SALEM — Behind a stellar offensive effort Wednesday night, the Marblehead boys hockey team kept its perfect record intact with an 8-0 win over Northeastern Conference foe Beverly at Richard H. Rockett Arena. The Magicians had a particularly strong game on special teams, as they scored three power play goals and one shorthanded goal while also blanking Beverly in its five power play opportunities.
“We work on special teams almost every day at practice, so it’s good to see a performance like that out there,” said Marblehead coach Chris Wells. “On the other side of things, the amount of penalties we’ve been racking up is a bit concerning going forward. Luckily our penalty kill is solid and we have a good goalie, but we have to clean that up if we’re going to compete with the better power play units we’ll see.”
Senior captain Jacob Garfield led the way for Marblehead with two goals and one assist. Sophomore assistant captain Will Shull added two goals, while senior Brendan Locke and junior Loch Sheridan each had one goal and one assist. Freshmen Eli Feingold and Hayden Leveroni each scored one goal, senior assistant captain Paul Heffernan had three assists. Juniors Colin Hart and Zach Piersol and freshman Charlie McGurrin each had two assists, while senior Tom Woodfin had one assist.
“At the beginning of the year, we wanted to make sure that guys knew where to go with the puck before they even got the puck,” Wells said. “And I’ve watched all year as we’ve progressed in that area. We’re starting to move the puck a lot better on all of our lines lately.”
Marblehead junior goalie Peter Santeusanio also had a strong night, notching 13 saves in the shutout win.
“Peter’s our rock out there,” Wells said. “That was one thing everyone told me at the beginning of the year, that we didn’t have to worry about our goalie. And that’s turned out to be true.”
Marblehead jumped out early, as the Magicians drew first blood less than three minutes into the game. After sending a few pucks toward the net, a shot by Hart was deflected out to a wide-open Garfield, who was waiting in the left circle. With a quick flick of the stick, Marblehead took a 1-0 lead. The score remained there after one period.
The second period is where the Magicians pulled away. It started when Marblehead earned a power play chance less than two minutes into the frame and Shull was able to score his first of the game. Less than two minutes later, Garfield scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway to make it 3-0. Just over a minute went by before the Magicians earned another breakaway goal, this one from Feingold to take a four-goal lead. Leveroni scored just one minute after that, putting a cap on a run of four goals in five minutes for the Magicians. Locke added a power play goal with just 0.1 seconds left in the period to make it 6-0.
Goals from Sheridan and Shull in the third period cemented Marblehead’s big win.
Now at 7-0-0 on the year, the Magicians have already surpassed their win total from last season. Wells, in his first year at the helm, knew this kind of play was in the team all along.
“I wasn’t around last year, but when we stepped on the ice at the beginning of the year and I saw the talent that we had, I said there’s no way this team only won five games last year,” said Wells. “I think the guys took it upon themselves to work hard all summer and get better, and from day one the effort has been tremendous.”
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Marblehead, as a road matchup with NEC foe Winthrop is on deck for Saturday (3) at Larsen Arena.
“Looking ahead at this month, it’s going to be a grind,” said Wells. “We’ve still got to find ways to improve in certain areas, but the guys are out there fighting every minute and that’s great to see.”