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Sports

February 26, 2014

Headers blanks Haverhill with staunch defense, timely scoring

NORTH BILLERICA — They sent Hillie Nation home to an early vacation.

Power play goals from brothers Tom and Matt Koopman and a 14-save shutout from goaltender Harrison Young helped propel the Marblehead High hockey team to a resounding 4-0 victory over Haverhill in the first round of the Division 2 North state hockey tournament.

“We definitely had some first period jitters, but once we settled down and started playing the way we can everything was fine,” senior defenseman Trevor Gelineau, who assisted on both of his team’s third period goals, said. “We realized that if we didn’t pick it up, it was going to be a short postseason. None of us wanted that.”

Haverhill, the No. 10 seed who was playing its first playoff hockey game in seven seasons, had some sustained pressure in the first period but never really got anything close to resembling a good scoring chance against Young.

The Hillies (9-10-2) had their wingers frustrated time after time by the Marblehead forwards, who refused them entry into the offensive zone. The end result was that only 14 shots found their way to Young, who stopped them all for his third shutout of the season (and his team’s seventh).

“It definitely helped that I saw a few shots early on,” said the 18-year-old Young, who alternates starting in goal with fellow senior Miles Barry. He knew as early as Sunday afternoon that he’d be starting last night’s game. “Once we got into our rhythm, though, I hardly saw any. The guys did a great job in front of me, especially the defense clearing guys from the front of the net.”

Marblehead (17-5-1), which outshot Haverhill 27-14, advances to Friday’s quarterfinals at Stoneham Arena against second-seeded North Reading (16-2-2) at 5 p.m.

Tom Koopman, a senior left wing, gave the Headers a 1-0 lead with a power play strike at 6:22 of the first. Stationed in front of the Haverhill net, he picked up a rebound of fellow captain Liam Gillis’ shot from the point and backhanded the puck past goalie Mike Gleason for his 16th goal of the season. Freshman winger Braden Haley also picked up a helper on the play.

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