By Dan Harrison
---- — MARBLEHEAD — Visiting Danvers was without two of its most experienced defensemen on the road in Marblehead yesterday and the team was visibly affected.
The Magicians meanwhile continued to ride the highs of their winning streak, which was bumped into double-digits with the 15-7 victory over Danvers at Piper Field.
“We were missing our two starting, most experienced defensemen. The defense was not focused because we didn’t have our usual rocks back there,” said Danvers (7-8) head coach Tim Murphy. “It affected our goalie (James Curley). His head wasn’t in it.”
Marblehead (11-3) scored the game’s first seven goals, including six in the first quarter, to push its winning streak to 10 games. The Magicians began the season at 1-3, but a more dedicated approach to fundamentals has helped the team raise its game a few levels.
“We’ve been focusing on the basics and things have come to fruition for us,” said Marblehead coach John Wilkens. “The guys have been coming together as a team and really doing the dirty things like groundballs. It’s what you need.”
Ian Maag, who had been sidelined through some of the middle part of the season, was a force in the beginning of the game as he contributed on the first three goals of the game and finished the first half with four assists and a marker.
Trevor Jones (four goals, one assist) had a hat trick in the first half as he beat Curley time and again with low shots that found their way into the back of the net.
“He’s (Maag) been hurt for us but he’s getting healthier. He puts in a lot of extra time working on his shooting,” explained Wilkens, who also spoke about Jones’ contribution. “He’s quiet, but he gets it done. He’s been working on his outside shooting but it’s not just that he does the little things like getting groundballs and settling the offense down.”
Sophomore keeper Nathan Maselek continues to get better and has been a big reason why the Marblehead zone defense has been working so well. Maselek rarely gets beat from the outside-which did happen yesterday but only after the game was well in hand. He finished with 11 saves before he was relieved midway through the fourth quarter.
“When you run a zone it only works if the outside shots get sucked up,” said Wilkens. “He let in a couple of sleepers but he was good. He’s a gamer.”
Longpoles Liam Gillis, Will Hughes and Crandall Maxwell are as good a defensive unit as you’ll find in the Northeastern Conference. The trio had another outstanding effort against the Falcons with help from Magician midfielders like Matt Dicenso and Max Orrock.
“The defense works very cohesively. They’re a good unit,” said Wilkens. “They’re playing very unselfish and they do the dirty work. No one is trying to outdo anyone else.”
Dean Fader also scored a hat trick for Marblehead with Dicenso, Harrison Young and Charlie Thompson recording a goal each for the Magicians. Brad Knittle and Zac Cuzner added two goals and an assist each.
Danvers meanwhile picked up its scoring in the second half with three goals in each of the last two quarters. Jay Calcagno and Steve Goutzos led the Falcons with a pair of tallies each while Stephen Ganley, Ryan Cassidy and Troy Fleming had a goal each.
“There were some positives,” noted Murphy. “A lot of freshmen and sophomores put in 100-percent effort and had success throughout the whole game.”