LACONIA — Woodsville keeper Cam Davidson was helped off the field late in the second half.

But his teammates played on.

And on.

And on.

The fourth-seeded Engineers fought for 100 scoreless minutes before falling to No. 3 Sunapee 0-0 (3-0) on penalty kicks in the Division IV championship at Bank of NH Stadium on Friday night.

Sunapee (18-2) converted 3-of-3 penalties and SHS senior Jake Galloway stopped all three PKs he faced as the Lakers secured their third title in four years, and second straight.

“It was a great game,” said Sunapee head coach Jack Iacopino.

Davidson was stellar between the pipes for Woodsville, making several big saves before exiting with an arm injury, suffered when he collided with a Sunapee player while going for a corner kick with under 5 minutes remaining in regulation.

The junior netminder, along with a Woodsville defense led by Michael Maccini, Landon Kingsbury, Jack Boudreault and Connor Houston, managed to hold Sunapee scoreless despite the Lakers outpossessing and outshooting the Engineers by significant margins.

Davidson’s replacement, sophomore Ethan Kimball, filled in admirably and made key stops in the two overtime periods to force the shootout.

“The whole game was on a tightrope,” said Davidson. “I feel like we’re all around the same caliber, it’s just that they came away with the win. On another day, who knows, maybe we do. But today just wasn’t our day.”

It was a bittersweet moment for Woodsville (16-3-1).

The Engineers ended the regular season on a nine-game win streak, outscoring opponents 56-0 in that span, and erased a two-goal deficit in the semifinals, earning their first finals berth since winning back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005.

It was a heck of a season, Davidson said.

“We got here with hard work and dedication. From all those rain practices on a Sunday to all those late nights at teammates houses bonding. It’s been a fun journey. Hate to see it end this way, but glad we made it,” he said.

From the start, Sunapee controlled time of possession.

They outshot Woodsville 7-3 in the first half and produced the lone corner kick in the opening frame. The second half played out the same, only Sunapee turned up the pressure.

Still, there were chances for the Engineers to steal the game.

In the first half, Cam Tenney-Burt fired a ball wide in the 21st minute and Coby Youngman had a tough-angle shot ricochet off the side post in the 24th minute, and late in the second half a Tenney-Burt free kick led to a loose ball in the goal area, which trickled along the goal line before slipping out of bounds.

Meanwhile, Davidson was a wall in net. He smothered a point-blank shot in the 11th minute and withstood a flurry over the final 20 minutes of regulation, with a diving save on a low stinger in the 63rd minute, coming out of net for a slide tackle clear in the 69th minute, and making back to back lunging stops in the 73rd minute; and leaping up to knock away a head ball in the final minutes of the second half.

Ultimately Sunapee prevailed on PK makes by seniors Rupert Dalton and Jacob Stoughton and sophomore Sam Kress.

“Both teams played exceptionally well and battled it out,” said WHS head coach Matt Taylor, applauding Davidson’s effort in net. “He’s been great all season but I think today, up until he got hurt, you couldn’t ask for anything more. He came up huge.”

Following the game, Davidson accepted his runner-up medal with his right arm in a sling.

Later, after the Lakers’ celebration was over, a half dozen Sunapee players walked over to check on Davidson, applaud his effort, and wish him well.

It was a revealing moment.

While Woodsville didn’t raise the trophy, they earned something just as valuable: Respect.

Said Sunapee coach Iacopino about the Engineers, “Those boys played really well and they deserved every minute as much as we did.”


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