SALEM — For the first time since 1990, the Beverly High hockey team can call themselves champions of the Northeastern Conference.
The unbeaten Panthers got a hat trick from junior right wing Jake Straw and turned in the team’s eighth shutout in 16 games this winter in an 8-0 pasting of Gloucester Saturday at the Rockett Arena.
The league championship is Beverly’s fifth in the NEC, joining those won in 1974, 1977, 1989 and 1990.
Junior center Graham Doherty added two goals and an assist while Ryan Lally, Clinton Cabral and captain Tom Lingren also scored for the Panthers (15-0-1), who are unbeaten in their last 25 regular season games. Jack Morency added a career-high three assists while fellow defensemen Sean Munzing and Nick Albano, as well as junior center Connor Irving, each had two assists.
Tim Biarelli (13 saves in two periods) and Bryce Mitchell (9 saves) shared the shutout in goal for Beverly, which plays four games over the next five days to conclude its regular season beginning with today’s matchup at Peabody