The Bedford High School boys’ varsity hockey team heads into their first home game of the 2023-2024 season with a 5-0 record. The Bucs will host Dracut/Tyngsboro High School Middies (4-1-1 record) at 8 p.m. on Saturday at The Edge Sports Center on Hartwell Road.
Bedford took their latest road win with a 3-0 victory over Acton-Boxborough Regional High School on Wednesday night at Nashoba Valley Olympia Rink in Boxborough.
If Bedford junior goaltender Max Marchionna or A-B senior captain goaltender Jack Roche showed up with new leg pads last night, their gear would have been broken in by the end of the three periods of play. The goalies were on their knees and kicking out saves through the entire game. Marchionna was credited with 19 saves in the game.
With both tenders solidly protecting the net, it was up to the skaters to make the difference. Starting the season at 0-7, the Division 1 Colonials showed up with a size and speed advantage, but the Bucs’ passing game seemed to give the visitors enough of an edge to pull off a victory on Wednesday.
Bedford scored once in each period, the first goal coming just over three minutes into the game. Junior Captain defenseman Charles Demeo carried the puck up the ice maintaining Bedford possession after being knocked into the boards. Demeo was credited with an assist along with junior James Lorusso, when a targeted pass made it to the opposite side of the net. Sophomore Jackson Tucker was in position and tipped in the puck for the first Bucs goal.
Bedford’s middle period goal came with five and a half minutes left in the second frame. Sophomore center Alex Frost won a faceoff in the offensive zone, sending the puck to junior defenseman Charlie Siciliano. Siciliano cut across the ice through traffic to take a shot that was blocked by Roche. Siciliano stayed in the play, collecting his own rebound in front of the goal, and knocked it past Roche to go up 2-0.
Even with the insurance goal on the scoreboard, the speed of A-B junior Billy Dapkas and sophomores Bryan Li and Harry Abramowitz kept the Colonials’ offensive efforts dangerous with junior defenseman Andrew Coffey providing additional pressure on both ends of the ice. Marchionna did not misstep knocking down shots and giving Bedford defensemen a chance to catch up on the breakouts.
Bedford Head Coach Brian Seabury said, “A-B made us work for that win, we did some things well and need to improve on many too.”
Shortly after Bedford narrowly warded off a physical two-minute Acton-Boxborough scoring effort before clearing their defensive zone in the third period, A-B called a time-out. When the teams returned to play with just over two minutes on the clock, Roche had been pulled in exchange for a sixth offensive skater. The strategy didn’t work out last night – Bedford’s third period goal came off a pass from junior Ryan McGrath to Frost for an empty-netter.
Seabury said, “It’s been a nice start.” The veteran coach said the 5-0 start to the season hasn’t been easy, but the work has forced the team to be “more cohesive” early in the season.
Looking ahead to the weekend, Seabury said “Dracut is going to be a challenge for sure, we have had a good rivalry with them the past few years and Saturday shouldn’t be much different.”