Some of the top hockey teams in the North Shore will ascend on the Talbot Rink tonight for the sixth annual Cape Ann Savings Bank Holiday Tournament.
The tournament, which has been a Talbot Rink staple since 2007, will once again feature a strong tournament field, the same strong field of teams that played in last year’s tournament as Gloucester will square off with defending Northeastern Conference South champion Marblehead in the late game (8:00 p.m.). The tournament will kick off at 6:00 p.m. with a clash between Northeastern Conference power Beverly and Cape Ann League power Triton.
“It’s a good field and it’s going to be a good tournament,” Gloucester head coach Don Lowe said. “Every team brings a good crowd and last year everybody saw how well these teams match up.”
Gloucester (0-1-1) enters tonight’s tournament looking to win for the first team since its inaugural year in 2007. The Fishermen bested Marblehead in round one last year before falling to Beverly in the championship final.
The Fishermen, who are breaking in several new players this winter, have looked pretty solid through two games, falling to NEC power Danvers in a hard fought 4-2 game that was tied after two periods, and battling the always tough Winthrop to a 1-1 draw this past weekend.
According to Lowe Gloucester may juggle its lines tonight in search of more offense. Freshman Alex Enes leads the team with two goals, he may be paired with senior captains Alex Webb and Pete Mondello tonight as the three have generated the majority of scoring opportunities for Gloucester in the young season.
Marblehead, two years removed from a Division 3 state title, have the vast majority of its players back from a team that won the NEC South last season. The Magicians enter tonight’s first round game against the Fishermen on a two game winning streak with dominant wins over NEC South rivals Revere and Swampscott. Ironically Marblehead’s only loss came to Danvers, by a score of 4-2, identical to the score Gloucester lost to Danvers, and the Magicians and Falcons were also tied heading into the third period.
The early game features tournament favorite Beverly, who is not only the favorite in the Northeastern Conference North, but one of the favorites in the Division 2 North section.
The Panthers, who return a wealth of talent from a very talented team last season, are led by cousins Andrew and Conor Irving. Beverly has already proved that it can dominate as its record stands at 3-0 on the young season with a goal differential of 19-1 that includes dominant wins over Weymouth, a Division 1 team, Peabody and Saugus.
Beverly will be looking for a record third Cape Ann Savings Bank Holiday Tournament title. At the moment the Panthers are tied with Essex Junction Vt. with two tournament titles each.
Standing in Beverly’s way tonight will be Triton, who is always a player in the Cape Ann League and Division 2 North. Triton is well on its way to another tournament appearance this season sporting a 3-0 record with wins over Amesbury, Lynnfield and Medford. The Cape Ann Savings Bank Holiday Tournament will be the Vikings biggest test this season no matter the result tonight against Beverly.
At a Glance What: 6th Annual Cape Ann Savings Bank Holiday Tournament Who: Gloucester vs. Marblehead (8:00 p.m.), Beverly vs. Triton (6:00 p.m.) Where: Talbot Rink, Gloucester When: Tonight and tomorrow (6:00 p.m. consolation, 8:00 p.m. final) Did You Know: Gloucester hasn't won the Holiday Tournament since its inaugural year in 2007.