SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

March 22, 2013

The Blue Line Report: A Season To Celebrate

At 112 days — from the first official day of practice the Monday after Thanksgiving until championship Sunday at the Boston Garden in mid-March — there is no high school season longer than hockey season.

(For the record, that beats basketball by one day and the high school football season by eight).

That gives North Shore puckheads more than three-and-a-half months to watch, study, analyze, talk about and dissect their favorite winter sport.

A lot can — and most certainly did — happen during that time frame.

So while the uniforms have been turned in, the skate guards put on for good and the hockey bag (hopefully) being aired out for a while, it’s time to take one final journalistic lap around the rink and take a look back at the magical season that was 2012-13.

STACEY’S SUPER SIX

(a.k.a.. The Salem News Dream Team)

F — Andrew Irving, Beverly: Let’s not mince words: he’s one of the best four-year players in Beverly High history. Strong on his skates, speedy and possessing the requisite bit of on-ice snarl, Irving could skate by opponents as if they were pylons and had one of the hardest shots in the area. He’s going to make some prep school very happy next winter.

F — Brian Pinho, St. John’s Prep: Immense talent was part of three Prep teams that reached at least the Super 8 semifinals. Terrific going right-to-left (or vice versa) behind the net and either generating scoring chances for himself or his linemates. A true difference maker; he’ll head to a year of junior hockey before playing on scholarship at Providence College.

F — Connor Irving, Beverly: Great hands and on-ice vision made him dangerous any time his number was called. Could stickhandle in a phone booth and proved to be masterful scoring while shorthanded by anticipating plays. Arguably the best neutral zone forward on the North Shore in terms of winning 50/50 pucks and generating scoring chances.

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