Redmen Top Acton-Boxboro, 5-3, For Eighth Straight Win
Jan 19, 2015 11:17PM
By Rick Spencer
Steve Hamel (15) breaks in on goal in Tewksbury's 5-3 win over Acton-Boxboro Monday.
It’s getting kind of scary when the Tewksbury High hockey team can play just one good period of hockey and still come away with a two-goal victory over one of the top-rated Division 1 teams in the state. But that’s exactly what happened Monday night at the Breakaway Ice Center as the Redmen shook off the doldrums in time to score three, third-period goals and skate away with a 5-3 win over Acton-Boxboro Regional High School.
“It’s not the way we want to do it, but we’ll take it,” said TMHS head coach Derek Doherty after Derek Castiglione, Ryan Petti and Ryan Meade all scored third-period goals and sparked Tewksbury to its eighth straight victory. “I thought we came out flat and didn’t play particularly well in the first two periods. But we had a little discussion in between the second and third period and we came out and played better in the third and got the win. You know, good teams find ways to win, and hopefully we can consider ourselves a good team.”
Castiglione, a senior forward who was playing on the first line in place of sophomore winger Ryan Sheehan (out with the flu), scored his first goal of the season just 32 seconds into the third period to put the Redmen ahead to stay in this one. Petti, who had two goals on the night, added an insurance goal with nine minutes to play and Meade, who also scored twice on Monday, scored on an empty net with 15 seconds to play as Tewksbury raised its record to 9-1 overall, 6-0 in Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual County League play.
Unlike most of the victories in this eight-game winning streak, this one, however, was in doubt much of the way.
“We kind of played way out of our system tonight,” Doherty said. “We were running around and not hitting, and that’s a big part of our game is being physical.”
Tewksbury actually drew first blood in this game, when Petti scored his 13th goal of the season just 2:30 into the first period, Castiglione and Colin Quinn assisting. Acton-Boxboro’s Matt McCrobie tied it at 1-1 with 1:13 to play in the first, but Meade scored his first of the night and third of the season with just 30 seconds to play in the period to send TMHS into the locker room with a 2-1 advantage.
But the visiting Colonials, who are ranked No. 14 in the state among Division 1 teams according to MassHShockey.com, took control of the action and outshot Tewksbury 11-3, in the second period. A-B’s Julian Stewart tied the game at 2-2 four minutes into the second, and Doherty was not happy when the teams left the ice for the second intermission
“We had a little talk in between periods,” Doherty said. “We had a nice conversation in the locker room. I just reminded them that if you want to win the game you’ve got to go out there and play hard. We talk about it all the time, you can have all the talent in the world but you’re not going to win unless you work for it.”
It took only 32 seconds for the Redmen to get the message. Castiglione’s first goal of the season came on a rebound of a Petti shot, and Tewksbury was off and running. Petti made it 4-2 with 9:19 to play, Sean Brady and Brett Morris assisting. It was Petti’s 14th goal in just 10 games this season. The senior center iceman now leads all of Division 2 with 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points.
Acton-Boxboro pulled its goalie with 2:30 left in the third, and McCrobie netted his second goal of the night out of a scramble in front of the net to make it 4-3 with 1:52 still to play. But Meade iced it with an empty-netter with 15 seconds to play. It was Meade’s fourth goal of the season, to go along with 15 assists, and it went a long way toward easing his coaches’ mind.
“I thought we picked it up in the third period, thank God,” Doherty said. “We played much better in the third. It was our team. Our team was back.”
Tewksbury, which last lost a game a full month ago, starts on its second run of MVC/DCL Division 2 games with a home game against Haverhill Thursday night at 7:30. The Redmen blanked the Hillies 3-0 in their first meeting back on Dec. 13.