Haverhill, MA – As the calendar shifts to February so does our focus at MassNZ. This month we will be heavily targeting the top D2, D3 and D4 teams across the Commonwealth. We are kicking things off tonight with two of the contenders in D2: the Marblehead Magicians and the Masconomet Chieftains. These two already met once earlier in the year, an OT victory for the Chieftains. This time the game would take place at Masco’s home rink: Haverhill Valley Forum.
The first period started a few minutes behind schedule as it was Mite Night and the young hockey players got a chance to circle the ice for a few laps prior to game time. Once the puck was dropped and the game was underway, the action was a bit slow as each team got settled into a rhythm. The early possession favored Marblehead as did most of the scoring chances, but Masco stood tall in their own end and kicked them all out. Masco would pick up its forecheck as the period wore on and that created more chances. The Chieftains would break through with just under four minutes remaining when senior forward Joe Young split the D on the attack and snapped one home at close range to make it 1-0 Masco. Marblehead made a push as the period was winding to a close but were unable to tie it up. We would wrap the period up 1-0 moving into the second.
In the middle frame, there was a lot of back-and-forth action with neither team grabbing the reins to take control. There were decent chances on both sides but the score remained the same in the first half. Once we got to the midway point things started to get interesting. Seven minutes in senior forward Christopher Locke dished the puck off to junior forward Cam Walkman who deposited it in the back of the net from close range to tie the game at 1-1. The Magicians looked to put the squeeze on Masco, but the Chieftains would not go quietly. They pushed back hard and three minutes later they would untie it. A steal in the attacking zone by sophomore forward Will Carey was initially gloved by the Marblehead netminder but slipped out of his mitt and trickled into the net: 2-1 Masco. The Magicians later generated a sparkling chance on a 2-on-1 but back came the Chieftains in the final minute. Despite taking a penalty late in the frame, Masconomet senior center Jack Mertz passed the puck up ice and it was corraled behind the net by junior forward Brady Forde who carried it to the right circle and swung around then fired it past the goalie for a 3-1 lead with nine seconds remaining in the period. We went to the room with that as our score and Masconomet was feeling it coming off the ice with some momentum.
Needing to get off to a good start, the Magicians did just that two minutes into the third period. Junior defender Hogan Sedky passed the puck up the right wing to Locke who charged into the attacking zone and buried one bar down to make it 3-2. You could see the momentum shifting to Marblehead’s bench and just a minute later they knotted this one up. Junior defenseman Ben Wales dished it to the slot where freshman forward Avin Rodovsky put a quick shot on net from the left circle and it slipped through the goalie’s pads to tie the game 3-3. The Magicians kept pushing early in the frame, but Masco righted the ship as the period wore on and generated a few quality chances including a sleek 2-on-1 shot with just under seven minutes to go that was shut down by sophomore netminder Leo Burdge. We marked that save down and it turned out to be a big one as we were still stalemated moving into the final minute. A hero would emerge with 30 seconds to go: Locke would find senior captain Carter Laramie near the dot, who fished the puck out of his skates and flipped a shot on net that snuck through with 29.8 remaining: 4-3 Marblehead. That would be our final score despite a couple of desperation rushes by the Chieftains. A thrilling finish to a great D2 hockey game!
- F Carter Laramie, Marblehead
- F Christopher Locke, Marblehead
- F Joe Young, Masconomet