WALL TOWNSHIP — Luke McNamara was the hero in overtime as sixth-seeded Manasquan-Point Pleasant Beach avoided an upset at the hands of 14th-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven with a 3-2 victory in sudden-death fashion before a packed house in the Dowd Cup semifinals at the Jersey Shore Arena.
McNamara crashed the net and rifled home a loose puck that found the back of the net 8:49 into overtime to send the Warriors fan section home happy.
Twice, Manasquan erased deficits thanks to Michael Farinacci who tied the score at 1-1 and then again at 2-2 with 3:56 remaining in regulation to force overtime with assists from Ryan Scott and Aiden Tolnai. Conor Murray helped set up McNamara for the game-winner in overtime while Steve Gibiliscoe finished with six saves to help the Warriors avoid going home earlier than expected.
Bulldogs’ goalie Sean Ryan was spectacular making 30 saves to send the contest past regulation and into sudden-death despite Rumson-Fair Haven being out-shot 33-8 in the game – including 27-3 over the final two periods and overtime.
Collin Andersen opened the scoring for Rumson with 2:18 left in the opening period when he was able to snipe one past Gibilisco to gain a 1-0 edge after the first period before Farinacci would answer back for Manasquan from Tolnai and Liam Farrington to send the teams to the second intermission all tied at 1-1.
Chase Dorworth would notch his fifth goal of the season just 1:22 into the third period to put Rumson-Fair Haven up 2-1 on what would be their only shot of the period.
The Bulldogs would not generate a shot on goal for the final 20-plus minutes of the game.
Farinacci tied the game up with 3:56 to play but the teams would need more than regulation to decide who would face Wall Township in the Dowd Cup Final.
Murray held the zone and sent a quick slapper on net that was jostled around in front of the net before McNamara could cash in on the loose puck.
“It was a dirty goal. The kind of goals you get in the playoffs and overtime,” Manasquan head coach Adam Houli said.
Manasquan will take on second-seeded Wall Thursday night at 8 p.m. in the Dowd Cup Championship at the Jersey Shore Arena.
“It is going to be an exciting atmosphere here on Thursday – we are big rivals and this time it comes down to a championship,” Houli said. “We are going to get ready like we always do and we will be ready when the puck drops for that game.”
Wall Township 6, Freehold Township 1 (Dowd Semifinals):
Zach Tarantino and Larry Hooper each had four-point performances that led second-seeded Wall Township to a 6-1 victory over 10th-seeded Freehold Township in the Dowd Cup semifinals.
Tarantino contributed two goals and two assists while Hooper had one goal and three helpers. Ryan Burns added a goal and two assists for Wall Township, which improves to 18-2-2. Jack Textor chipped in a goal and an assist while Bobby Seelinger also scored for Wall, the defending cup champions.
Evan McNamara scored the lone goal for Freehold Township (12-6-2), assisted by Tyler DesRochers.
Textor and Hooper staked the Knights to an early 2-0 lead before McNamara would trim the deficit with 7:05 remaining in the opening period. Seelinger would reopen the two-goal lead before the period concluded, however.
Burns made the score 4-1 before Tarantino would cap the scoring with the final two tallies of the contest.
Logan Beattie made 23 saves in the Wall victory. Patriots’ netminder Michael Ottone set aside 29 of the 35 shots he faced in between the pipes for Freehold.
Written by Casey J. Krish / @CaseyKrish
Special to HockeyClan
Main Image: Manaquan’s Matt Farrington (16) and the rest of the squad kept up the pressure throughout the third period and through overtime to get the win over Rumson-Fair Haven in the semifinals of the Dowd Cup at the Jersey Shore Arena in Wall Township on Feb. 13, 2018. (Photo by Tom Smith/TSPImages)
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