SAUGUS – The Peabody hockey team gave coach Mark Leonard one of the best Christmas presents he could wish for, an impressive 6-0 victory over cross-town rival Bishop Fenwick in the opening game of the Kasabuski Christmas Tourney.
The Tanners came into the game with a disappointing 0-3 record, and before the game Leonard said it was a “must win” situation. After a scoreless first period, Peabody exploded for four goals in the middle period and set the tone the rest of the way.
“I thought we played okay in the first period, but we were sitting back a little waiting for things to happen,” said Leonard. “Both teams took a while to get used to the early start (10 a.m.), but we needed something like that second period.
“We came in with an 0-3 record, but we were not playing like a team that hadn’t won a game. You can only stay positive for so long so we needed a win like this. Hopefully, this will carry over.”
Reed Foster put the Tanners on the board with just twenty six seconds gone in the middle period with defenseman Donny Shaw assisting. Andrew Bisconti made it 2-0 five minutes later after some nice puck movement by linemates Ryan Carney and Bobby Caproni.
Peabody had five different goal scorers with the first line of Derek DeMild, Mike Vadala, and Foster accounting for four and the second line chipping in with a pair.
“We got good production from a lot of different people which is nice to see,” said Leonard. “Our first line set the pace, and our second line was tremendous. They’ve got a lot of speed and took advantage of it to create lots of pressure. We were able to get pucks deep and not try to over-handle.”
Peabody came out flying in that middle period and kept the pressure on for the entire 15 minutes, outshooting the Crusaders by a 22-6 margin. Carney was set up by Caproni and Bisconti to make it 3-0, and before the period ended DeMild’s goal made it 4-0 heading into the third period. Goal scoring had been a problem for the Tanners in the first three games, but the drought ended.