ATTLEBORO — It was the long-awaited, elusive point needed by the North Attleboro High hockey team to join King Philip Regional High among the Hockomock League representatives in the MIAA Tournament.
For the second time this season, the Rocketeers (7-6-6) and Warriors (10-4-4) skated to a 3-3 tie Wednesday at New England Sports Village, but that was good enough to get North Attleboro into postseason play.
Senior center Dennis Morehouse scored his second goal of the game 4:12 into the third period off a rebound of Nik Kojoian jamming the puck in the Warrior crease that knotted the score at 3-3 for the Big Red, which had faced a 3-1 deficit midway through the second period.
“We needed our best period of hockey,” North Attleboro coach Ben McManama said of the final 15 minutes. “It was playoff hockey — how hard we worked, how well we worked. They felt really prepared. We had a very good week of practice. That preparation, that confidence felt good.”
Morehouse put North in front just 2:39 into the game with a low shot off the right faceoff circle. Unfortunately for North, KP never afforded the Rocketeers a power play chance in the contest.
“We haven’t been able to close teams out,” King Philip coach Paul Carlow said of his Warriors, who were outshot 12-3 in the third period. “We played a great second period, I don’t know if we were satisfied with the lead or satisfied with a tie. I’d like to see us put teams away at this time of year.”
King Philip scored three unanswered goals, two off the stick of sophomore Nolan Feyler. Aidan Boulger netted the equalizer at 7:29 of the first period, a rebound on the left side with Jack Coulter and Conor Cooke assisting.
Feyler tallied twice within the first eight minutes of the second period. He put KP into the lead just 1:18 into the second period, finishing off a great rush down the right side by Joe Boselli.
Feyler created a 3-1 Warrior advantage with a power play goal at 8:01, with Chris Daniels and Boselli assisting seconds after KP defenseman Rocco Biaculli rung a backhander off of the North goalpost.
“We got that first goal back, we got the power play goal, then we ended up running around a bit,” Carlow said of his Warriors, who are 2-0-2 in their last four games.
Kojoian jump-started the Rocketeers by scoring 33 seconds after KP had taken a two-goal lead. With Jack Connolly and Morehouse assisting, Kojoian tucked in a rebound on a rush to the net at 8:34.
From there, North had ample opportunities for more goals — a final-minute shot by Morehouse at KP goalie Jesper Makudera (27 saves); a shot by Connolly off the left left in the ninth minute and a point blank chance at 13 of the third period; a steal and shot by Tyler Sarro at 12; and Kojoian having a 2-on-1 breakaway with a minute left.
“KP is a very good team,” McManama added. “That (Kojoian’s goal) was the kind of play that we needed, the little things, getting pucks to the net.”