Boston High School: Hunter Graves
March, 16, 2011
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com
ALLSTON, Mass. -- The Eastern Mass Division 3 final was by no means uncharted waters for the Headers. It’s everything beyond it that was unknown.
In three of the last four years, Marblehead boys’ hockey advanced out of the North bracket to earn a chance at the state title game. In their previous two attempts, they fell short, getting beaten by South champion Scituate in both turns.
“That loss last year was devastating,” Magicians senior captain Ryan Dempsey said of last year’s 5-2 defeat to the Sailors.
This year, with a change of opponent, Marblehead finally found the winning combination, holding on for a 3-2 win Tuesday night over South champion Pembroke at Harvard University’s Bright Center. With the victory, the Magicians will move on to play in their first state title game since 1985, when they were part of the Division 1 field.
Marblehead (19-4-3) controlled the flow of play through the first two periods, outshooting the Titans 28-7 after 30 minutes.
The Magicians came out firing in the first, but were unable to crack Pembroke netminder Kyle Jacobs (33 saves).
“We knew [Jacobs] was going to be strong out there and it would be difficult to beat him on initial shots,” Marblehead head coach Bob Jackson said. “We knew we’d need some rebound goals and we knew we’d have to position ourselves to take advantage of those opportunities.”
Marblehead was given a prime scoring opportunity six minutes into the opening period with a 5-on-3 power play. Only two shots found their way to Jacobs, however, on a great number of scoring chances. On the two-man advantage, the Magicians twice hit the side of the net (with space to sneak one in short side) and hit a post.
“We just kept hitting posts with shots and everything,” Dempsey said. “We didn’t get frustrated though because we knew it was coming. They can’t stop them all. We just went hard and finally they started going in.”
The Magicians finally got on the board with 2:36 remaining in the first with Austin Haley putting back the rebound off a Chris McLeod shot. Ben Koopman also picked up an assist on the play.
Marblehead again carried play in the second, outshooting Pembroke (15-6-4) by a 14-3 margin.
Hunter Graves had the Magicians to a 2-0 lead with 7:50 to play in the second, again capitalizing on a rebound opportunity with Alex Whitmore and Dempsey adding assists.
However, the Titans had plenty of fight in the third and whittled the deficit to a goal with 9:04 to play on Matt Sheehan’s unassisted tally off a Marblehead turnover.
The Magicians reestablished a two-goal lead with Dempsey banking in another tally off a rebound, this time with Haley and McLeod on the assists.
Pembroke answered right back, making it a one-score game with 3:04 to play on Chris Waterfield’s tally. Although the Titans had a few more quality chances on Magicians netminder Tony Cuzner, the Marblehead defenses held.
March, 13, 2011
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com
BILLERICA, Mass. -- Three out of four ain’t bad for the seniors of Marblehead boys’ hockey.
With a convincing 6-2 win over Shawsheen Valley Technical School in Saturday’s Division 3 North final at Chelmsford Forum, the Magicians capped a rather impressive run, capturing three of the last four sectional championships.
“Freshman year was amazing, and this one’s still amazing, but we want to get to that next level," Marblehead senior forward Chris McLeod said. "We want to get that state championship. It’s still a great feeling, but we’ve got a couple more games to go.”
Both teams boasted recent success in the sectional tournament, as the Rams had ousted Marblehead from tournament in the 2009 semifinals with a shootout victory.
“We talked about tradition earlier,” Magicians head coach Bob Jackson said. “We talked about the fact that Marblehead during the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s was regarded with the tradition they had. Over the past 24 hours, I’ve gotten hundreds of e-mails from former past captains and players, asking us to do something they’d never done.”
However, this year’s matchup was all Marblehead (17-4-3) from the get go. The Magicians, who scored at least five goals in each of their three tournament games, took the first lead of the game three minutes into the first with Austin Haley putting back a rebound of McLeod’s shot.
Shawsheen (17-5-1) responded and tied the game about a minute later with Michael DiGiorgio letting go a wrister from the left wing boards. Thomas Price set up with the tally with a chip from the corner. The Rams then took a 2-1 lead with 2:43 remaining in the period with Joseph Sodergren turning a Magicians’ defensive zone turnover into a goal.
Marblehead tied the score before the period was out. McLeod earned his second point of the game, scoring on the power play with 53 seconds remaining. Hunter Graves had the assist.
The Magicians continued to dictate play in the second period, outshooting Shawsheen, 15-5. Marblehead also netted the go-ahead goal in the first minute of play with Ryan Dempsey finding the back of the net on a one-timer with a set up from Graves, who earned his second point of the game.
Things really opened up for Marblehead in the third. Ty Bates started an onslaught of three Magician goals in the third with 12:08 to play. Ben Koopman followed 18 seconds later, providing a three-goal Marblehead lead with 11:50 to play.
McLeod tallied his second goal of the game on a 5-on-3 power play with 10:19 to play, rounding out scoring.
“We’ve been working on the power play in practice lately, it’s just been clicking,” McLeod said. “It’s been rolling, that’s great for us. We just need to keep it going for the rest of the playoffs.”