Beverly – The way the Beverly High Boys hockey team expected to play all season finally paid off Monday night at Bourke Arena.
Panthers showed a powerful sergeant and caused shifts, leading to targets. They had a solid defense of the team, limiting their opponents with only 15 shots on goal. All five of their captains factored in scoring, and as a team they played with confidence and poise.
This resulted in a satisfactory 5-1 win for the Panthers over their Danvers rivals, reversing the loss to the same Hawks less than three weeks earlier.
Said captain Cam Cook, who led the attack with a goal (which turned out to be the match- there were a few games earlier this year that slipped us in the third half… That wasn’t happening tonight. Winner) and two assists. “Coach (Greg Fonzi) told us to play every game from now on as if it was for the state title, to achieve that power. Against one of our biggest opponents, we did.”
Young goalkeeper Jimmy O’Connell, whose father David unexpectedly passed away last week at the age of 59, played a tough game between the pipes to give Beverly (now 3-6) a much-needed victory. He was given a minute’s silence before the game started, along with Teddy Balkind, the Connecticut high school player who died last week after a collision on the ice.
O’Connell was supported not only by his teammates, including the five-man defensive rotation of Matt Capachetti, Timmy Sullivan, Bobby Massa, Gavin Lawrence and substitute captain Jackson Thomas, but also his coaches and the many Tiger fans in attendance, who wore small bows and pins. in maroon and gold – his dad’s favorite colors – in support of the 17-year-old network director.
“Those were his favorite colors, the same color as our garage,” O’Connell said. “I was thinking about my dad tonight…this was for him.”
While Beverly played near a full 45-minute game, the same couldn’t be said for Danvers (now 5-3). The Falcons were coming off an 11-day break between matches, but first-year coach Kevin Fissett refused to use that as an excuse.
Instead, Fisset said there were a lot of mistakes — caused by Beverly’s insistence — that led to Monday’s downfall.
“We’re tired of working tonight,” Visset said. “We were in bad shape at times and had ups and downs because of their hustle and bustle.
“I thought we had a good week of training before this; the technical stuff that I was hoping would make us ready for the match and make us better. But it didn’t show up, and that’s my fault as a coach. It was my job to make sure we were ready… and we weren’t. That’s on me.”
Despite not getting the results they wanted to join, Fonzi felt his club had performed well enough to win their previous three matches, including on the road against a strong team from Gloucester.
“It was great seeing the boys putting everything together tonight, a full 45 minute effort,” Fonzi said. “We’re improving with our front check, working in the neutral zone, and gaining confidence as a team. For us to win we have to use our skills but also grind it, and the boys see that”
Captain DJ Pacini (goal, assist) and Matt Mezza (tearing power play from circles that led to a goal hint by Thomas) were all factored in Beverly’s scoring, as did substitutes Austin Bernard (goal, assist) and Thomas.
A strong check by Cook (“the man of the defense tried to push past me, I had enough room to block his attempt and take the disc) allowed him to overpower a dashing Bernard to put Beverly 1-0 up in five minutes. He tied Mike Delicio’s fourth goal of the year. Second from Danvers with 10.6 seconds remaining in the opening clip after a strong singles play by captain Aidan Lanfer.
All panthers were from there. Cook took an extended pass from Lawrence once Danvers’ strong play was over, flew over the right wing and fired in a shot from new goalkeeper Brayden Holt (22 saves) and into the net.
“I’ve been trying to stabilize when I get to pinch along the planks and do my work,” Cook said.
Less than three minutes later, youngster Aidan LeBlanc scored from a standoff in the attack zone, taking 3-4 strokes up front before knocking it out. Linemate Jeff Hallian got the assistant.
Danvers had four shots on O’Connell in the first 3:10 of the third period, but nothing happened after that. Before the last bell rang, Thomas and Pacini scored the men’s numbers for the convincing end result.
“A match like this is definitely a huge morale for us,” O’Connell said.
Fonzi praised the play “The Blue Line” (i.e., the third trio) by sophomore Bradley McAlpine and seniors Jack Cameron and Rocco Orlandella, beaming at the fact that he could match any of Danvers’ lines with the same success.
Fissette felt that both Lanfair and second-placed defensive back Brady Plaza had put in strong performances for the Falcons.
Beverly 5, Danvers 1
At Bourke Arena, Beverly
Danvers; 0; 0; 0; 0
Beverly; 0; 0; 0; 0
The first period: B, Austin Bernard (Cam Cook), 5:18; D, Mike Delicio (Aidan Lanfer), 14:49.
second period: B, Cook (Gavin Lawrence, Bernard), 3:19; B, Aidan LeBlanc (Jeff Hallinan, DJ Pacini), 6:05.
third period: B, Jackson Thomas (Matt Mesa, Cook), ppg, 10:20; B, Pacini (LeBlanc, Tim Sullivan), ppg, 14:49.
Memorizes: D, Brayden Holt 22; B, Jimmy O’Connell 14.
records: d, 5-3; b, 3-6.