Marblehead hoists first championship trophy since 2011

Marblehead celebrates after defeating Nauset in the MIAA Division 3 state championship. Photo by Spenser Hasak

BOSTON — To be the best, you have to beat the best. With the top three seeds standing in its way this postseason, the No. 6 Marblehead hockey team said, ‘Bring it on.’

The Headers – who began the winter 0-6, then 2-8 – defied all odds, leaving TD Garden with the Division 3 state championship after a 1-0 win against top-seeded Nauset on Sunday.

For a rowdy Marblehead fan section, the Headers couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. Kyle Hart showed off his speed, getting past a Nauset defender before wrapping around the net and finding teammate Avin Rodovsky for an easy finish with 4:41 remaining in the first period. 

It served as the game-winning goal.

“It was a nice goal. Even when we’re not in sync, a kid like Kyle Hart doesn’t need momentum. He just needs a little bit of space and he created the chance,” said second-year Marblehead coach Mark Marfione. 

Nauset steamrolled its way to the championship game with an 18-2 aggregate score against its opponents. The Headers, and Marfione, knew what was in store.

“We knew they had a lot of structure and, even on film, we felt like no team really challenged their structure,” Marfione said. “We felt we were on a level they haven’t seen all year, but I’ll give them credit. They were better than we thought. They pressured us all night and hit a couple of posts – it was just a crazy game. With a little bit of luck and a little bit of Leo (Burdge), we got it done.” 

They say the post is a goalie’s best friend. In the second period, the Warriors hit the iron three times against Marblehead’s Burdge. 

“When you play long enough, watch it long enough, there’s many different ways to win and different ways to lose,” said Nauset coach Connor Brickley. “It’s a game of margins. The puck didn’t bounce our way tonight. It is what it is.” 

Burdge made save after save to preserve a 37-save shutout. 

“When the pressure is the highest, he saves everything,” Marfione said. 

Across the past three state tournament games, Burdge has made 21, 23, and, now, 37 saves.

“My main focus today was to track the puck and command the defensive side of things,” he said. “There’s only one shot I didn’t see today and I was lucky it hit me.” 

But to win, it takes more than a hot netminder. In the third period, it also took defensive captain Hogan Sedky, who put his body on the line to block a handful of shots.

Leading by example, his pregame message to his teammates was to “play hard.”

“It’s hard to say there was just one message, but we wanted to get out, play hard, and play Marblehead hockey,” Sedky said. “If we let them set the tempo, we were going to go behind.” 

Even in defeat, Brickley said the Headers “played exactly to who they were.”

“We had a good idea that they like to go north and south, and we had a good idea that they wanted to play with speed and put pucks north,” he said.  

Marblehead got to the power play late in the third, but the Warriors controlled the puck. Then, a double save from a scrambling Burdge kept the Warriors off the scoreboard. 

“It was a 2-on-1 and I got over to cover as much of the net as possible, which was blocked. Then, I just tried to cover it as soon as I could,” Burdge said. 

With more shots and more possession, Nauset just couldn’t find a way through the Headers. Time expired on the No. 1 seed, and Marblehead brought home a state championship – its first since 2011.

When asked what it meant for him to be the senior captain on a state championship-winning program, Sedky expressed his love for Marblehead.

“I love each and every one of these guys. There was never a moment we didn’t think we couldn’t go all the way to the state championship – even when we were 0-6,” Sedky said. “We’re the most bought-in team out there. From the first liners to the healthy scratches, I give everyone on this team credit.” 

  • Mark Aboyoun is a New Jersey born sports writer at The Daily Item. Aboyoun is a graduate of Saint Joseph's University '18 and went on to earn his Juris Doctor at Western New England School of Law in 2021.