Bedford Boys’ Hockey Team Ends a Great Season in the Round of 32

March 1, 2024
The Bedford High School boys’ varsity hockey season ended Thursday night in a 5-1 loss to the Marlborough High School Panthers in the first round of the MIAA Division 3 playoffs. Photo Karen Cox

The Bedford High School boys’ varsity hockey season ended Thursday night in a 5-1 loss to the Marlborough High School Panthers in the first round of the MIAA Division 3 playoffs.

With Bedford playing in the MVC/Dual County League and Marlborough in the Quinn Conference, the teams had not previously faced off or faced many common opponents this season. Bedford at 14-4-2 was the slight favorite heading into the game with a 16th seat placement in the round of 32. Marlborough with a 9-8-3 regular season record entered the tournament in the 17th seat.

Due to technical difficulties with the audio system, it was up to the audience to start the game with a group singalong of the Star-Spangled Banner. The spectators opted to belt out the National Anthem in a round and allowed each individual a choice of octave.  

When the puck dropped, Bedford got the jump and a first quick shot on net. But momentum shifted to the way of the Panthers halfway through the first period.

Marlborough gained control along the boards and in the neutral zone. The Panthers two-man rush started breaking through at a regular pace, led by right wing Collin Glynn putting Bedford’s defense, led by Charles Demeo and goaltender Max Marchionna, to the test. With just under five minutes left in the first period, coming off of a faceoff in the Bedford defensive zone, Cam Ellsworth banged in a rebound goal amidst traffic in front of the net.

Bedford worked to shift back the momentum to close out the period and forced Marlborough tender Roman Belli to make some great saves. The Bucs went into the first intermission with the promise of an advantage to start the second period after Marlborough was called on a last-second roughing penalty.

But it was Marlborough who came out and scored a shorthander half a minute into the middle frame. Marlborough’s Luc Masse got one in after a breakaway with Glynn to put the Panthers up 2-0.

Bedford struggled to gain footing from there. Similarly to the spectators’ going for different keys of National Anthem, the game shifted to Bedford playing a bit flat, while Marlborough was sharp.   

Bedford Head Coach Brian Seabury said, “It got away from us so quick, it was tough to recover since that hasn’t happened before.”

Marlborough ended up scoring four unanswered goals in the second period. Glynn had a hand in each goal in the game, one goal and four assists. Anthony Skillings scored two goals, Ellsworth and Masse a goal and an assist, two apples from Alex Todd and one from Hayden Kearney.

With a minute and a half left in the game and a power play advantage, Bedford pulled Marchionna in order to have a 6-on-4 skater advantage. Demeo was able to get a goal in on a pass from Alex Frost and avoid ending the season with a shutout.     

Seabury said. “I’m proud of the guys for hanging in there and for a terrific season. To win 14 games was a great accomplishment and our season won’t be defined in one game. It was an enjoyable winter with lots to be proud of.”

Indeed lots to be proud of – the team was undefeated for the first 11 games of the season. Four Bucs players were recognized by the Dual County League for excellent play throughout the season. Sophomore Alex Frost (15 goals, 13 assists), Junior Ryan McGrath (10 goals, 22 assists), and Senior James Naylor (9 goals, 7 assists) were recognized as league all-stars. Junior Charles Demeo was named the DCL League MVP – a “well-deserved award,” according to Seabury. As a defenseman, Demeo led the team in points with 11 goals and 23 assists across twenty games.

Seabury said, “I think we battled and competed well throughout the season. We had guys show much improvement and unselfishness.” 18 of the 20 rostered skaters contributed a point (goal or assist) this season, with three-quarters of the roster adding in three or more points. The team scored 81 goals this season to opponents’ 35 scores. Marchionna kept a solid net with 1.6 goals against average.

“This is a tight-knit group who truly enjoy each other,” the coach said, previously attributing much of that to the example and guidance of the older players. The team was led by team captains Demeo, and seniors Naylor, Kenny Doucet, and Matt Colasante.

The 2023-2024 Bedford hockey team had leadership from (L-R:) Charles Demeo, and seniors Bryan Bai, James Naylor, Kenny Doucet, and Matt Colasante. Staff Photo Jenny Stewart

Graduating just four seniors and with 14 juniors on the current roster, next season looks to be strong for the Bucs as well.

Seabury said, “With such a huge senior class returning, we are excited for next season. I’m positive the guys will work hard in the offseason and will be looking to improve on this year’s accomplishments.”  

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