By David Willis
---- — STONEHAM — For the better part of 15 minutes, it appeared Andover had taken control.
Trailing by two goals after one period, the Golden Warriors’ Tyler Weeks finished off an outstanding give-and-go with a shorthanded goal to cut the deficit to one just under three minutes into the second — and turn the momentum sharply in Andover’s favor.
“I really thought, once we scored that short-handed tally, that we really had a chance in this game,” said Golden Warriors coach Mike Ciarletta. “But we missed a few chances and they cashed in.”
No. 7 Wakefield extended the lead back to two goals with a score late in the second, and rolled the rest of the way to defeat No. 10 Andover 5-2 in the Division 1 North first round.
“When they scored that goal, it was a very big challenge for our guys,” said Wakefield coach Derek Edgerly. “That Andover team has some very talented players and showed down the stretch (in the regular season) how resilient they were. My guys needed to respond.”
The Golden Warriors entered the game red-hot. Standing at 5-7-2 early in February, Andover finished the season 5-1-1 over its last seven games to earn Division 1’s final playoff spot.
“We had to work so hard just to make the tournament,” said Ciarletta. “The odds were stacked against us, two games under .500 with seven to go. We had some big wins and did some great things. But it didn’t work out today.”
Wakefield took control early, scoring twice in the first 6:22 of play.
But the Golden Warriors bounced back in the second. With Wakefield on the power play, Weeks picked off a pass, took the puck off ice and dished it to Will Sauerbrunn in front of the net. The sophomore then returned the puck to Weeks on the left side and he hammered it home.
Andover held the puck in the Wakefield zone for much of the rest of the period, but could not again beat goalie Elton Sawyer. Wakefied’s Mike Weaver then turned the tables with a goal late in the second, and finished off his hat trick 3:06 into the third to close out the Golden Warriors.
Andover top scorer Scott Campbell added his 14th goal of the year with 2:26 to go in the game, his sixth score in the last give games. But it was too little, too late.
“Out guys fought hard,” said Ciarletta. “But Wakefield did what Wakefield does. That is an excellent team that came out flying, and we couldn’t take advantage of a few chances that could have changed the game.”
agateHed:Wakefield 5, Andover 2
agateText:Division 1 North First Round
agateText:Wakefield (10-6-5):@zzAgate:agateText: 2 1 2 — 5
agateText:Andover (10-9-3):@zzAgate:agateText: 0 1 1 — 2
agateText:Goals:@zzAgate:agateText: A — Tyler Weeks, Scott Campbell; W — Mike Weaver 3, Joe McCarthy 2
agateText:Assists:@zzAgate:agateText: A — Will Sauerbrunn, Nathaniel Giammasi; W — A.J. Gorton 4, Elton Sawyer, Mike Finley
agateText:Saves:@zzAgate:agateText: A — Colby Gilbert 20; W — Sawyer 19