The Bedford High School boys’ varsity hockey team had a successful week last week, earning victories in two Division 3 games.
On Sunday evening, Head Coach Brian Seabury said, “2-0 for the week was great. It keeps the team on pace for a league title.”
The Bucs had an easy time hosting Cambridge Rindge & Latin (3-11 record) at the Edge Sports Center on Wednesday afternoon.
Little Red Riding Hood might not have made it to her grandmother’s house if she had been weighed down by as many biscuits in her basket.
Bedford goals were scored by Ryan McGrath, Logan Cox (four – including a consecutive hat trick in the second period), Alex Frost, Drew Siwik, Andy Scoville (two), and Matt Colasante. Assists were by Charlie Siciliano, Carter Georgette (two), Matt Savage, Cox, Charles Demeo, James Nichol, Will Siciliano, Charlie O’Brien, McGrath (two), Frost (three), Kenny Doucet, and James Naylor.
Bedford starting goaltender Max Marchionna was flawless through two periods. Riley Foy played in the goal for the third period (running time). Matthew Hicks kept the Falcons from being shut out by netting a lone Cambridge Rindge & Latin goal in the third for an 11-1 final.
On Sunday, the Bucs headed to an afternoon game at the Tsongas Center against a strong league competitor, Dracut/Tyngsboro (9-4-1 record).
The referee team worked quickly and kept the game moving. Right away, Dracut’s play drew their opponents into the boards and utilized the high arena ceilings to move the puck around in the air, from chip passes to high lobs to clear the zone. Bedford played along and the teams traded scoring opportunities back and forth for the majority of the contest.
Nine minutes into the second period, the Bucs were first to get on the board. Coming onto the ice fresh from a shift change, Naylor had the puck on the left side of the Bucs’ offensive end with support from Nichol. With two Dracut players advancing and then scrambling to overtake possession from Naylor, the puck shot out toward the net. Dracut goalie Connor Cole was in ready position to block. The puck ended up in front on the right side of the goal and onto the stick of Siwik. Siwik made a quick shot to get the Bucs on the board.
Shortly after, Bedford’s Charlie Siciliano took a strong slap shot from the blue line that left that satisfying ping sound ringing through the arena. As the spectators began to whoop, the puck bounced from the top front goal bar straight-down seemingly in the net, but Cole and crew knocked it out and play went on.
A minute later, Bedford received a hooking penalty, and Dracut had a chance at their second powerplay advantage of the game (the first thwarted by Bucs’ defense, Marchionna, and a broken Middie chin strap that drew game stoppage mid-offensive campaign).
Just 20 seconds into the power play, Demeo advanced the puck up the ice to Frost, who drove to the goal and took a shot from the right side that was blocked by Cole. McGrath was ready on the left side for the rebound and took a shot. Cole deflected McGrath’s shot back to the right side. Frost didn’t let the second chance pass him by. The sophomore sank the puck in the back of the net for a shorthander that put Bedford up 2-0.
Bedford gained some more control of their game with a little wiggle room, but still the Middies held the pressure on and play was back and forth scoring opportunities with strong defensive plays from both ends as players knocked the puck out of reach, lifted opponents’ sticks mid drive, pinned players along the boards, and some Jedi magic of Demeo knocking pucks down mid-air with his stick, causing turnover after turnover.
Four minutes in the third frame, receiving the puck on a faceoff in the Bedford attacking zone, Dracut’s Luke Teta and Drew Duross gained possession at center ice with Charlie Siciliano the lone defender. Siciliano could not turn quick enough to control the 2-on-1, and Teta shot the puck past Marchionna to bring the score to within one.
With the score tightened up, Bedford turned on the pressure against Dracut, moving to a strong forecheck zone defense – the full-court press for basketball fans. Frost, Naylor, or Nichols were on the goal line working to keep the puck in their offensive zone, which helped (along with Marchionna, and the defensive efforts of Demeo, Siciliano, Savage, and Georgette) hold the Middies at bay through the final buzzer.
Seabury said, “I thought we got stronger and played with more confidence as the Dracut game went on, especially in the last 10 minutes; our zone coverage and neutral zone play were outstanding.”
The Bucs have the week to recover and prepare for their next match up. Their next game is against Nashoba Regional (#28 ranked, 3-8-1) at noon on Saturday at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough. Nashoba Regional will be celebrating Hockey Fights Cancer with a portion of ticket sales, a bake sale, and raffles raising money for the American Cancer Society.
After that, Bedford, now 11-1-2 and sitting in the seventh seat of the latest MIAA power rankings, heads into strong competition with games against two strong Merrimack Valley League competitors – Haverhill (Feb. 7 in Haverhill) and Methuen (Feb. 10, Senior Night at the Edge) – and then takes on Concord-Carlisle (Feb. 14 at the Edge), undefeated and and sitting comfortably at the top seat of the Division 2 power ranking.
Looking ahead to “some potentially huge games,” Seabury said, “This will be a good week to build competition within the guys and an opportunity to condition a little more than usual. We will continue to work on the three zones and shore up defensive assignments.”