The state’s leading scorer struck again on Wednesday night at Harvard’s Bright-Landry Center as Noah Strawn netted a hat trick and added an assist to lift fifth-seeded Old Rochester/Fairhaven (24-3-0) past Lowell, 5-1, in the Division 3 state semifinals.
“It’s amazing, it’s a great feeling but I couldn’t do it without my linemates, they’ve been great all year,” said Strawn. “[Lowell] was trying to stretch the puck and we were just locking up with our wingers and we capitalized on our chances.”
Already leading, 1-0, after Landon Gougen’s tally in the first period, Strawn doubled the ORR/Fairhaven lead 45 ticks into the second. After receiving a pass from Gougen, Strawn broke down the right side of the offensive zone before skating in front of Lowell’s Patrick Cote and tucking it around the goaltender’s left pad. The goal was Strawn’s state-best 45th of the season. The senior also assisted on Gougen’s first-period goal and now has 96 points this year — the highest in the MIAA.
The Red Raiders cut the lead to one on a Connor Barter power-play goal with 10:12 remaining in the second, but could not find the equalizer before Strawn iced the game in the third.
With 5:06 remaining in the contest, Strawn collected a loose puck off of a neutral zone faceoff and darted in alone on Cote before moving to the left and sliding the puck into the back of the net. Senior captain Sam Henrie added another two and a half minutes later before Strawn rounded out the hat trick with a wrist shot that beat Cote high with 14 seconds left.
With the win, the Bulldogs move on to the state championship at TD Garden this Sunday where they will take on undefeated Shrewsbury for the Division 3 crown. Earlier this season, ORR/Fairhaven fell to the Colonials, 4-2, in the Bulldog Cross-State Challenge.
“It’s a tall order for us, but this team scrapped all year so we’ll have a little bit of a game plan,” said coach Eric Labonte. “Hopefully we work it to a T and come out with a championship.”
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