PEABODY — Sometimes schools and communities come across things that are bigger than sports, and it’s in those times where you really see the power of coming together. Revere boys hockey coach Joe Ciccarello has, unfortunately, seen that firsthand this week after his Melrose home was devastated by a fire early Sunday morning. Ciccarello, who only discovered the fire after being woken up by his dog, escaped unharmed with his wife and two teenage daughters, but the family lost everything in the fire.
In the days that followed, a GoFundMe page was set up in order to help them rebuild. As of Wednesday night, the page has raised over $57,000 in just three days. Messages and donations poured from surrounding communities and Ciccarello, who also coaches the Revere softball team, has been overwhelmed by the support.
“I can’t even speak without crying,” Ciccarello said. “I feel like the luckiest guy, I really do. We just lost things, and things can be replaced. Everyone made it out and everyone is fine. Just to see the response from communities and to be a part of two special communities, in Melrose where I live, and Revere where I work, I’m just overwhelmed everytime I think of it. The house, it’s just a house. We’ll rebuild, we’ll get new things. But to see the way two communities came out, I feel like the luckiest man on Earth.”
Through these trying times Ciccarello hopes that this will be a learning experience for his family, especially his two daughters.
“I told my wife, this opportunity allowed them to experience something that I hope will turn them into the most giving and caring people in the world,” said Ciccarello. “Knowing what they witnessed with people coming out to help us, I hope that they can treat other people that way for the rest of their lives.”
As for hockey, Ciccarello didn’t even think about missing a day of practice.
“Oh God no, I was at practice the next day,” Ciccarello said when asked if he considered taking time off. “It wasn’t even a question. You go, you show up and you keep going. They’re just things, and things can be replaced.”
Ciccarello and the Patriots took to the ice Wednesday evening in Peabody for his first game since the fire. Despite a number of penalties and overall sloppy play on both sides, Revere netted three goals in the third period en route to a 5-1 win over Peabody at James McVann/Louis O’Keefe Memorial Rink.
Wayne Cintolo led the way for Revere with one goal and two assists, while Zach Rufo had one goal and one assist. Cam Mazza, Kevin Ivany and Nick Summers each scored one goal, while Joe Papsadora, Dante Raffa and Matt Cravotta each had one assist. Goalie JT Bowridge had 32 saves in the win.
For Peabody, Nick Capillo scored the lone goal while Connor McCarron and Nathan LaPage each had one assist. Goalie Ryan Fera had 22 saves.
The game was marred by an outrageous number of penalties throughout, with 28 total penalties getting called in the game and three game misconducts being handed out. Both coaches agreed that it was simply an ugly game all around.
“It was a sloppy game, it was terrible and I was embarrassed,” Ciccarello said. “You’ve got to conduct yourselves better than that on the ice. We yelled at our guys and I’m sure Mark yelled at his guys.”
“There were just so many stupid penalties out there, penalties that could have been avoided,” said Peabody coach Mark Leonard. “But guys get caught out of position and try to make up for it with their stick, and that’s what happens.”
Things went south right out of the gate, with Peabody getting called for a penalty just 13 seconds into the game. The Tanners killed off that penalty and almost immediately got a power play of their own, cashing in with a goal from Capillo to make it 1-0 Peabody four minutes into the game. The teams went back and forth until Revere was able to even things up on its own power play when Cintolo scored on an assist from Rufo, tying the score at 1-1 after one period.
The second period only saw one goal, and it also came on the power play. This time, Cintolo found Rufo in front of the net for a quick goal to give Revere a lead that it would not give up.
Mazza, Ivany and Summers all found the back of the net in the third period to cushion Revere’s lead as the Patriots skated to the 5-1 win.
The season is now over for Peabody (1-18-1), and Leonard hopes the handful of young players he has returning will work hard to improve for next season.
“There’s no real secret to it, the guys are just going to have to work hard in the summer and get better in all phases,” Leonard said.
As for Revere (4-12-3), the season isn’t quite over yet. While the state tournament is not in their future, the Patriots hope to close out the season on a high note against Beverly Friday (4:30).
“We’re going to come out and try to play clean hockey and get a win to close out the season,” said Ciccarello. “We’ve been struggling to score goals this season, so hopefully scoring five tonight will give us some momentum going into that last game.”