SALEM- When judging ties in hockey, it usually comes down to perspective.
The Swampscott High hockey team couldn’t have been happy surrendering a three-goal lead in Saturday’s 4-4 tie against Salem considering the Witches were playing with senior defenseman Mike Rosengren between the pipes, while all-star netminder Brett Harring sidelined with an early season injury.
Salem meanwhile was on cloud nine after the game.
“For the boys right now, it’s like winning the championship,” said Witches (0-2-1) head coach Ted Hanley, who admitted sometimes his players think he’s a little crazy emphasizing superior conditioning and a relentless fore check.
“We’re a dump and dig team. We have to be in great shape and out-skate everyone every second of every game. What we preach is starting to work. Now they’re saying there’s a method to his madness.”
Nothing seemed to be working early Saturday against the Big Blue as Swampscott freshman Ryan Donnelly totally dominated the ice in the opening frame. He broke the scoring open when he fired a shot from the top of the circle that beat Rosengren and then added his second tally shortly thereafter on a shorthanded one-timer in the slot off a nice feed from Mike Johnson from behind the net.
Swampscott would make it 3-0 minutes later on a clever wrap-around goal by Steve Dandreo forcing Hanley to call a time out.
The Witches quickly turned things around by getting pucks deep into the Big Blue end and then forcing turnovers on the forecheck. Salem was aided by a power-play goal from Matt Jalbert, who fired a shot from right outside the blue line that seemed to catch Swampscott (0-1-1) goalie Trent Gallagher off guard.
Then, before the end of the period, Derek Zwiercan forced a turnover along the boards to the left of Gallagher before sniping a goal top shelf with just over 50 seconds left.