- Scott Barboza, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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CANTON, Mass. – When Medfield and Westwood first met this season, it was during the first week of the season. Then, the 20th-ranked Wolverines shut out the Warriors, 2-0, creating some of the momentum that would lead them on a nine-game unbeaten streak to start the season.
Now, near the midway point of the high school hockey season, Medfield head coach Toby Carlow feels his team has come along from the group that was blanked by Westwood in the teams’ first Tri-Valley League meeting.
There was proof positive in the No. 21 Warriors’ 3-1 win Wednesday night at Metropolis Rink. After the teams took to the ice in the third period tied 1-1, Medfield brought all the things to the table which they hadn’t the first time around while dealing Westwood its first loss of the season.
“That’s the kind of period, game that we need to play to beat a team like that,” Carlow said. “They’re a very good hockey team. Westwood’s well-coached, they work extremely hard.”
Medfield (10-1-0, 6-1-0) took a 1-0 lead to the room at the first intermission, scoring in the final minute with the first of Matt Treiber’s two goals on the game. The power play goal came on an extended 4-minute man-advantage.
The Wolverines (8-1-1, 4-1-1) leveled the score as Nick Conway got off a wrist shot from the left wing circle after an offensive zone faceoff win by Ken Mackin at 11:32 of the second.
“I thought we were working hard, but the mental stuff wasn’t there,” Treiber said of Carlow’s message to the team during the second intermission. “We were making some mistakes on the breakout, including myself, times when we had to get it out and we didn’t. During the third period, our coach just told us we had to do our jobs; we did and that’s what got us the win.”
The Warriors wasted little time getting the go-ahead. Treiber fired off a half-slap from inside the left wing circle at 3:25.
“All the credit goes to my linemates, John MacLean and Jack Scannell,” Treiber said. “They worked hard all game and it finally paid off. I got the goals, but it was definitely a team win. It’s a feeling like no other because I play with the goalie and couple other kids in the fall, so it definitely feels good to beat these guys.”
While Medfield maintained the territorial edge through the period, Westwood had its best opportunity to score an equalizer near the midway point. Working off transition, John Clancy had the puck on his stick blade in the slot after a give-and-go down low. With nothing in front of him but Warriors goaltender Matt Malvese (18 saves), Clancy got off a quick wrist shot which Malvese kicked out with his right pad.
Off the ensuing faceoff, the Warriors turned the pressure back up ice. Freshman Tom Schofield was the beneficiary of a tape-to-tape, crossice pass from Dave Carrigan at 7:54 for the 3-1 lead.
“It’s always tight with these guys, so get that little extra cushion,” Carlow said. “That certainly helped a lot.”
While Medfield and Westwood split the regular-season series – with much still to be decided in the league title race – Carlow took a long range view of the victory.
“That’s a team we could very well see down the road, too,” he said. “They’re going to make the playoffs, they’re going to win games in the playoffs and we could very well see them then.”