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December 13, 2013

The Blue Line Report: Grateful for hockey

Taking a start of the season musical journey with one of America's most beloved bands

(Continued)

DANVERS FALCONS

”The Wheel”

Won’t you try just a little bit harder?

Couldn’t you try just a little bit more?

Analysis: The Falcons said goodbye to a good chunk of their offensive production (59 of 79 goals) from a year ago, a season which ended on a magical ride to the Division 2 North title game. Success this season will come through a standard Danvers mantra — team-wide commitment to defense in from of junior goalie Alex Taylor — and cashing in on the offensive opportunities that present themselves. While there are no true snipers on the roster, captains Jay Calcagno and Matty Flynn (both bigger and stronger this winter after committing themselves to the weight room) should prove problematic for opposing defenses to move out of the goal crease. Seniors Ryan Cassidy, Alec Littlefield and converted forward Jon Milne, along with junior Stephen Ganley, can expect to see a lot of minutes on defense. Freshman Robert Tibbetts should contribute right away up front, too, while second-year senior captain Kevin Hodgkins is an invaluable leader.

PEABODY TANNERS

”Saint of Circumstance”

Well I sure don’t know what I’m going for

But I’m gonna go for it, that’s for sure.

Analysis: Only three players — current captains Derek DeMild, Andrew Bisconti and Mike Vadala — saw varsity minutes in 2010-11, the last time the Tanners made the state tournament. So to make a run at, and qualify for, the postseason dance will be an entirely new experience for coach Mark Leonard’s club. Do they have the scoring, depth and goaltending to punch their ticket? A couple of factors will determine whether or not those dreams come to fruition; namely, the Tanners need to focus first and foremost on team defense and limit opportunities that their foes have. At the other end of the ice, getting both bodies in front of the net and pucks to the net could result in some ugly, but certainly worthwhile goals. Team speed is a big plus; Peabody must use it transitioning the puck up ice and into the attacking zone, particularly along the walls and cutting towards the net.

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