The Johnston/North Providence Co-op hockey team pulled into a tie for first place in Division III with a thrilling, 3-2 victory over Pilgrim at the Rhode Island Sports Center on Saturday evening.
With the game tied, 2-2, in the final minute of regulation, Brandon Tanguay, the division’s leading scorer, beat Pilgrim netminder Kyle DiMascio for the game-winning goal, finding the back of the net with just 43 seconds remaining.
After a scoreless first period, the two teams traded second-period goals.
Pilgrim’s Matt Pacheco broke the scoreless tie at the 10:56 mark of the second frame, when he finished off a feed from James Cook to make it 1-0.
But, Tanguay would respond with his first of two goals in the game, burying the equalizer after being set up by Christian Campbell and Zach Morin to send the Panthers and Patriots into the second intermission tied at 1.
Pilgrim regained the lead just one minute, 25 seconds into the third period on a shorthanded tally from Collin Driscoll to put the Patriots back in front by one.
But, just over four minutes later, JNP had a response once again. This time, Tanguay returned the favor and set up Campbell for the game-tying goal.
And, nearly nine minutes later with overtime approaching, Tanguay scored off an assist from Morin with less than a minute to go to lift JNP to a 3-2 triumph.
JNP and Pilgrim are now tied atop the standings with identical 4-1-1 records.
JNP will play twice more this weekend, with both games being played at Smithfield Ice Rink. The Panthers will be the home team against Narragansett/Chariho Co-op (1-5) at 9 p.m. on Friday, before playing as the road team against Scituate/Woonsocket Co-op (2-2-2) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.