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)

---

Beverly assistant coaches Jason Lantych and Mike Bocuzzi, who watch games from either the press box or the stands, have a ritual that’s worked virtually every game for their team: They each eat a pretzel after the second period. Hockey superstitions, after all, don’t stop once you’re done playing and move into coaching.

---

The best trio you’ve probably never seen play? Easy; that goes to Bishop Fenwick’s Nick Finan, Drew Thibodeau and Mike Napolitano. The Crusaders have only three wins in 20 games with two to play and have continued to ride a rocky road in their second season as a Division 1 program. But the above-mentioned trio are legit, having accounted for nearly two-thirds of Fenwick’s total points this winter (48 of 75) and have scored an amazing 80 percent (25 out of 30) of its total goals.

---

Another position player who could skate for just about any other team locally? Fenwick defenseman P.J. Usalis.

---

I’m not sure enough credit has gone to Danvers goaltender Alex Taylor. Goaltending was a complete question mark for the Falcons coming into the winter, but Taylor won the job with his play in the preseason and hasn’t let go of the reins yet. He hasn’t been spectacular, per se, but in most instances the team doesn’t need him to be; simply stopping the puck and preventing rebounds has done just fine, thank you very much. From never having played a single minute of varsity hockey before December, Taylor has gone 9-5-3 with a 1.93 goals-against average and three shutouts while playing all but 65 minutes in the Falcons’ cage. Impressive, to say the least.

---

There’s been some juggling here and there of the top three lines, but the one constant up front for St. John’s Prep has been the trio of Paul Crehan-Cam Shaheen-Justin Longo has remained intact all season — and with good reason. Hailing, respectively, from Manchester, Boxford and Wakefield, this fourth line (a moniker so laughable it’s not funny; they’d be, at worst, the second line on 95 percent of the state’s high school teams) has scored a combined 20 goals and 41 points ... including a mind-boggling eight game-winning or game-tying strikes. Are they the best fourth line in Massachusetts hockey history? Seriously, are they?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Sports Special
Sports podcasts
Northeast Sports
Comments Tracker
Facebook
Sports Special