SALEM — The Marblehead High hockey team is learning how to finish: their checks, their scoring opportunities — and their opponents.
The Headers finished all three last night at Rockett Arena, scoring three times in the third period to take out Danvers, 4-1. In the process, Marblehead (8-2) won its fifth straight and avenged an opening night loss to the Falcons in which they gave up four third period goals.
The Black-and-Red were determined not to allow the Falcons (6-3-2) to take command in the final stanza again. Joe Newall, Trip Franzese and Tom Koopman all found the net in the final 11:47 to send Marblehead to victory.
“We felt like we got lazy in that first game,” said Marblehead coach Bob Jackson. “Defensively, we wanted to measure where we were a month ago to where we are today — and we did a good job.”
With the game tied 1-1 heading into the third, Danvers had the better of the scoring chances early in the period. Header goalie Harrison Young stopped four shots in the early going, including point-blank bids by Adam Merry and Rob Buchanan.
Marblehead then seized control for good when senior Newall buried a slick centering feed from Franzese with 11:47 to go. Danvers couldn’t shake off heavy checks from the Headers big bodies and didn’t generate many scoring opportunities the rest of the way.
“We didn’t play well. We came out ready for the third but it dropped off,” said Danvers coach Kevin Brown. “We have to find a way to fight through those things.”
The Falcons were forced to play without senior captain and their leading goal scorer, captain Joe Strangie, who left early in first period with what Brown called an upper body injury. Strangie is day-to-day and with the Falcons off until Monday and playing just two games in the next 10 days, the hope is he won’t miss much time.