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LYNN — The Marblehead boys hockey team put plenty of pressure on the Danvers defense throughout Friday’s game, but in the end it was Danvers that was able to take advantage of its opportunities to hand the Magicians a 4-1 loss in a Northeastern Conference battle at Connery Rink. The game was tied 1-1 in the third period before Danvers scored twice in the final seven minutes of the game to take home the win.
“It was just one of those games where we had chances but couldn’t find the back of the net,” said Marblehead coach Chris Wells. “We didn’t come out with as much enthusiasm as I would’ve wanted, but we righted the ship and played well in the second period. Unfortunately, a couple of mistakes in the third cost us the game.”
Will Shull scored the lone goal in the loss for Marblehead, while JT Monahan had one assist.
The game was tight from the beginning, with the two NEC foes battling to a scoreless tie through the first 12-plus minutes of play. But after getting a chance on the powerplay, Danvers cashed in with a goal from Tyler Robinson to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The second period was largely scoreless as well, but Marblehead controlled the pace. The Magicians fired 14 shots on goal in the frame, constantly pressuring the Danvers defense. Eventually, Marblehead broke through when Shull knocked home a loose puck in front of the net after a JT Monahan shot from the blue line to tie the score at 1-1 with just 36 seconds to go in the second.
The third period was a stalemate until the final seven minutes. While Marblehead had plenty of momentum and was continuing to put pressure on Danvers in the offensive zone, the Magicians’ aggressiveness eventually backfired. On two separate occasions in the final seven minutes, Danvers took advantage of the Marblehead aggression and got odd-man rushes going the other way. The Falcons cashed in both times, getting goals from Robinson and Brian Taylor to jump ahead 3-1.
“We had chances during that stretch but we just couldn’t get a stick on any rebounds,” said Wells. “If we score there, maybe we change the momentum a bit. But I’ve got to give credit to Danvers, they were fired up the whole game and they pushed hard to win that game in the third. They just took advantage of our mistakes.”
Robinson added an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game to complete his hat trick and give Danvers the win.
Marblehead (8-3-1) plays its final game of the season on the road at Masconomet Saturday night (7:30). The game could very well decide the Northeastern Conference North Division title, as the two teams are in a three-way tie with Winthrop for first place with 17 points each.
“I think the key for us is to just go out and win and let the chips fall where they may,” said Wells. “The guys definitely want the league title and it’s always good to end the season with a win, but we know we’re going to have to work for it against a tough team.”