STONEHAM— For one period on Saturday it looked like the Rockport hockey team was on its way to an upset over Marblehead in the Division 3 North Quarterfinals at Stoneham Arena.
Marblehead entered the contest as heavy favorites with a higher seed and an advantage in the size and speed department. But the tournament tested Vikings gave the Magicians all they could handle in the first frame slowing the game down, limiting mistakes and preventing Marblehead from earning too many quality scoring opportunities en route to a 1-0 lead after one.
Marblehead, however, proved to be too talented.
The Magicians went on to outshoot Rockport 27-6 over the final two frames (41-13 for the game) and held a 4-1 scoring advantage through the final 30 minutes of play en route to a 4-2 win. Marblehead now moves on to the sectional semifinals to square off with Swampscott while Rockport’s season comes to an end.
“We wanted to jump out and get a lead early, which we did, and have (goalie) Colby (Foster) make some big stops to gain momentum,” Rockport head coach Derek Papalegis said. “But they just keep coming at you and we had some trouble clearing our own zone. They were all over us over the last two periods.”
In the first period Rockport’s strategy was evident, it wanted to muck up the game and turn it into a grind. Early on the Vikings did just that executing Papalegis’ plan to a T.
Rockport was clogging up the neutral zone, getting into passing lanes, blocking shots and preventing the Magicians from using their superior speed to break up the ice. Senior goalie Colby Foster (37 saves) also helped matters with another stellar performance in a big game.
The Vikings found the back of the net first 4:29 into the game when Mike Tupper made a nice move past a Magicians defenseman and put a shot on goalie Myles Barry. Barry made the initial save but senior Josh Guertin was right there to bang home the rebound for a 1-0 Vikings lead and some momentum.