Ten years and two days separated the moment they became champions.
A multitude of similarities helped make both squads all-time greats.
The 2000-01 Danvers Falcons, Division 2 state champions.
The 2010-11 Marblehead Headers, Division 3 state champions.
They are two of the greatest public school hockey teams in North Shore history, clubs rich in history, depth, goaltending, clutch scoring and with terrific minds behind the bench.
So who’s to say which one was better?
“I’m not too familiar with the ‘01 Danvers team, but I definitely think we could match anyone’s depth,” said Jake Kulevich, a dominant defenseman and senior captain for the champion Headers. He’ll skate Division 1 college hockey for Cornell University this winter. “Also, if they had a top first line, well, we played a really sound game defensively and had a goalie behind us (Tony Cuzner) who would come up with big saves when we needed him to.
“We weren’t afraid to play anybody. We had a lot of confidence in that locker room that if we played our game, we would put ourselves in a position to win no matter who we played.”
The young men who skated for the Falcons, now in their late 20s, naturally disagree.
“We were nasty and we were skilled,” said Kyle McCullough, the team’s junior first line center and leading scorer that season. “Our top six skaters and Sco (goalie Scott Bevan) could’ve all played college hockey. I’d put us up against anyone.”
Two towns where hockey pumps through its sporting veins and is a birthright for many boys who strap on the blades at an early age, dreaming of the day they can wear their high school’s color.
Let’s break these two state titlists down and see what falls out of the hockey bag.