SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

March 11, 2014

On Hockey: Dominant win means a Garden party is in store for Beverly this Sunday

(Continued)

The Panthers’ third senior blueliner, Jack Morency, delivered three big bodychecks, including an ol’ fashioned hip check on the Redmen’s Mark Gorman along the half-wall in his own end. “Something extra for me to use,” Morency mused.

Backup goaltender Bryce Mitchell has made his teammates better all year by constantly challenging them in practice and was rewarded by playing the final 9:59, making three saves.

Ross Wahl, Clinton Cabral, Hunter Spencer, Tyler Cloutman, Sean Hanlon and Chris McKenna fit into the same category and got plenty of well-earned third period action.

Saturday afternoon, March 5, 1977. That’s the last time Beverly played at the old Boston Garden, falling to Matignon in the Division 1 state semifinals.

Sunday, they’ll make their long-awaited return, 37 years since their last visit. It’s a new building and a different division that they’re playing in, but I wouldn’t be surprised if half the city shows up on Causeway Street in Boston to see the Panthers chase that ever-elusive state hockey title.

“It’s awesome,” said Birarelli, flashing a big smile. “I’m just glad we can still go to practice (today) and know we have one more game left. I hope it’s a great one.”

Bring on Medfield.

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Phil Stacey is the sports editor of The Salem News. Contact him at pstacey@salemnews.com or 978-338-2650, and follow him on Twitter @PhilStacey_SN.

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