Having won the East Boston Deep Freeze Tournament the last seven seasons, Swampscott will look to do it again beginning tomorrow against St. Joseph Prep at the Porazzo Memorial Rink in East Boston (8 p.m.). Depending on how they fare, the Big Blue will meet either O’Bryant or East Boston the following night at either 6 or 8 p.m.
Also tomorrow, Salem heads into the four-team Lynn Christmas Tournament at the Connery Rink in Lynn. The Witches will meet the host Lynn Jets at 8:30 p.m., following the Northeast Regional vs. Everett tilt at 6:30 p.m. The consolation and championship games will be played Friday night at the same times.
Coaches are forever preaching to their players to go hard on every shift, to keep getting after it until you hear the whistle or the horn that signals the end of a period.
Swampscott freshman Noah Maercklein obviously has taken that message to heart.
When a Marblehead defender failed to chip the puck out of his own zone in the final seconds of the first period last Saturday, Maercklein and the Big Blue took advantage. Joe Silva got the puck over to Ryan Cresta, who fed Maercklein in the slot as time was winding down. The ninth-grader let go a high wrist shot from inside the circle that snuck just over the shoulder of Header goaltender Myles Barry with 2/10ths of a second remaining in the period.
His first varsity goal was a huge momentum boost for Swampscott, which sliced their deficit in half and came out of the second period pelting the Headers with shots. Marblehead eventually withstood that frenzy, however, and scored three goals of their own in the middle period en route to a 6-3 win.
Moral of the story, however: keep going hard. Always, always, always keep going hard until you hear that whistle or horn.