Woburn, MA – For today’s game we took a trip down Route 128 to watch the Red and Black of Winchester host the Marauders from Belmont. It’s rare to get a Saturday matinee matchup this early in January, but we jumped at the opportunity: a top shelf Middlesex League tussle.
In the first period, both teams were scratching and clawing for positioning. The territorial battle and the possession time was decidedly even with both teams creating looks off the rush. Belmont had a couple more shots on net after a flurry of activity around the Winchester net towards the end of the period but both squads went to the locker room knotted at 0-0.
In the middle frame, the action picked up quickly, right from the start. Belmont would get on the board 44 seconds in as a netfront scrum ensued and senior sniper Cam Fici was there to put it home: 1-0 Marauders. Belmont had the better of the chances in this period from start to finish but as the period wore on, Winchester was causing issues in coverage with their speed in transition. That created second-chance opportunities and left some open ice available in the attacking zone. Nine minutes in, Winchester would tie it up as junior forward David Strong made a nice play to settle a bouncing puck in the slot and rifle it home top shelf to make it 1-1. It was back-and-forth action for the rest of the frame with chances at both ends but Belmont would rally to untie it. With 12.5 seconds to go, following a faceoff win, Fici dished the puck across the blue line to senior defender Peter Grace who stepped into a hard wrister and cranked it home upstairs to make it 2-1 Belmont which is how we went to the rooms for a second break.
In the final stanza, Belmont put the hammer down early and took control of the game 10 seconds into the period. Fici gained the blue line and whipped the puck cross-ice over to senior defender Joe Gaziano who ripped a one-timer short side to make it 3-1 Marauders. That goal set the tone for the period as Belmont began to put more pressure on the Red and Black. The Marauders turned up the forecheck pressure and spent most of the first half of the period in their end. As we hit the midway point, Winchester began to use their speed to carry the puck deep and create more chances. The breaking point came when senior forward Kevin Bertocci charged into senior goaltender Greg Federico who took major issue with the infringement on his crease which earned him a 5-minute major and forced freshman goalie Quinn Harrington into his first ever game action. Belmont did a nice job of intercepting passes and making clears, killing off the major and the kill gave them the momentum they needed to finish the game strong. Seconds after the major had concluded, it was sophomore forward Adam Bauer who tapped a pass over to the dot where Fici was waiting and he one-timed a puck past the goalie to make it 4-1. Only a minute later they would pad their lead as senior forward Ben Packard threw a puck on net from the right wing that trickled over the goalie’s glove and into the net to make it 5-1, which would be our final score.
- F Cam Fici, Belmont
- D Joe Gaziano, Belmont
- F Shay Donahue, Belmont