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Pink Bulldogs Triumph in Hockey Fights Cancer Night

posted Feb 5, 2018, 10:01 AM by Brian Shuman   [ updated Feb 5, 2018, 10:04 AM ]

On Saturday night, the Xaverian and Canton High School boys ice hockey teams took part in "Hockey Fights Cancer Night" in memory of Canton native Reo Todesca and in honor of all those people who showed strength and courage in their battle against cancer. The night was more than just a hockey game, as the pink and purple jerseys worn by the home teams were both a visible, yet subtle, reminder of the real challenges people brave, and how those challenges dwarf those faced by athletes in a typical sporting event.

After Xaverian battled back to tie Malden Catholic 3-3, the Bulldogs took to the ice to take on the Mansfield Hornets. In front of a packed crowd of fans and supporters, Canton and Mansfield played their hearts out in 45 minutes of back and forth hockey. The first period gave the edge to Mansfield, as their forecheck kept the home team from settling into a groove. Thanks to some key saves by Quinn Gibbs, the game was scoreless heading into period 2.

In the second period, the Bulldogs finally got on the board when a quick backhand by Johnny Hagan found the far top corner of the net for a 1-0 lead. Canton had several quality chances to extend the lead but were thwarted by some highlight-reel saves by the Hornets goaltender.

The third period saw more even play, but the Bulldogs would net two more in the frame. Two minutes into the final period, Jack Goyetch would feed Bubba McNeice in the slot, and McNeice would fire a wrist shot through the Hornets goalie for a two goal cushion. Four minutes later, McNeice would return the favor to Goyetch and feed him off a faceoff to extend the lead to three. Mansfield would net their first goal less than a minute later, but the Bulldogs would hang on for the 3-1 victory.

The hard fought victory came three nights after Canton beat the Taunton Tigers 10-0. In that game, Timmy Kelleher netted four goals, Mat Pigeon scored his first career varsity goal, and Niko Donovan made some huge third period saves to preserve the shutout. And Tommy Ghostlaw assisted on his brother Brian's third period goal to give the first Bulldogs brother-to-brother goal scoring combination in almost a decade.

Canton enters its much anticipated rematch with the Franklin Panthers with a record of 10-1-4. The 6pm game on Wednesday will be the annual Senior Night in which Bulldogs players, parents, coaches, and fans celebrate the many accomplishments of our fourteen seniors.

Special, heartfelt thanks to Mike Barucci (click here) and Michael Mao (click here) for taking photos of the Hockey Fights Cancer event!