Mustangs too much for Tanners to handle

Peabody's Caleb Dollin scored his first varsity goal on Wednesday night. (Item Photo by Katie Morrison)

PEABODY — Thanks in part to a four-goal outburst in the second period, the Medford boys hockey team took down Peabody, 9-1, at McVann-O’Keefe Memorial Rink on Wednesday evening. The Mustangs were able to dominate time of possession and shots on goal, eventually wearing down the Peabody defense.

“I thought we played well out there tonight,” said Medford coach Shawn Bates. “We had a bit of a slow start scoring-wise in the first, but had a lot of shots. Then we played a great second and third period to earn the win.”

Medford was led by Rocco Pucillo, who recorded a hat trick in the win. Jared McDonald, Brian Paone, Shawn Nestor and Joe Camara scored one goal and dished one assist each, while Gino DeSimone and Ryan Mann each scored one goal. Liam Cullinane and Tommy Connearney had two assists apiece, while Matt McCarthy, Chris Freeman, Jack Lonergan, Ryan Donahue and Ryan Ciarlone each tallied one assist.

The lone Peabody goal came from Caleb Dollin on assists from Jack McKelvey and Zack Defreitas late in the third period.  The goal was the first of Dollin’s varsity career. 

Medford came out shooting right away, although those shots didn’t translate into goals for quite some time. The Mustangs were able to draw one penalty in the first period, but they could only muster one shot and didn’t score.

The second period, however, was a different story. Starting with 13:38 left in the second, Medford netted four goals in the span of 11 minutes to blow the game wide open. The first one came from DeSimone, who slapped one home from the blue line through a bunch of traffic. Just over five minutes later, senior Pucillo made it 2-0 when he knocked home a loose puck off of a rebound. It only took three more minutes for the Mustangs to score again, this time when McDonald knocked home a one-timer. Finally, with just over two and a half minutes left in the second, Pucillo scored his second of the game to stretch the lead to 4-0.

The third period was much of the same. Starting with 10:22 to go in the period, the Mustangs put together a string of three goals in less than a minute and a half from Paone, Nestor and Pucillo to really break the game wide open. Mann added a goal to make it 8-0 with 2:30 to go before Peabody was able to get on the board with the Dollin goal. The game ended right after a shot from Camara found its way into the net with only one second left for the 9-1 final score.

The win for Medford makes it three victories in a row, but that momentum is actually in a bit of jeopardy because the Mustangs have a full week off before their next game.

“It’s a tough thing to balance, but we can only play our schedule,” Bates said of the team’s one-week layoff. “The guys will need a couple days off to recover, then we’ll skate hard for a few days before we get back onto the ice for our next game.”

The Mustangs improved their record to 6-2 with the victory and are back on the ice next Wednesday night when they visit Northeastern Conference foe Marblehead at Salem State’s Rockett Arena. The Tanners fell to 0-7 on the season and will also battle the Magicians in their next game, Saturday at Rockett Arena.

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