Marblehead defeats Swampscott in NEC clash

Swampscott's Drew Olivieri keeps his eyes locked on the puck as he's taken down by Marblehead's Thomas Woodfin. (Item Photo by Spenser R. Hasak)

SALEM — The Marblehead boys hockey team eked out a 3-2 win over Northeastern Conference rival Swampscott on senior day at Salem State’s Richard H. Rockett Arena Saturday.

Will Shull led the way for the Magicians with two goals. Collin Hart netted the game-winner in the third period, deflecting a shot from defenseman Brendan Locke.

“I told the guys going into the game, it being a rivalry game, that you can throw the records out the window,” Marblehead coach Chris Wells said. “It always seems to come down to a one or two-goal game. I told them I thought we were controlling a majority of the game we just had to keep plugging away. Really in the third period I was harping on defensemen getting shots on net. It was kind of fitting how the goal came from a defensemen getting a shot on net.”

For the Big Blue, Zach Elwell and Conor Donovan each scored one goal. Drew Olivieri dished two assists.

“They are a great Division 2 team,” Swampscott coach Gino Faia said. “We’re not going to see any teams better than that I don’t think in the Division 3 tournament. It was a good tune up for us to get ready. Our games against Marblehead are always tough games. They’re a physical team and fast. The guys fought hard. I was happy the way we stuck around and stuck with it. Their goalie made some big saves.”

After killing a Swampscott penalty Marblehead got off to a fast start. A loose puck was deflected up into the air and landed in the crease where Shull was able to finish the play for an unassisted goal to put the Magicians ahead 1-0 less than three minutes in.

A minute and a half later the Big Blue got another power play chance and capitalized. Olivieri made a nice play behind the net and dished a pass to Elwell in the slot who ripped a shot to tie the game at 1-1.

Midway through the first Shull jumped off the bench after a shift change and immediately grabbed a loose puck heading into the Swampscott zone. The sophomore ripped a shot from the top of the circle that found the back of the net and gave the Magicians a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.

A minute into the second period Olivieri made another nice play behind the net. The junior forward dished a backhand pass to Donovan who found the back of the net to even the game at 2-2.

Swampscott had another chance later in the period on a breakaway, but a trailing defender made it hard for Olivieri to get a good shot off and Magicians goalie Peter Santeusanio (18 saves) made the save.

Marblehead brought pressure right from the start of the third period, but a pair of sprawling saves from Victor Kratik (30 saves) kept the game even.

With 10:49 to go the Magicians finally got the bounce they needed. Brendan Locke ripped a shot from the point and Hart redirected the wrist shot to the left to find the back of the net and put Marblehead ahead 3-2.

Swampscott had one final chance on a power play with three minutes left, but the Magicians came through and Santeusanio made three saves in the final stretch to close out the game.

“We just held on down the stretch,” Wells said. “They had a couple good chances but (Santeusanio) made a couple good saves late. He always comes through for us. It’s nice for the seniors to get a win on senior day.”

The Magicians (13-3-3) have a quick turnaround with a game on the road against Bishop Feehan Monday (1) while Swampscott (8-7-3) hopes to finish the season on the right foot against Dracut/Tyngsboro Wednesday (4:40).

“We were hoping for this,” Faia said. “It started the other night with that Saugus game (a 3-2 win) that was like a tournament game for us in an elimination game. Then we had Marblehead tonight and finish with a tough Dracut/Tyngsboro team on Wednesday. Hopefully that gets us geared up for the tournament.”


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