The saying that you play to the level of your competition was apparent on Wednesday night against bitter Hockomock rivals the Franklin Panthers. Both teams came into the game at the tops of their respective divisions with nearly identical records. Canton coming in at 11-4-2 and Franklin at 11-5-0. The stage was set for a fantastic game.
And it did not disappoint.
Right off the drop of the puck, Canton won the face-off and (Soph.) Ryan Nolte fired a low shot off the Franklin Goaltender but the juicy rebound ended up right on the stick of (Sr.) Tommy Kilduff who buried it putting the Dogs’ up 1-0 just 10 seconds into the game.
The teams went back and forth for the middle part of the 1st period with both teams ringing the crossbar, but with about two minutes left in the first it was Canton who once again capitalized thanks to a (Jr.) Bubba McNeice goal assisted by (Jr.) Jack Goyetch, making the score 2-0 Bulldogs at the end of the first.
In the second frame, the importance of the first five minutes and last five minutes of the period in an evenly matched game showed again. Franklin won the second period in terms of puck possession and offensive zone time but it still looked as though the Bulldogs were going to escape the period having let in no goals.
With 5.0 seconds left, Franklin had an offensive zone face-off win and while a shot from the point did not go in, a Franklin player was there to clean up the rebound as the buzzer sounded. Making it 2-1 Canton heading into the third.
The third period was one of the most action packed periods of the season.
Franklin scored the equalizer a couple minutes into the period off of a Panther snipe from the slot making it 2-2.
From that point bodies started being thrown around more than the first two periods, pucks were hitting posts and sliding past the goal line on both ends, and it was anyone’s guess which team was going to secure the win.
The answer came with just over three minutes to play in the 3rd.
A loose puck near the Franklin crease was finally batted in by Tommy Kilduff, his second of the game. The goals gave the Dogs’ a 3-2 lead that they would not look back upon along with ultimate Hockomock puck bragging rights.
As for the student section,
Imagine the movies Rocky, Rocky 2, Rocky 3, Rocky 4, (not five that one was trash), 300, Miracle, Hoosiers, The Karate Kid, and Rudy. Multiply that by ten to understand the truly inspiring showing from the Canton student section.
A late Wednesday night game in Franklin with a snow day looming had nobody expecting a good showing from the Dog Pound faithful.
But the carpools were set up. And with the help of the CHS Girls hockey team and a late insurgence of fans, the Stoody had by far its best showing of the year. And on away ice no less!
Let’s get to the highlights.
Clap-back of the Game: “Score-board”
Ah yes, one of the few chants that is undefeated now and will be until the end of time. “Rattle City” (who was quite rattled by their opposing stoody IMO) tried to comeback at thundering chants of “Lets go Bulldogs!” with a chant of “We can’t hear you!” to which the stoody came firing back with a “Score-board” chant louder than the inevitable sobbing of the losing team.
Chant of the Game: “Yes!”
From the mind of Caroline Hagan, the final buzzer gave way to a “Yes!” chant that would make the WWE cower in fear. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZwYWYuqbj8
Moment of the Game: Canton Rushes the Glass
Following the Canton goal with just minutes remaining the team skated to the student section who in turn ran to greet them at the glass. The moment can be described as nothing else but purely electric and one that the players along with the fans will remember for a long time.
Dogs’ win. Stoody wins. No Names No Numbers.
P.S- There was no chuck-a-puck…sad!