HAVERHILL — Upset-minded Pentucket-Georgetown seemed to tie the contest with 8:09 left when Tom Pingree won a faceoff to himself and shot a perfect pass to Ian Mitchell closing from the left side.
The puck went off Mitchell’s lead skate and into the net but immediately was waved off by the neutral zone official.
Triton held on for the 4-3 win.
“We did tie it up,” insisted Pentucket-Georgetown coach Bill Burns, whose club couldn’t hold onto a 3-1 lead. “I truly believe that you can kick the puck in with your front foot but it’s not my decision. The referee — who was outside of the blue line and completely out of position — made the call, not the guy that was down low.
“But it’s not to make excuses because Triton came back. That’s a very good team and I’m glad we get to play them again. These games are always very special to the kids and the coaching staffs, too. This was a great high school hockey game, it’s a great rivalry and I’m proud to be associated with it.”
It was hard to tell which team was the Cape Ann League title contender and which was hovering around the .500 mark.
4-4-1 Pentucket-Georgetown was effectively bottling up Triton, which entered the game at 7-2.
The Sachems were getting the better of the physical play, sustaining pressure in the offensive zone and held a 3-1 lead.
But the Vikings rode power play goals from Josh Brown (hat trick) and Zack D’Agostino to the lead.
Five-on-five play was solidly in Pentucket-Georgetown’s camp, but the Sachems were blanked on four man-advantage situations and yielded three goals on four penalty kills.
“Penalties will do that to you,” said Burns. “A team like Triton you have to play 5 on 5. They have great shooters from the point and bodies in front for rebounds. You have to keep your poise and stay out of the box.”
The Sachems did just that in the second period when they unleashed 20 shots on junior goalie Devon Shuman. Pingree and Mitchell scored on clean breakaways bookending John Orlando’s goal off a rebound for a 3-1 lead with 1:04 left in the middle period.
Triton got what proved to be an important tally in the final minute of the period when Andrew Sheerin’s point blast ricocheted through a crowd to a wide-open Brown to the right of the net.
After that, the Vikings needed only one total minute of power-play time to take the lead, scoring on another right porch tuck-in from Brown and on D’Agostino’s slow redirect of Kyle Hillick’s centering pass with 10:23 remaining.
Triton 4, Pentucket-Georgetown 3
Triton (7-2, 5-1 CAL): 0 2 2 — 4
Pentucket-Georgetown (4-5-2, 2-4 CAL): 0 3 0 — 3
Goals: T — Josh Brown 3, Zack D’Agostino; P — Tom Pingree, John Orlando, Ian Mitchell
Assists: T — Kyle Hillick 3, Jared Salmon, Andrew Sheerin, Derek Donley; P — Dan Thornton, Mitchell, Michael Kutcher, Bob Hallowell, Patrick Slack
Saves: T — Devon Shuman 27; P — Samantha Bomba 21