This is turning into a Cinderella season for the Bedford High School boys’ hockey team.
The Buccaneers are 7-3-2 as they prepare to entertain Dracut at The Edge on Hartwell Road Saturday at 8 p.m. The team will be looking to avenge an early-season 3-2 loss to the Middies. Next Wednesday Hamilton-Wenham comes to town for a 4:15 non-league match.
Most recently, Bedford battled back from a two-goal deficit to beat Medford, 3-2 on Wednesday. Chris Woo tied the score with a power-play goal near the end of the second period and sophomore James Naylor netted the game-winner.
The comeback was good for overall team confidence, asserted Head Coach Brian Seabury. “We are starting to play pretty well.”
There are eight games remaining in the regular season over a three-week span, including five non-league contests, but the intense schedule doesn’t faze the Bucs. “At this point, we’d rather be playing than practicing,” the coach said.
Through 60 percent of the regular season, the theme has been goaltending and defense. “We are one of the lowest goals-against teams in the state,” Seabury said. Indeed, the Bucs have yielded three goals only three times, with one of them in an open net.
Senior goalie TJ Mead has been “outstanding,” Seabury said. The four-year starter in net has four shutouts in seven wins. “We planned on his being the guy we turned to since we are such a young team upfront,” the coach said. “I told him that’s what he’s there for and he hasn’t disappointed. He is definitely one of the top goaltenders in the area.”
Seabury also lauded his two defensive pairings, Ittai Weisman and Blake Stuzynski, and Will Campbell and freshman Jackson Masters. “He has been really good; he won a spot as the fourth defenseman,” Seabury said.
The offense is a work in progress, and the coach said, “Our biggest asset is our power play.” Of the 32 goals scored this season, 18 have been with a one- or two-man advantage – and the power-play success record is an astounding 40 percent, Seabury said, noting that 20 percent is considered good.
Seabury plays Stuzynski and Weisman—two defensemen—along with Woo on top of the umbrella on the power play.
This team really knows how to close out games, the coach continued. Over the last nine games, Bedford entered the third period either tied or ahead by one on the scoreboard. The Bucs’ record over that stretch is 5-2-2. “After every second period, I say, ‘Here we go again,’” the coach laughed.
Against Medford this week, the BHS potted a couple of five-on-five goals, which Seabury found encouraging.
Seabury cited the recently-assembled line of Naylor, Nick Tatarczuk, and Lucas Tucker. “That’s one of the reasons we have been playing so well.” He also noted continuing improvement from freshmen on the squad, such as Drew Siwik, Charles Demeo, and James Lorusso.
The coach is starting to think about the post-season. There are 49 Division 3 teams statewide and 32 will qualify, based on power rankings. The Bucs are somewhere in the middle. “Let’s see how much we can improve and how long we can make a run,” Seabury said.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at [email protected], or 781-983-1763