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March 22, 2013

Looking back at the high school hockey season

It wasn’t long ago Central Catholic was a hockey afterthought.

Now, the Raiders have solidified their spot as a powerhouse not just in the Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual County League, but in the entire state. They were back in the Super 8 this season have established themselves as part of that elite group.

The Tewksbury-Methuen girls hockey team, on the other hand, not only hadn’t play a varsity game prior to this season, but neither school even had a JV hockey team last year.

But behind an amazing year for Amanda Conway, the “Red Rangers” advanced all the way to the Division 2 state semifinals.

Those were just a few of the classic moments from the 2012-13 hockey season.

Here’s a look back:

Top five moments

1. Win of the Year — Trailing 3-0 late in the second period and looking dead in the water with a trip to the Super 8 on the line, Central Catholic turned in a stunning comeback to beat Hingham 4-3. Corey Webber capped off the victory with an acrobatic rebound goal with two minutes to go in overtime.

2. Goal of the Year — Webber’s game-winner (above) was only possible thanks to the dramatic game-tying score courtesy of Kevin Regan. With just 1:09 left in regulation, Regan hauled in the rebound off an Alex Lester shot and fired it home for the score that sent the play-in game to overtime.

3. Save of the Year — Never tell Londonderry’s Joe McGrath a goalie can’t take a hit. Taking on Manchester Central in the Division 1 semifinal, a would-be scorer was tripped and crashed square into McGrath as he tried to slide the puck home. As McGrath went tumbling, he was able to made the save.

4. Performance of the Year — Andover goalie Colby Gilbert saved the game of his life for archrival Central Catholic, making a stunning 43 saves to shock the Super 8-bound Raiders 3-0. He had allowed eight goals to Central earlier in the season.

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