, Salem, MA


March 18, 2013

Phil Stacey column: Bigger win for Swampscott may be the lasting legacy this team leaves behind


But it’s never been much of a hockey school.

Until now.

A 10-1 pounding of St. Joseph’s to end its long postseason drought got the good vibes flowing for Swampscott. It then shocked the local hockey world by defeating arch rival Marblehead, 4-1, in the Division 3 North semifinals, a team that had routed the Big Blue twice during the regular season.

The good times kept rolling when the Big Blue came back from a goal down to score twice in the final three minutes, including the game-winner from junior center Nunzio Morretti with 6.2 seconds to play, in a 3-2 victory over Bedford to clinch their first Division 3 North title. And in the state semifinals against Medway, Swampscott scored three times in the third period, then got an overtime goal from freshman Noah Maercklein to earn its third straight comeback win, a scintillating 4-3 triumph to reach the state final.

Carmody's ridiculous end-to-end rush that resulted in the go-ahead goal in the third period against Medway has made him a YouTube sensation; as of yesterday the clip had over 40,000 views. That’s something that’s never happened to anyone associated with the Big Blue hockey program.

”I remember my senior year, we were the first team to go to the state tournament in 14 years and we had a big following,” said Big Blue hockey alumnus — and current head coach — Gino Faia. “But it was nothing like this.”

Swampscott had its best season, record-wise (19-6), in school history. It won its first title (North sectional) and a record four playoff games, in addition to skating on the Garden ice.

”I did it once when I was a Pee Wee, but this was so different,” senior left wing Robert Serino, who had the Swampscott goal in the third period, said. “The environment was so much better. The town was all behind us.”

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