SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

February 9, 2013

Peabody native Bucci making his mark as a freshman on Salem State hockey team

(Continued)

It’s this realization that has Bucci already tweaking his game and looking ahead to the areas he needs to improve upon most to continue and increase his — and the team’s — success.

The Vikings have run into trouble offensively when opposing teams pack it in tight to their goalie and force them to shoot from the outside. So priority No. 1 for Bucci going forward this year and into the offseason will be to hone his shooting abilities.

“I think I have to start to improve my shot and start shooting from the top of the circles,” he said. “I have to start trying to get the puck to the net, shoot through screens and beat goalies from far out.”

Bounce back ability

Bucci’s always had a lot of hockey intelligence, but in the college game you’ve got to be able to take your lumps. He’s a far cry from an enforcer, but that doesn’t mean he is going to shy away from contact in the corners or at the blue line.

Late in the third period of a recent game against Plymouth State, Bucci dumped the puck in and tried to squeeze his way between the defender and the PSU bench. For his troubles, Bucci got clotheslined pretty good and lost his helmet, but hopped right back up and shook it off easily after the game.

“I’ve taken shots like that all the time trying to get to traffic areas. You have to take hits for your team,” said Bucci.

“I’ve been playing this game for a long time. It’s a competitive game out there, and those are the hits you have to take to win. It’s part of the game.”

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