SALEM – Opening night was satisfactory in that it got the desired two points. But it was the second act of the Beverly High hockey season on Saturday afternoon that garnered rave reviews.
Playing again just 15 hours after they opened the season the previous night, the Panthers flexed their collective muscles in a dominant second period by scoring six times to hammer Peabody, 6-0, at the Richard H. Rockett Arena.
Senior right wing J.J. Bachini tallied twice and linemate Connor Irving dished out three assists while junior Tim Biarelli stopped 18 shots for the shutout.
“We preach spreading out and getting open for a good outlet pass,” said the 17-year-old Bachini, one of five Panther goal scorers on the day. “Using our speed plays a big part in that.”
Showing the effects of playing its season opener just 15 hours beforehand, Beverly started off slowly Saturday and put just three shots on Peabody goaltender Stephen Ferrante in the game’s first 11 minutes before peppering him with 13 over the final four before intermission.
It proved to be a sign of things to come.
“Things turned quickly,” admitted Beverly head coach Bobby Gilligan, who had reminded his team beforehand that it was Peabody who ended his team’s 18-game unbeaten streak a year ago, capturing the Carlin Cup in the process. “We really started forechecking them and they shut down. They couldn’t get anything going.”
Irving won the faceoff to begin the second period and slid the puck to junior defenseman Nick Albano, who carried it over the blue line and blasted a rocket past Ferrante just 10 seconds in for a quick 1-0 lead.
Less than six minutes later it was another blueliner, senior Jack Morency, who doubled the BHS lead. Warding off a defender with one arm, he took the puck into the slot and beat Ferrante with a wrist shot in the top corner.