, Salem, MA


February 19, 2014

The Blue Line Report: Desperation mode in Danvers: Falcons, Eagles both fighting for their playoff lives


This is critical for Danvers, which could ‘lose’ today’s game in a shootout, but still get a much needed point. They’d then have to defeat Saugus in regulation to finish 9-9-2 and earn 20 points for the season. Same holds true if they were to defeat North Andover today, but lose in a shootout to Lincoln-Sudbury Friday.

Captains Matt Flynn, Jay Calcagno and center Kevin Hodgkins have accounted for 19 of the Falcons’ 41 goals; skating together on the top line, they’ll need to keep producing offensively as they have of late (scoring 8 of the team’s last 10 goals and 9 of their last dozen). Seniors Ryan Cassidy and Alec Littlefield, in addition to junior Stephen Ganley, will feel the ice is their second home with all the minutes they’ll be getting tonight, while workhorse Alex Taylor, a junior who has tended goal for all but four of team’s 855 minutes this season, must come up with some big-time performances.

Travelling from the Danvers High campus on Cabot Road across town to the sprawling expanse that is St. John’s Prep on Spring Street, things are a bit more cut and dried for the Eagles. With a 7-9-2 record, the Prep must win its final two games.

Friday’s game shouldn’t be a problem; they play at Wakefield (1-16-2), a team that hasn’t tasted victory since the day after Christmas when it beat Saugus, 3-0. Game No. 19, however, will be much more problematic for St. John’s as it hosts Winchester (10-4-5) tonight at the Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington at 8 p.m.

There are similar opponents between the Eagles and Sachems; both have beaten Woburn and been defeated by Malden Catholic and Central Catholic. One foe that they split: St. John’s went on the road and knocked off Hingham in the second game of the season, while Winchester lost at home to the Harbormen in early January.

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