SALEM — The Gloucester hockey team was never really out of Saturday's game against Marblehead.
The host Headers, however, were in control all game.
The Northeastern Conference North leaders, who were playing without their injured leading scorer, Will Shull, jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period and never looked back in a 4-2 win at Salem State University's Rockett Arena.
Marblehead improved to 8-1-1 on the season after its second win over Gloucester in two meetings this winter. The teams will meet again at Talbot Rink in early February.
"This week at practice we did a few different things to get a little more intensity out there, and we had guys step up (Saturday)," said Marblehead head coach Chris Wells.
For Gloucester (4-4-2), the loss snaps a four-game win streak and was another disappointing result against its conference rival.
"We allowed them to be in a position where they could outwork us and they did, similar to the first time we played them," head coach Derek Geary said. "I don't think they're any more talented than us, but they've outworked us and were more physical than us two times now this season."
Freshman Carter Laramie got the Headers on the board just 2:15 in when he went top shelf with a wrist shot from a tough angle on the lower right circle. Six minutes later, sophomore forward Eli Feingold forced a turnover and scored short side on a wrist shot from the left circle to extend his team's lead to 2-0, where it stood after one period.
The first period was actually the most evenly played, back-and-forth stanza as scoring chances were fairly even.
Gloucester came out and got back into the game just 17 seconds into the second when Jack Costanzo weaved through the defense and scored on a wrist shot from the slot. The Fishermen hit the post less than a minute later, but the rest of the frame belonged to Marblehead.
Four-and-a-half minutes into the middle frame, Cam Razin and Connor Jalbert broke out on a 2-on-1 with Razin finishing a perfect feed from Jalbert to see Marblehead regain the two-goal lead, 3-1. Marblehead dominated the second period, outshooting Gloucester 15-4.
"We have been talking about taking the body on the forecheck and being able to take and receive a hit, and we did a great job of that in the second — even the third, too," Wells said. "We got a lot of pressure on them in that period, which led to turnovers."
"No excuses for the second period," Geary said. "I didn't see us win one 1-on-1 battle. When you score early in the period like that it should give you some momentum, but we weren't able to take advantage of that."
Like in the second period, Gloucester got an early goal in the third to cut the deficit to one as Harry Marshall connected on the power play. But Marblehead had the answer less than two minutes later as Zach Piersol stole the puck from a Fishermen defenseman and buried one to make it 4-2.
Marblehead continues to carry play, but Gloucester got the best scoring chance late in the third when Costanzo and Jack Delaney broke in 2-on-1. Delaney slid the puck to the left of the goal, where it looked like Costanzo had an open net. But Marblehead goalie Peter Santeusanio (23 saves) dove, glove first to his right and was able to snatch the shot for a big save.
"That was an incredible save, a great athletic play," Wells said.
Marblehead 4, Gloucester 2
at Rockett Arena, Salem State
Gloucester 0 1 1 — 2
Marblehead 2 1 1 — 4
First period: M, Carter Laramie (Eli Feingold, Charlie Titus), 2:15; M, Feingold (un), 8:13.
Second period: G, Jack Costanzo (un) ppg, :17; M, Cam Razin (Connor Jalbert, Lyndan Dyer), 4:34.
Third period: G, Harry Marshall (Jeremy Abreu, E.J. Field) ppg, :18; M, Zach Piersol (Colin Hart), 1:52.
Saves: G, Connor Vittands 28; M, Peter Santeusanio 23.
Records: B, 8-1-1; G, 4-4-2.