The Bedford High School boys’ varsity hockey team is hoping the auspicious beginning to the winter season’s opener is an indicator of the season ahead.
The Bucs debuted the 2023-2024 season at the Tsongas Center in Lowell on Sunday evening with a 7-0 victory against Lowell High School.
Bedford senior captain James Naylor had more than his 18th birthday to celebrate on Sunday. It took less than two minutes from the initial face-off for Naylor to knock in Bedford’s first goal of the season, assisted by freshman defenseman Matt Savage.
Two minutes later, Naylor received the puck on the defensive end of the ice from junior Carter Georgette, carried the puck down the ice, and sniped a shot from the blue line past the Red Raiders’ goaltender Grady Avila for Naylor’s second goal of the night.
Less than eight minutes into the first period, Naylor completed a hat trick by scoring his third goal of the period with an assist from junior Drew Siwik to put the Bucs up 3-0.
The Bucs continued to maintain possession of the puck with a lot of offensive pressure in the first period, keeping Lowell’s defense and goaltender Avila busy.
On the other end of the ice, the Red Raiders had only managed a handful of shots on the Bucs’ junior goaltender, Max Marchionna through the first period.
Bedford earned three more goals, one each from junior James Nichol and sophomores Jackson Tucker and Alex Frost with assists from Naylor, senior captain Kenny Doucet, and junior Logan Cox before the end of the first period.
The score remained 6-0 through the second period while the Bedford team practiced maintaining possession, managed a penalty kill, subbed in junior goaltender Riley Foy between the pipes, and played through the entire Bedford bench.
Foy, stepping into the goaltender role this season to help the BHS hockey program, saw some action in the third period, but with the help of the Bucs’ defense solidified the shutout through the third period. Naylor added a little more icing to his birthday cake getting possession of the puck in the defensive end and passing to Siwik for a goal to end the game with a 7-0 final.
Bedford Head Coach Brian Seabury said the team “got some early goals [last night] and got everyone involved which was good to see.”
Bedford travels to Simoni Rink in Cambridge for a 6 p.m. game on Wednesday against Cambridge Rindge and Latin.
Bedford finished the 2022-2023 season 9-10-2 with a loss to Methuen in the first round of the Division 3 MIAA State Tournament.
Seabury said, “I’ve put together a difficult schedule and that will help us improve throughout the season and prepare for the state tournament come March.”
Seabury is feeling confident in the team’s “good depth, experience, and great leadership” as he looks ahead to this winter.
The Bedford junior varsity hockey team, under Head Coach Michael Grassi, held a lead for a good part of their season opening game, but took a 5-3 loss against Arlington Catholic on Friday at the Edge Sports Center with goals scored by Will Siciliano, Ricky Broglino, and Charlie O’Brien.