Sensing this, Marblehead pounced at every opportunity. The Headers put 35 shots on freshman netminder Tristan Bradley (who kept the game close with a number of terrific saves, particularly pad stops), scored on two of three power play chances and continually cycled the puck into the Swampscott zone while keeping their opponents hemmed in from the center ice red line on back.
“We switched the power play up 3 or 4 games back to more of an umbrella where we crash off of it, set up down below and get shots to the net. I think we’ve converted 5 of our last 7 chances,” said Tom Koopman, whose 15 goals are second on the team. “That really all starts from the guys who are drawing the penalties; (fourth liner) Joe Newall did that perfectly tonight to help get us a goal.
“Physically, we know we (Koopman along with fellow first liners Ian Maag and Ty Bates) have to set the tempo. We might not be the smoothest skating line around, but we know how to set the tempo and get shots on net.”
Tom Koopman put back a rebound of a Maag shot from the right point for a power play goal, giving Marblehead a 1-0 lead after 15 minutes. Fourth liner Tim Kalinowski, a freshman, doubled his team’s lead with a laser from inside the left circle, and Matt Koopman’s seventh goal of the season, off another rebound, made it 3-0 just 92 seconds later. Marblehead then killed off a 5-on-3 Swampscott power play to take further momentum.
Liam Gillis’ shot from the left point was tipped home by Tom Koopman for his second power play strike of the night with six minutes to play, and Aaron DeAngelo finished things off for the Red-and-Black two minutes later.
“We’ve really worked a lot on our defensive coverage as a team, with everyone getting back and helping out,” said Marblehead head coach Bob Jackson. “We wanted to treat this like a state tournament game, holding them to one goal or less while scoring four or more. We were able to achieve both.”