For most of Wednesday night’s game, Marblehead matched the play of the Barrington (RI) Eagles, however that effort was not reflected in the final score as the Magicians fell 5-2 in the Cape Ann Savings Bank Holiday Hockey Tournament championship game.
After pummeling Beverly by a score of 7-0 Tuesday night, Marblehead couldn’t get their offense going until it was too late. It was a frustrating game for Head Coach Mark Marfione’s squad. Marblehead had stayed nearly even with Barrington in terms of shots on goal, puck possession, and scoring chances, but the difference was the Eagles being able to capitalize quicker and more efficiently.
Despite the Magicians opening strong with two shots on goal in 40 seconds, Barrington was able to capitalize first just two minutes into the period. The Eagles struck again with 11:24 remaining when a pass came from behind the net and found a Barrington player waiting in front to tap it in. A third Eagles goal came with 3:31 to go off of a two-on-one opportunity.
Junior captain Hogan Sedky pointed to the 3-0 hole the team dug itself in the first period as the key factor in the game, and said it simply came down to execution.
“We let up three goals in the first, that’s never fun for a team,” Sedsky said. “I think we have to come out a little stronger. In the second and third we kind of got into our groove a little bit, kept getting pucks to the net, slipped some by, but just didn’t do enough.”
Marblehead again started the period off strong in the second and had the first scoring chance. Chris Locke zipped past Eagles defenders on the right side and sent a centering pass that surely would have found the back of the net had someone been on the receiving end. The Magicians continued to generate scoring chances and were able to hold possession in the offensive zone for decent periods of time, but to no avail. On the other hand, Barrington continued to score quickly and efficiently, putting up another goal on one of its first scoring chances of the period with 12:25 to go.
Even with the scoreboard reading 4-0, the players knew that they had played Barrington fairly evenly up to that point, and sophomore forward James Caeran refused to give in. The puck found Caeran on the right side of the ice at the top of the face off zone and with nothing to lose, he wristed a shot that whizzed by Barrington’s goalie to get Marblehead on the board with 5:30 to play in the second. The goal gave his team some life and the Magicians continued to skate hard and put shots on net.
After Caeran’s goal, Marblehead began playing its best hockey of the night, and Caeran said the first one is always important in garnering momentum, except he said it needs to happen sooner.
“Burying the puck, always the first one is big,” he said. “I thought from there we were going to get on a role, but the puck just didn’t go our way.”
The Magicians played arguably their best hockey of the evening in the third period. The score read 4-1 halfway through the period, however it was Marblehead that outpaced Barrington 20-15 in shots on goal at one point, and ended the game with a 23-20 shots on goal advantage. The defense was much more sound and the offense created more scoring opportunities, and the effort was rewarded with a goal by Sedsky with just 3:10 remaining to cut the lead to two. The second goal again sparked some life into the Magicians, though an empty-net goal by Barrington with just over a minute to play ended any attempt at a comeback.
Sedsky commented on playing hard right up until the end, simply stating that the team will continue to fight, no matter what the situation is.
“This team doesn’t quit, that’s one thing about Marblehead, we’re never going to stop out there no matter what the score is,” said Sedsky.
The loss moves the Magicians record to 2-2-1 this season and they look to get off to a better start this time around against Woburn on Thursday, Dec. at 12 p.m. at O’Brien Ice Rink.