BEVERLY — The Marblehead boys hockey team took advantage of two power play opportunities and continued its hot start to the season with a 2-1 win over Danvers Saturday afternoon at Raymond J. Bourque Arena.
Along with the power plays, the penalty kill unit also came through for the Magicians killing five of the six penalties faced.
“All season the guys have done a pretty good job on the penalty kill,” Marblehead coach Chris Wells said. “I have my four senior defensemen out there so it speaks to the experience back there. They just played smart, got the puck down the ice, and kept everything outside.”
Goalkeeper Peter Santeusanio also had an impressive day, finishing with 22 saves.
“It’s nice to have a goalie like Peter out there you can rely on,” Wells said. “He stepped up big in this game. You look at him and he’s not very big but position wise he’s there.
“I thought he actually saw shots tonight that I don’t know how he saw because there was a lot of traffic out front,” Wells added. “I was pretty impressed with that, just probably one of those nights where he was seeing the puck very well. He looked comfortable all game.”
The missed power play chances came back to hurt a Danvers team that has struggled to produce offense this season.
“We have been struggling to score goals all year,” Danvers coach Steve Baldassare said. “That’s four goals in three games for us so far. Regardless of whether it’s five-on-five or five-on-four, whatever it is we are just struggling.
“Overall we played really well,” Baldassare added. “We played a really good hockey game there, had a lot of pressure and we just weren’t burying pucks and finishing.”
Despite being on the defensive with four penalties to kill in the first, Marblehead saw one of the game’s best chances on a breakaway midway through the period. Loch Sheridan broke away from the Falcons defense but Danvers goalkeeper Adam Bridgeo (21 saves) made the pad save.
After killing a Danvers man advantage to start the second period, the Magicians were able to capitalize on their own man advantage. Colin Hart broke the tie, finishing a rebound out front to put Marblehead ahead 1-0 with 12:33 remaining in the second period.
Towards the end of the second period the Falcons saw themselves with another opportunity after a tripping call against the Magicians. This time they finished with Calvin Mansfield crashing the net and beating Santeusanio with a wrist shot to tie the game at 1-1.
The tie didn’t last long however, when just over a minute later a shot by Paul Heffernan deflected off Jacob Garfield and into the net to give the Magicians a 2-1 lead.
From there it was all defense from both sides. Marblehead killed off another penalty at the start of the period and kept the pressure on Danvers. The Falcons pulled Bridgeo with one minute remaining but fell short of a game-tying goal.
“I think we are moving the puck very well,” Baldassare said. “I like the way we played today. We had consistent pressure all game long it’s just that last final bury is what we are struggling to do. We will keep working on and improving on that.”
The win continues a hot start to the season for Marblehead, as the Magicians remain undefeated at 4-0.
“I’m new to this,” Wells, in his first season coaching the team, said. “I told the guys yesterday I’m approaching each game at a time, and it’s such a short season when you look at it. Every game has a playoff feel to it. I tell them to throw it towards the net and you never know what’s going to happen.
“This is probably bigger for these guys than me because Danvers took it to them a couple times last year,” Wells added. “I think confidence wise, winning these tight games, which they did not do last year, is big for them.”
Marblehead will be back on the ice in the Gloucester Christmas Tournament Wednesday (8) against Westfield. Danvers (1-1-1) hosts Triton Saturday.