SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

March 12, 2013

Phil Stacey column: A sense of family the lasting legacy for these Falcons

LOWELL — To be able to put something in perspective takes time.

That time is usually not about 15 minutes after your high school hockey career ended, when a range of emotions still is still coursing through your veins and the feeling of something you’ve put four years of your life into is gone — in many cases, forever.

But as they showed during an unexpectedly remarkable postseason run, Danvers is not your run-of-the-mill hockey team. And their seniors that skated off the ice at the Tsongas Center last night after falling to mighty Wilmington in the Division 2 North final were able to paint a picture of what it meant to represent the Blue-and-White with remarkable clarity not long thereafter.

“It’s been an honor to put on this jersey and represent the town,” said left wing A.J. Couto, who had both of his team’s goals in a 7-2 loss to the Wildcats. He finished the playoffs with 10 goals in four games, believed to be more than any other player in the state. “It’s meant so much to me.”

“I remember growing up watching all the games — my cousin, Alan Abbott, was on the 2001 state championship team — and wanting to be a part of it. I’m proud to have worn the Falcon,” added captain Rob Buchanan.

“The legacy of Danvers hockey is so strong,” continued Joe Strangie, another captain, “that to say I wore that jersey for four years is humbling. It’s been my life these last four years ... and I have no regrets.”

Let’s face it: no one had the Falcons one game away from playing at the Garden for the Division 2 state championship when the playoffs began. A hot start to the 2012-13 season gave way to some rough patches midseason. Even as the end of the regular season approached, the Falcons couldn’t find the consistency they craved; they never strung together more than two straight victories after Christmas.

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