Haverhill Upsets Redmen, 3-2
Jan 23, 2015 06:19AM
By Rick Spencer
Senior forward Derek Castiglione (7) breaks in on Haverhill goalie Mike Gleason during Thursday night's 3-2 loss to the Hillies.
The Tewksbury High hockey team was served a not-so-subtle reminder on Thursday night that when you are the king of the hill, everybody else wants to knock you down.
And Haverhill High did just that to the Redmen, as the Hillies out-hustled Tewksbury for two periods then fought off a spirited comeback attempt by TMHS and held on for a 3-2 upset victory at the Breakaway Ice Center.
Haverhill entered the contest sporting just a 3-4-1 overall record, and Tewksbury (now 9-2 overall) was riding an eight-game win streak and hadn’t lost a game in over a month. But you wouldn’t have known that from watching the first two periods, as Haverhill frustrated Tewksbury on both ends of the ice and built a 3-1 lead that turned out to be too much for the Redmen to overcome.
“They out-played us the first two periods,” TMHS coach Derek Doherty said afterward. “We came out slow and maybe our kids were taking things for granted. We’ve been playing well and we hadn’t lost to Haverhill in I don’t know how long. But we tell our kids all the time that hard work will beat talent every time, and tonight their hard work beat our talent.”
Tewksbury actually drew first blood just 30 seconds into the game when senior captain Ryan Petti scored his league-leading 15th goal of the season on a low-angle shot that deflected in off Haverhill goalie Mike Gleason’s shoulder.
But Petti got whistled for cross-checking with 44 seconds left in the first period and Haverhill capitalized, evening the score at 1-1 on a Joshua Goldstein power play goal that found the back of the net just 13 seconds before the first period ended.
The second period was all Haverhill, as Konner Fitzpatrick put the Hillies ahead, 2-1 five minutes into the period, and Tanner Campbell made it 3-1 with just 1:10 to play in the second.
Doherty laid down the law in the locker room in between periods, and the Redmen came out skating and hitting in the third period. The final 15 minutes resembled at prolonged power-play for Tewksbury, but the Redmen needed two goals to tie and could only slide one more past Gleason. In spite of peppering the Haverhill net with 16 shots on goal (not to mention another 10 that were either blocked or missed wide) in the final frame, all TMHS could muster was one more goal. Petti scored that one as well, his league-leading 16th of the season, again on a low-angle shot with 3:29 gone in the third period. But in spite of constant pressure on the Hillie defense over the final 10 minutes, Tewksbury could not get the equalizer, and the Redmen walked away frustrated for only the second time this season.
“All of a sudden, in the third period, we decided to play,” Doherty said. “But they did a great job blocking shots and clogging up the middle and doing what they had to do to win the game. We got ourselves in a hole and we weren’t able to dig ourselves out of it. I’ll give (Haverhill) a lot of credit for that, because they played great.”
The loss effectively brings Tewksbury back to the pack in the chase for the Merrimack Valley Conference/Dual County League Division 2 championship, as Tewksbury now stands tied with Lincoln-Sudbury atop the division standings with a 5-1 record. As of today, TMHS would win a tiebreaker with Lincoln-Sudbury by virtue of a 4-1 win over the Warriors earlier this month, but Tewksbury must face Lincoln-Sudbury again, this time at home on Feb. 14.
“This (loss) really tightens things up,” Doherty said. “Now both Lincoln-Sudbury and us are 5-1 in the league. And Boston Latin is playing pretty good hockey too. We’ve got our work cut out for us now.”
Tewksbury hosts Billerica in another important MVC/DCL contest on Saturday at 7:20 p.m. and Doherty hopes that his Redmen will have learned an important lesson by then.
“The lesson is that you have to play three periods of hockey,” Doherty said. “You gotta have a sense of urgency every time you’re on the ice, because if you don’t, look what happens.”