COMES THE DELUGE — Arlington goalie Chuck Cremens stands dejectedly in the midst of paper fallout. Storm came after Norwood’s
Greg Walker scored at the 35-second mark of the first period in 3-2 upset win for EsMass Division I title. (Frank O’Brien photo)
“There was no way we were going to lose this one. You get that feeling that you can’t lose,’ Norwood coach Don Wheeler kept repeating in his dressing room that looked like the corner of Washington and Summer streets after the Bay State League team had defeated Arlington, 3-2. to win the Eastern Massachusetts Hockey Tournament championship.
Years of frustration at being second best to Arlington in tourney finals over the past half dozen years ended shortly after 10 o’clock in near bedlam at Boston Garden where a majority of the 12,420 plus roared their approval on the North Side of the old rink.
Left winger Ed King, the guy who came up with the clutch goal all season for the undefeated Norwood club, came through again providing the winning goal with less than three minutes remaining in regulation play.
“We worked on that play all year and it never worked … or maybe it worked once early in the season,” said the rugged King, who has been called the heart and soul of a spirited Norwood team. “But it worked tonight and we finally did it. We beat Arlington.”
“I was just standing outside the crease and Billy Clifford sent the puck along the ice. The goaltender was still in the other corner of the net.”
All King had to do was have his stick on the ice. He did, changing the direction of the puck just enough to deflect it inside the near post.
The winning goal ended a night of frustration for the Norwood club that had 40 shots on net to 10 for the defending champions but trailed 2-1 with less than five minutes to play.
Norwood had jumped off to aa quick 1-0 lead 35 seconds into the game as the little second line that has been overshadowed all season by names like King, Clifford and Martin saved their best effort for last. Greg Walker had that first goal picking up a loose puck in front of Arlington netminder Chuck Cremens and jamming it home.
Arlington tied the score in the second period as Maurice Corkery stole the puck in the Norwood end from all-tournament defenseman Peter Brown, sending Alan Quinlan in alone on Bill Pieri. With the Norwood goaltender at his mercy, Quinlan flipped a well-placed shot up into the net.
The Suburban League champions weathered a stormy second period and a string of penalties to get off the ice even.
It looked like the Arlington jinx would hold true as it moved ahead 2-1 at the 2:24 mark of the final period. The Norwood defense yielded the puck again and Peter Noonan took a Quinlan pass to score from alone in front.
But as Wheeler said when it was all over, “We knew we weren’t going to lose this one,” and his team didn’t.
The second line again came up with another big contribution, tying the game 2-2 at 7:39 as Kevin Hurley’s blast from the left point came to Bill Denehy, who had an open net to shoot at. He didn’t miss.
By Kevin Walsh Globe Staff
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