Weekend Hockey Round-Up: Local High School Teams’ Remarkable First Half 

January 16, 2024

As the first half of the winter sports season wraps up, the Bedford High School boys varsity, Shawsheen/Bedford girls’ varsity, and Shawsheen Tech boys’ varsity hockey teams have proved themselves red hot. Check out a round-up of this weekend’s games.

Bucs varsity boys are 7-0-2 so far this season. Bedford hosts Melrose at the Edge at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Photo: Karen Cox

BHS boys’ remain lossless after two weekend draws

Bedford boys played at Methuen on Saturday night in the first matchup since the Rangers knocked the Bucs out of round one of the 2023 playoffs. This afternoon’s MIAA power ranking has Methuen (8-0-2) in the five seat with Bedford (7-0-2) one ahead in the four position.

Bedford came out on Saturday as they have all season – taking the first shot and keeping possession in their offensive end for most of the first fifteen minutes of play. Methuen goalie Owen O’Brien and team warded off all attacks, including two Bedford powerplays, and kept the game scoreless through the first period. 

Methuen came out ready in the second period. A minute and a half into the frame, Methuen’s Zach Anderson won a faceoff just outside the Methuen’s defensive zone, shuffling the puck to teammate Will McLaren. 

McLaren cut past a Bedford player to the outside and towards the right corner of the Bedford defensive zone. He stopped at the goal line and passed around the Bedford defense to the front of the net where Ranger Captain Noah Kneeland was prepared and pushed the puck past Bedford goalie Max Marchionna to put Methuen up 1-0. 

The goal shook up Bedford slightly. The Bucs took a bench penalty for too many players on the ice a minute later. James Nichol went to the box to serve the Bedford penalty. 

The Bucs’ penalty kill was diligent and patient, applying pressure across the sheet. Marchionna, Charles Demeo, and Charlie Siciliano shut down the Rangers’ attacks close to the goal. 

As the player differential expired, players battled for possession behind the Bedford net. Demeo stepped out with the puck. Nichol, released from the penalty box, raced across the ice to support Demeo. Nichol got a quick stick on the puck tapping it to open ice before tying up a Ranger player along the board. 

Nichol’s move made space for Ryan McGrath to gain possession. McGrath carried along the boards into the attacking zone with Alex Frost catching up for a 2-on-2 against Methuen. McGrath cut to the center and around 20 feet in front of the net took a shot that got past O’Brien. Five minutes into the second period, the score was even at one. 

Through the third period, a five-minute four-on-four overtime period, rising emotional temperatures, great goalkeeping, heckling student sections, Methuen breakaways, Bedford passing sequences, time outs, and one extremely loud unceasing soundtrack (including Elvis Presley, Taylor Swift, 50 Cent, Carrie Underwood, Bobby Darin, Guns N’ Roses, Icona Pop, and on and on with a heavy emphasis on country music), 1-1 remained the final score.   

Bedford boys varsity tied Methuen (1-1) and Wakefield (0-0) over the weekend. Photo: Karen Cox

Bedford played again over the weekend. The Bucs took on Wakefield (3-6-1 after the weekend) on Monday afternoon at Stoneham Arena. Wakefield was looking to make it four wins in a row and Bedford hoped to continue their lossless streak. 

The game was a battle for the entire 50 minutes of play. Goaltenders Max Marchionna (Bedford) and David Rocca (Wakefield) were both stellar guarding their nets. They had to be with the number of shots in the game. 

The teams played with a similar strategy, utilizing all players on the ice and the entire sheet for most of the game, heavy on forechecking, quick transitions, and passing. 

There were a lot of “oohs” and groans from fans cheering for both the home and visiting teams with big hits and close, but missed scoring opportunities – just wide of the net, wide-open passes to the center of the goal but no one there to finish, or saves by the goalies. 

Neither team was allowing the other gimmes or mistakes as defensively, both sides stayed ready, and offensively neither team could finish.

The game remained scoreless at the end of regulation. And after a second five-minute four-on-four overtime in less than 48 hours for Bedford, the score stuck to 0-0. 

Bedford has two broken sticks to replace from Monday’s game, and Alex Frost may still be thinking about a couple of missed opportunities during Monday’s OT heading into their midweek game. Bedford hosts Melrose at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at the Edge. Melrose is currently 0-8-1, sitting in the 39th seat in the MIAA Division 3 power rankings.

Shawsheen/Bedford girls off take a win over Masco

Shawsheen/Bedford girls’ varsity hockey team is in the #26 seat in the MIAA Division 1 power rankings, a solid midseason position for the young team, and one of the best starts in the team’s history. The top 32 teams qualify for the state tournament.

The Rams are on a four-game streak after a 5-2 weekend win over Masconomet played at Merrimack College. Shawsheen/Bedford goals came from Becca Sobol (2), Anna McEachern, Lucy Scoville, and Leah Hannafin. Assists on Sunday came from Sobol (2), Scoville, and Ella Haynes. 

Shawsheen/Bedford travels to Gloucester at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Gloucester is 8-2-1 this season ranked #15 in MIAA Division 2. 

Shawsheen Tech boys blanks Longmeadow and looking towards Methuen  

The Shawsheen Tech boys’ hockey team is also on fire to start the season. The Rams (8-1) are on a eight-game hot streak, sitting right behind Bedford, and Methuen taking the six position in today’s MIAA Division 3 Power Ranking, and at second seed (one spot above Bedford High School) in the Hockey Night in Boston News Top 10 this week. 

Shawsheen has had some close games but continues to come out on top. The Rams hosted Longmeadow at Hallenborg Rink on Monday afternoon. Goalie Mike Cedrone earned a shutout with a third-period game winner from captain Liam Milne, and an empty net insurance goal from Keenan Considine to continue the Rams’ streak. 

Shawsheen has a big game ahead this week, hosting Methuen at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Hallenborg. 

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