CHELMSFORD -- Woburn won the the rubber match of the battle for Winn Street bragging rights on Tuesday night in the second Super 8 play-in game.
"It was a great game. We played really well. Burlington is a great rival for us. We were lucky enough to get a couple by their goalie," said Woburn coach Jim Duran.
What is Woburn's reward for its 3-0 win over rival Burlington? A date against the vaunted Springfield Cathedral Panthers in the Super 8 quarterfinals that starts Sunday at the Tsongas Center on the campus of UMass Lowell.
"I told them to enjoy this one because we're not sure what's going to happen in these next two games," joked Duran. "We wanted to win this game, but whatever happens, happens. It's David and Goliath. If we can hang in there and have a great effort, that's all we want."
After a scoreless first period and more back-and-forth action without anything to show for it in the first half of the second period, Woburn finally broke through. Joe Santullo started the sequence after he kept the puck in at the blue line and took the initial shot on goal. It was saved, but the rebound skirted to the left of the Burlington cage. That's when Kyle Flaherty swooped in for the rebound that he deposited high into the back of the net. The senior scored the goal moments after a skate blade had struck his thigh, which resulted in needing seven stitches after the game.
"I ended up slicing open my leg. I felt a stinging pain, but I just kept going because I didn't want to get off the ice. I checked it in between periods and I have to get stitches," explained Flaherty.
The score remained 1-0 in favor of Woburn until late in the third period. Burlington goaltender Nick Howard made the save of the night on a Tim Doherty slap shot from the left circle with two minutes to go, but the breath of life for the Red Devils was short lived.
About a minute later Woburn defenseman Tyler Shaw chipped the puck up ice to Andrew Palmer who sped past a Burlington blue liner. Streaking in alone on Howard he went to his backhand and slid the puck through the five-hole for a 2-0 Tanner lead with 1:02 left.
Sophomore Justin Alves, the team's first line center, added an empty net goal with four seconds remaining.
Woburn sophomore goaltender Sam Best picked up his eighth shutout of the season. He was very good when he had to be and including a stretch early in the second period when Burlington had a decided edge in the play.
"He's been awesome all year. This was his eighth shutout. As a sophomore we can't expect anymore from him. He works at it and he knows the game," said Duran.
"He's an amazing goalie. He's just going to keep getting better and better. Hopefully he keeps bringing the team victories," added Flaherty.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior, high school and prep hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.