SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

February 12, 2014

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

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Tom Koopman became the 15th player in Marblehead hockey history to score 100 career points with a goal last Saturday night vs. Swampscott. He joins such Header luminaries as Don ‘Toot’ Cahoon (174 career points), Tom Colby (128), Kyle Reny (117), Trevor Price (115), Phil Legro (112), former teammate Ryan Dempsey (110), Rick Ledbury (108), Scott Garfield (105), his head coach, Bob Jackson (104), Chris McLeod (104), Todd Clifford (101) and Ryan Fader (101).

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Danvers, which hosts Marblehead tonight on Senior Night at Salem State (5 p.m.), will be playing an actual game for the first time in 11 days. The Falcons (7-8-1) used their time off to not only get some much-needed practice in, but to also devote time to specialized parts of the game they don’t always get to work on such as their power play, penalty killing, breakouts and various forechecks.

”It’s been nice to work on some things we don’t normally have a lot of time for,” said head coach Kevin Brown. “I’m hoping we can work off the positives we’ve shown during practices into (tonight’s) game.”

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Speaking of Danvers, Falcons defenseman Erik D’Orlando will be tickling the ivories this Sunday at The Maplestreet Tavern in Danvers from 7-10 p.m. His band members will also come up and perform with him. The Maplestreet Tavern will donate 10 percent of all food purchases from now until Sunday to the Danvers Hockey Boosters, as well as 10 percent of all beer and wine sales the night of the event.

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Staring at a 5-8-1 record and needing nine points in its last six games to earn a postseason bid for the 13th straight year, St. John’s Prep looked to be on the outside looking in a week ago. But back-to-back victories over potential Super 8 teams in Austin Prep (2-0) and Arlington Catholic (3-2) have the Eagles, well, soaring heading into another big stretch in the coming days: home contests vs. St. John’s of Shrewsbury (9-4-4) tonight and Springfield Cathedral (12-2-4) Saturday, both at home, followed by another home date Monday against Winchester (9-3-5).

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