SALEM — The post season wasn’t a part of the progress made by the Salem High hockey team this season.
But that didn’t stop the Witches from playing last night’s regular season finale against Lowell like it was a playoff bout.
Salem jumped out to an early one goal lead but couldn’t hold on against the Red Raiders in a 3-1 loss on senior night. Considering Lowell has just one game left and holds a 13-2-4 record it was quite an effort by the 5-12-3 Witches.
“We were telling anybody that would hear us this is our tournament game,” said Salem head coach Ted Hanley. “So when we went up 1-0 it was like, this is it, we are going to win this thing. The kids were pumped. Even when they (Lowell) tied it we still kept coming and kept coming. The thing I’ve coached the most is never give up. They never gave up all season didn’t give up tonight.”
Seniors Spencer Bergholz, Jake Batista and Anthony Maurais were honored before the game and each had a photo opportunity with their respective families on the ice. Behind them on the bench was Hanley, furiously employing the crowd to cheer his boys on further.
Senior Matt Andre wasn’t in attendance for the game but was honored in a previous contest.
That up-beat attitude the Witches have displayed all season is big reason why the team registered 13 points — 11 more than they had last season.
But it’s only the first step. After all it was only Hanley’s first year at the helm. The goal next year is to get even better.
“I had some goals as we went forward. I was hoping we could obtain them and we did. I wanted to see if we could get 10 points (this season) and start there.,” said Hanley. “But getting 13 right off the bat, now I’m thinking next year if we get a couple of those ties (into wins) we can put up even more points. We are looking forward to some good things. We’re a young team with our goalie coming back. I’m pumped, they’re pumped.”