SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

February 20, 2013

The Blue Line Report: Loose pucks

News, notes and observations from the world of North Shore boys hockey

(Continued)

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Having said that, if I’m Masconomet, there’s no way I’m banking on going into Arlington and taking a point or two from the Division 1 North tourney-bound Spy Ponders. Instead, the Chieftains have to look at tonight’s game against 11-6-1 Triton (7:50 p.m. in Haverhill) as a must-win. The Vikings (another team that’s already punched its postseason ticket) clipped Masco a month and a half ago (4-2), but have gone just 5-4-1 since that contest. In every sense of the word, it’s a must-win for head coach Andrew Jackson’s team tonight.

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Should Masconomet qualify for the playoffs, it appears as though it would be a 16-team field in Division 2 North. Stoneham, which finished the regular season 6-10-4, would be the only team in the draw with a losing record, having qualified with the “Sullivan Rule” (i.e., sporting a winning record in games against Division 2 teams, going 5-2-1).

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With two regular season games remaining, Danvers has scored 55 goals — showing remarkable balance in doing so. Broken down, it comes out to 19 goals in the first period, 18 in the second stanza and 18 more in the third.

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I suppose it’s not surprising, given the number of defections they had from last winter’s Super 8 team, but it’s strange seeing St. Mary’s of Lynn on the outside looking in for this year’s playoffs. The Spartans have been a postseason staple under head coach Mark Lee for years, and you have to hope this is just a blip in the road as they rebuild for another run of future tournament success.

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If you believe a “most valuable player” should be just that to his team, then Trevor Massey of Swampscott was an easy choice for the Northeastern Conference South honors. He’s the quarterback of the Big Blue, the one who gets everything going from starting plays in the back end to making sure the power play is whirring on all cylinders. He’s also a minute muncher and has no problem dishing out (or taking) punishment in front of the net or along the walls to get the puck out of his team’s zone. Swampscott sputtered when he was injured and out of the lineup; his return means the world to his squad.

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