STONEHAM — Swampscott’s Nunzio Morretti kissed the Division 3 North hockey trophy as he skated towards a host of Big Blue fans shortly after the championship game Saturday afternoon at Stoneham Arena.
The junior winger teared up a bit — and if you follow Swampscott hockey, you could understand why.
Minutes earlier, he had scored the biggest goal in Big Blue history.
With just 6.2 seconds left in regulation, Morretti netted the game-winner to give Swamspcott a 3-2 victory over Bedford and the program’s first Division 3 North title.
It was Swamspcott’s second goal in the final 2:13, with senior Chris Carman erasing a 2-1 deficit before Morretti’s winner.
“I’ve literally dreamed about this as long as I’ve been playing hockey. To score a goal in a championship game, it’s indescribable,” said Morretti, his hair bleach blond like the rest of his teammates, including head coach Gino Faia.
Swamspcott (18-5) will face the Division 3 South champion (either Pembroke or Medway) in the state semifinals Wednesday or Thursday at Harvard University’s Bright Center.
Things looked grim for the Big Blue when Bedford’s Anthony Lespasio scored with 7:19 left in the third period to make it 2-1. Swampscott regrouped after a timeout with around 3:00 to play, and a blocked shot by senior Robert Serino got them going up ice.
Captain Trevor Massey found Carman streaking down the left wing, and he beat Bedford goalie Abe Grainger (27 saves) to equalize with 2:13 to play.
“I kind of saw an opening on the short side and it went in,” said Carman. “We got a lot of momentum going, and we didn’t want that to be our last period.”
Not content to go to overtime, Swamspcott continued to press. Their aggression was rewarded when Carmody’s pass across the crease found Morretti with an open net for the winning goal.