Marblehead claims another D3 North title

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.”