BILLERICA -- The chorus to local high school hockey in March has become "DREWWWW!"
That is what Wilmington High fans chant after another splendid save by senior goalie Drew Foley on the Wildcats' way to another thrilling tournament win.
Drew Foley made 36 saves on Wednesday night and captain Luke Foley (no relation) tipped in defenseman Jim Davey's slap shot 2:32 into overtime to lift No. 3 seed Wilmington past No. 2 Arlington, 3-2, in a Division 1 North semifinal at the Chelmsford Forum.
"Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! Anything that goes to the goal in overtime is what you want to do," said Wilmington coach Steve Scanlon. "I don't care where you throw it from, just throw it on net."
Scanlon's is the wise voice of March. Muscled by the MIAA up into Division 1 this season after two straight Division 2 state titles, his Wildcats keep winning. Wilmington has won 13 consecutive tournament games, all with the unflappable Drew Foley in net.
"Our confidence generates off him," Luke Foley said of Wilmington's goalie. "He's always calm. He never panics. He always knows what to do."
Two victories from another state title, Wilmington (15-3-7) will play No. 12 Reading (15-8-2) in the North final next Monday at 8 p.m. at the Tsongas Center. Reading on Wednesday defeated No. 1 St. Mary's, 2-0.
Reading back on Dec.
"We got some tough competition coming up," said Luke Foley. "But we have faith. We have a lot of heart on this team."
Wilmington and Arlington had tied 2-2 in their Middlesex League regular-season meeting on Jan. 25. On Wednesday, Arlington (14-4-5) went up 2-0 on a power-play goal at 3:14 of the first period and a short-handed goal at 8:34, both scored by junior John Kelly.
The short-handed goal was on a crossing pass by Seth Coiley that went in off Kelly's skate. The unflappable Drew Foley was momentarily annoyed. "I thought it was kicked in," he said. "But I had to get it out of my head."
The Wilmington goal was officially shut down for the night (Foley made a save on an Arlington breakaway shortly thereafter), though Arlington outshot Wilmington 38-28.
Wilmington senior Steven DeFuria, off a pass from Cody McGowan, fired a low shot past Arlington starting goalie Ryan Cote to cut the Spy Ponders' lead to 2-1 with 2:35 left in the first period.
The tying goal came 2:31 into the third period. While on a rush, Wilmington's Joseph Castellano snapped a shot that trickled through the second goalie in Arlington's rotation, Michael Schiller.
The Wildcats killed off an Arlington power play over the final 57 seconds of regulation and first 33 seconds of OT. Almost two minutes later, Davey's slapper from just beyond the top of the right circle found Luke Foley's deftly upturned blade for Wilmington's second straight overtime victory.
"That's basically my office. That's where I get most of my goals," Luke Foley said after his 19th goal of the season. "(Davey) got the puck through and I was glad to get a tip on it."
Wildcats always prevail in the end. Wilmington last Saturday defeated Medford 1-0 on McGowan's goal in the second OT.
"There is nothing that can replace the experience of going deep into the tournament," said Scanlon. "I have nine kids who have gone all the way to the (TD) Garden twice (and won). You might get down, but you know you're not out of it."
Follow David Pevear on Tout and Twitter @merganser10