SALEM — A lot of his teammates call him ‘Dort’. His goaltender, sophomore Tim Biarelli, prefers the moniker ‘Lorty.’
Whatever you prefer, make sure you also call Graham Doherty a sniper with a hockey stick in his hands.
“I had been hitting a lot of posts and missing the net lately. But tonight it felt like everything fell my way,” said Doherty, a junior center who scored a career high four goals as he and his Beverly High Panthers downed Marblehead, 5-1, in the regular season finale for both teams before a large crowd at the Rockett Arena.
In a battle of 17-win teams, Doherty and the Panthers made the most of the chances they were presented with. He scored the first of his four tallies just 28 seconds into the game; then, with just 1.2 seconds to go in the first period, he crammed home a pass from Andrew Irving to give the Orange-and-Black a 2-0 advantage.
“Two cardinal sins in hockey are to give up a goal in the first minute of a period, and to give up a goal in the last minute of a period,” said Marblehead coach Bobby Jackson.
Doherty completed his trick just 2:35 into the second period, re-directing a Connor Irving touch pass past Headers goaltender Harrison Young (20 saves) near side and a 3-0 Beverly lead.
“Graham’s got good hands and sense around the net. He gets the puck out of our end well, dishes it off and can bury it when he has the chance,” said Beverly head coach Bob Gilligan. “He’s a talented kid.”
Even when Marblehead (which outshot Beverly, 26-25) sliced its deficit on an Erik Powers strike 56 seconds into the final stanza, Doherty again came up with a huge goal. His 21st of the season came after two Header defensemen collided in their own zone, causing the puck to squirt free. Doherty pounced and fired a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Young cleanly up top.