SALEM — The Swampscott boys hockey team survived a last-period surge by Northeastern Conference foe Revere to hold on for a 3-2 win at Richard H. Rockett Arena Saturday afternoon.
“It wasn’t pretty,” Swampscott coach Gino Faia said. “We told the guys, ‘Revere, they never quit and they fight hard.’ We knew it would be a scrappy game. We needed these two points and we got them so we’re happy with that.”
Junior defenseman Tyler Seller scored his first varsity goal for the Big Blue. Swampscott’s first line continued to produce in key moments. Zach Elwell scored a goal and dished an assist. Drew Olivieri scored once and Conor Donovan logged one assist.
“They have 99 percent of our goals,” Faia said. “Once again they had all but one of our goals today. Those guys have great chemistry, speed, hands and vision. They feed off each other and they have been carrying the load for us.”
For Revere, Wayne Cintolo scored both goals. The Patriots ran into the offensive woes that have stymied them all season.
“That’s been our problem all year,” Revere coach Joe Ciccarello said. “We just don’t have the typical goal scorer. We lost 63 of the 75 goals we scored last year, so we’re asking kids to be front-line goal scorers who aren’t.
“When you go against a team that scores and we have to match them goal for goal, we just can’t do it. I thought we had a pretty good game plan. We stuck to it but again that game plan’s only predicated on that first line scoring.”
Swampscott got on the offensive first, but four early saves by Revere’s Tristian Goroshko (24 saves) kept the game scoreless. After a tripping call gave the Patriots a man advantage, Cintolo made a nice move to slip by a Big Blue defender for a breakaway. Swampscott’s Victor Kratik (16 saves) held strong to make the pad save.
Later in the period, Swampscott scored the first goal on a four-on-four chance. Donovan gained possession behind the Revere net and slid a nice pass to Elwell out front who found the back of the net to put the Big Blue ahead 1-0.
Just over a minute later Elwell skated to a breakaway and, after a trip, was awarded a penalty shot. The senior captain made a quick move to his forehand but Goroshko made the pad save to keep the Swampscott lead at 1-0.
An early Revere penalty in the second period put the Big Blue on the attack again. This time Seller came through, carrying the puck from his own end and ripping a short side shot that slipped by Goroshko to put Swampscott ahead 2-0.
Less than a minute later Revere had a chance to answer on a two-on-one rush. Zach Rufo slid a pass to Cintolo but Kratik slid to his right to make the save.
Two Swampscott penalties gave Revere a five-on three-chance but the Patriots failed to capitalize on another chance with only two shots that Kratik easily controlled.
The Patriots started to gain some momentum thanks to a strong penalty kill early in the third period. Gaining possession in the Big Blue zone, Rufo ripped a shot that hit the crossbar and went straight down into the crease, but Cintolo crashed the net and finished the rebound to cut the Swampscott lead to 2-1.
Revere looked like it would have a chance to tie it on an odd man rush just seconds after play resumed, but the play was broken up and the Big Blue found themselves with their own chance in transition. Elwell slid a pass to Olivieri who found the back of the net to put Swampscott ahead 3-1.
“One of our defensemen rushed the puck,” Ciccarello said of the play. “We know that’s their line, and we were trying to play very defensive against that line, but when a defenseman rushed it sent us off-kilter a little bit and nobody can get back. That’s what happens.”
The Patriots showed no quit with Cintolo adding a second goal on another rebound out front. Revere’s late surged was too little, too late. Revere came up empty with Goroshko pulled in the final minutes and Swampscott held on for the 3-2 win.
Revere (2-9-1) hosts Somerville Wednesday (5:30), while the Big Blue (4-5-2) are back on the ice Monday at Hamilton-Wenham (12).
“It’s going to be a tough battle,” Faia said of Hamilton-Wenham. “They’re a good team but we need points and we need to beat teams like that if we want to get into the (state) tournament.”