Bedford High School boys’ varsity hockey team heads into the New Year with a 4-0 record after adding a mid-vacation week win in Stoneham on Wednesday evening.
Power play scoring was the headliner of Wednesday’s match-up at Stoneham Arena.
Stoneham was sent to the penalty box for an elbowing penalty and an overlapping slashing call that gave the Bucs the player advantage for more than three minutes midway through the first period, but Bedford did not capitalize.
The Stoneham High School Spartans’ offense put Bedford goaltender Max Marchionna’s glovework and quick reflexes to the test in the second half of the opening period. With a few minutes remaining in the period, the Bucs were called on a hooking minor that gave the Spartans an advantage. Stoneham’s Jack Sullivan hit the tiny pocket of real estate over Marchionna’s left shoulder for the first power play goal of the game.
Just over a minute into the second period, Stoneham received a roughing penalty that gave the Bedford power play line a chance to redeem themselves following the first period missed opportunity. A minute and a half into the two-minute advantage, Bedford junior Logan Cox knocked the puck through the five-hole to get Bucs on the board and tie the score at one.
A minute later, the Spartans were called for another roughing minor, but this time, Bedford only needed 16 seconds of advantage for senior captain James Naylor to tap in a rebound that had dropped out of sight of Stoneham goaltender Noah Dinna to put the visitors up, 2-1.
Stoneham, with a 2-3 record heading into Wednesday’s game, played physically and did not allow Bedford to get comfortable with a one-goal lead. With two and a half minutes left in the second period, Bedford sophomore Alex Frost landed in a scuffle in the defensive zone and was sent to the locker room with a game misconduct. Bedford received a kicking major, which gave Stoneham a five-minute power play, finishing out the second period and extending into the third.
Bedford’s penalty-killing team managed to hold Stoneham off until one minute into the third period when Stoneham left wing Joe Aronis passed the puck from the corner to in front of the net where Jacob Minsk finessed the puck between his legs behind the skate of Marchionna to tie the score at two.
With the starting center out of the game and the pressure on, the Bedford bench stepped up, led by juniors Ryan McGrath, Charlie Demeo, and Charlie Siciliano. Junior James Nichol drew an elbowing penalty against Stoneham that allowed Cox to score his second goal of the game, putting the blue team up by one. Naylor was the recipient of Stoneham’s seventh infraction of the game – a cross-check at the blue line. That made way for sophomore Jackson Tucker to drop the game’s sixth power play net of the game, and Bedford’s insurance goal.
With three minutes left, Stoneham pulled Dinna to add extra offensive pressure, but the strategy didn’t pay off. McGrath gained control in the defensive end and scored an empty netter. Demeo added one more goal with a minute left, to go with his three assists in the game, and make the final score, 6-2.
Bedford Head Coach Brian Seabury said, “We played with a lot of discipline throughout the game. The powerplay was excellent with four goals on the man advantage.” Seabury, the BHS head coach since 2019, called the game a “very unselfish win” due to “contributions from everyone.” In addition to Bedford’s five goal scorers, there were six players with assists Demeo (3), Frost (2), McGrath (2), Nichol, and juniors Andy Scoville and Drew Siwik.
Bedford has outscored their opponents 22-4 in their first four games with victories against Lowell High School (7-0), Cambridge Rindge & Latin (6-0), Triton (3-2), and Stoneham.
Seabury said, “4-0 is a good start. We have a veteran team and good leadership.” Bedford’s roster has 14 BHS juniors. “We still need to improve in different areas, but the guys are excited to be unbeaten at this point.”
Division 3 Bedford team travels for their next game to Division 1 Acton-Boxborough on Wednesday, Jan. 3. Seabury thinks A-B could be “a tough opponent,” however believes the Bucs “will be ready to go next week.”