SALEM — Satisfaction after 45 minutes of hard fought hockey comes in many forms.
For the Danvers Falcons, satisfaction came in securing another two points after holding off visiting Peabody, 3-1, in a Northeastern Conference North contest at the Rockett Arena. Just as importantly, they won the second annual Mike Clifford Memorial Game — played in memory of the long time assistant hockey coach at both schools — and got to keep the trophy for another year.
For the Tanners, satisfaction came from refusing to pack it in after falling behind by three goals less than 19 minutes in and actually outplaying the hosts for the second half of the game, particularly in the third period.
“I was going out of my mind with the way we played in the first period and let them know about it (during intermission),” admitted Peabody coach Mark Leonard, whose team trailed by a pair of goals after 15 minutes. “But I’m happy that they picked it up in the second period and really did so in the third. We had two great chances in the final three minutes where if either of those goes in ... you don’t know what could have happened.”
It was a different story in the other locker room, however; one of those rare occasions where a win didn’t feel as such. The Falcons (5-1-1) seemed to know, from head coach Kevin Brown right down to the final player off the bench, that the effort turned in was far from their best and that changes need to be made immediately.
Whether it was a six-day layoff since their last game or perhaps looking ahead to Saturday night’s colossal matchup with unbeaten Beverly, Danvers played listless at times after jumping out to a quick lead and led Peabody (1-3-1) dictate the pace.
“The players need to be accountable for their actions as well as the coaches,” said Brown. “In order to be a better team, everyone has to be thinking team first.