, Salem, MA


February 12, 2014

The Blue Line Report: Playoff performance will ultimately determine Panthers' legacy


Now that’s a team rich in history and with a legacy that can’t be questioned.

Do these Panthers have the same — or better — story to ultimately tell?

Whether or not they finish unbeaten in the regular season isn’t important; sure, it’d be nice, but it ultimately doesn’t decide state championships.

How they fare in the playoffs will.


Can’t remember the last time — if ever — a freshman defenseman potted three goals in one game, but that’s exactly what Bishop Fenwick’s Greg McGunigle did over the weekend. The Melrose resident had all three of Fenwick’s goals in a loss to Lowell Catholic, scoring once in the first period and twice more in the middle stanza.


Speaking of hat tricks, this might be the first year since Moses wore short pants that no local skater will have multiple 3-goal games during the regular season. All told, 15 players have turned the trick this winter (Derek DeMild and Reed Foster of Peabody; Danny Heck, Tarik Shahin and Ben Kippen of Salem; Matt Flynn of Danvers; Graham Doherty and Connor Irving of Beverly; Mike Castro of Masconomet; Tom Koopman and Erik Powers of Marblehead; Ryan Cresta, Ryan Donnelly and Mike Johnson of Swamspcott; and McGunigle), but nobody has done so more than once.


Bet you didn’t know that Marblehead has outscored its seven non-NEC North foes by a ridiculous 46-3 margin. They still have three more such contests: Saturday at Nantucket (a team they’ve already hammered, 10-0), Monday against Amesbury in the first round of the Newburyport Bank Tournament; then either Bishop Fenwick (whom they’ve beaten this season, 3-0) or Masconomet in the tournament consolation or championship game two nights later.

Technically, Marblehead is 8-1 in its non-league games; they defeated Gloucester and lost to Beverly in the Cape Ann Savings Bank Tournament, both of which were consdered out of conference tilts.

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