SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

January 2, 2013

The Blue Line Report: Peabody facing big game tonight

(Continued)

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Having been shut out in each of its last two games, Masconomet (1-4-1) is thirsting for a way to score goals and get back into the win column. Tonight may be as good an opportunity as any as the Chieftains host 0-4-1 Lynnfield.

While Masconomet has struggled to score goals — they’ve been blanked three times in a half-dozen games and have only eight goals on the season — Lynnfield has really struggled on offense, with just one goal in five games. Both teams have allowed 17 goals, so something has to give tonight.

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Anyone else notice how many shutouts have already been recorded by local goaltenders?

In 42 games played thus far involving at least one Salem News-area MIAA team, a staggering 10 have already been pitched. More impressively, it’s been nine different netminders who have turned them in.

Harrison Young of Marblehead is the only keeper with two thus far; he blanked Revere on Dec. 19, then did the same thing to Bishop Stang 10 days later. The sophomore has won all three of his starts with a stellar 0.67 goals-against average and splendid .962 save percentage.

Two sophomores from Danvers, Alex Taylor and Jay Joyce, each have shutouts over the same team (Lynnfield). Peabody High captain Joe Powers, like the aforementioned Joyce, has a scoreless tie to his credit (vs. Winthrop). Bishop Fenwick’s Pat O’Leary, Swampscott’s Tristan Bradley, Salem’s Brett Harring (shared with his crease mate, Grant Thompson) and two backstops from Beverly, Tim Biarelli and Bryce Mitchell have also gone the all-zero route in a game this winter.

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Unbeaten Beverly has scored almost as many shorthanded goals (4) as power play tallies (5) just five games into the season. Senior captain Andrew Irving — who’s on pace for a ho-hum regular season of 80 points — has three of those shorties and one power play strike; junior cousin and fellow captain Connor Irving has the other man-down tally and has also connected with the man advantage. Center Graham Doherty has potted a pair of markers while his team skates 5-on-4; junior defenseman Matt Hamor, yet another captain, has the other.

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