WOBURN — The Revere/Malden hockey team hoped the third time playing against Swampscott this winter would a charm.
But it was not to be.
The Big Blue’s first line of Stevie Santanello, Thomas O’Keefe and Brett Benoit tallied eight points, and provided they all the goals in a 4-2 Big Blue win.
“Their big players came up very big for them, that’s for sure,” Revere coach Joe Ciccarello said. “We had some opportunities early on, we knew we would have a tough time getting pucks by their guy (Dan Johnson), he’s one of the best on the league, and we didn’t get it done. We had a tough time against them this season (0-2-1), that’s for sure.”
The Patriots actually controlled play for long stretches in the first period, and outshot the Blue 7-4 in the first 15 minutes. However it was Swampscott that got on the board late in the first when Thomas O’Keefe banged a rebound past Revere’s Kenny Uminski with 1:46 remaining. Santanello and Dom Codispoti picked up assists on the goal.
Revere’s Ciccarello said that the first Swampscott goal certainly took a little air out of his team, coming so late in the period. The Blue’s second goal let a lot more air out of the Patriots. Benoit scored from O’Keefe and Santanello just 17 seconds into period two.
Revere cut that lead in half with a power-play goal by Wayne Cintolo, who squeezed one by Johnson’s stick side with 36 seconds gone on the man-advantage. Robert Stoica and Rick Briana picked up assists on the Revere goal.
Swampscott got a chance on a power play of their own, four minutes after the Patriots scored. It took the Blue just 25 seconds into their man up opportunity to make it 3-1 with Santanello banging in a rebound of a shot by defenseman Jack Poska. Drew Olivieri also picked up an assist, dishing the puck to Poska at the point from the right face-off circle.
With 4:13 left in the second period, Benoit buried his second goal. Once again Santanello and O’Keefe set up the senior winger.
Santanello said that his team did what it had to do to come out on top.
“We won the battles,” Santanello said. “We kept the puck away from Dan (Johnson), we played a full 45 minutes and grinded out a win.”
The Patriots (8-8-4) got a goal in the third period when Stoica picked up his second assist, setting up Mike Goroshko. Revere pulled Uminski with just under two minutes to play, but couldn’t get off a shot on net.
Swampscott (10-5-6) advances to the quarterfinal round of the Division 3 North playoffs to play top seed Lowell Sunday night in Stoneham (8). A very relieved Blue coach Gino Faia said his team will be ready.
“This is out first playoff win for our seniors, we’ve gone 0-4 in the playoffs since we made it to the Garden (2013), so this is a good feeling,” Faia said. “We know we’ve got a big task Sunday night, but right now we’re excited about this win.”