game, territorially. Foxboro broke the scoreless tie with a goal midway through the second period by senior Nick Dowling with an assist from sophomore Owen Campbell.
The game remained 1-0 late into the third period. Stoughton finally got the puck into the Foxboro end. The Warriors tried to clear the puck out, but Stoughton senior captain and defenseman Josh Potter held the puck in the zone and let a soft shot go from the point through a screen of players that found its way past Warriors’ sophomore net minder Melissa Almeida.
With the game just tied, Stoughton was assessed a penalty and Foxboro went on its lone power play of the game. The Warriors got six shots on net during the power play, but Sheehan stopped all of them.
As soon as Stoughton was at even strength, it had an odd-man rush that created a partial breakaway for senior Larry Hixon, that Almeida saved, but the rebound came right out to senior Dave Campbell who sent a hard slap shot into the net, with 2:11 left.
Foxboro pulled Almeida for an extra attacker, but Sheehan preserved the victory with three late saves, the final one at the buzzer.
“We have battled and showed great effort from the very first game and the players knew that if they kept at it and good things would happen, and it did,” Mark said.
It doesn’t get any easier for Stoughton, as the Black Knights will next be in action on Saturday, January 7 at home (at the Asiaf Rink in Brockton) against Canton in another pivotal Davenport Division contest. On the same night, Foxboro will also have a divisional contest, hosting Oliver Ames.
- NO SCORING
- Foxboro - Nick Dowling from Owen Campbell with 8:20 left
- Stoughton - Josh Potter Unassisted with 4:05 left
- Stoughton - Dave Campbell from Larry Hixon with 2:11 left