By Conor Walsh
---- — GLOUCESTER -- As the seconds wound down in the second period of the first-round nightcap in the 6th Annual Cape Ann Savings Bank Holiday Hockey Tournament last night, it seemed as though a dominant 30 minutes from Marblehead might yield the Headers a slim one-goal lead heading into the third period.
Marblehead's play was finally rewarded, though, when forwards Trip Franzese and Tom Koopman each struck within a 37 second span to give the Headers a comfortable three-goal lead heading into the second intermission.
The Headers held off a late push from host Gloucester and moved on with a 5-2 win. They'll play for the tournament title tonight (8:00) against Beverly, who beat Triton, 6-3, in last night's first game.
Gloucester, meanwhile, will host Triton at 6:00 in the consolation game.
"It's always nice to get a win no matter where you are, but Gloucester's always a tough team," Marblehead coach Bob Jackson said. "Last year, we came up here and we were up going into the third period and they came back and beat us, so we knew they weren't going to quit. This year we hung on. We'll take a win."
After Marblehead's dominance through two periods -- the Headers also got a first-period tally from Dean Fader -- the 3-0 deficit Gloucester faced through two periods seemed insurmountable.
But after being outshot 27-9 through the first two stanzas, the Fishermen woke up. They carried play for much of the third period and cut the lead to 3-1 with an Alex Webb tip-in goal on the powerplay midway through the frame.
Marblehead quickly responded with Franzese's second of the night on a backdoor feed from Aaron DeAngelo to take the wind out of the Fishermen's sails, and while Gloucester sophomore Jack Nicastro buried a pretty breakaway goal late in the third to again cut the deficit to two, the Fishermen had simply dug themselves too big of a hole.
"It was all a direct result of working hard and getting shots to the net," Jackson said. "We missed the net on a lot of shots, had a lot of shots up high, and those two (second-period) goals were just the result of quick releases, being ready for rebounds and picking up those loose pucks and finding the net. We had some opportunities in the first period, their goalie made some good saves, and at 1-0 it's anyone's game."
The Fishermen came out flat through the first two periods, struggling to get the puck out of their own end and turning the puck over rampantly. Were it not for the play of goalie Jesse Glidden (35 saves), the Fishermen could easily have been looking at a much deeper hole to dig themselves out of.
Predictably, Gloucester coach Don Lowe was less than pleased after the game.
"I don't think we worked hard enough all game," Lowe said. "I thought the line of (Jared) Favazza, Nicastro and (Eddie) Mahoney worked hard all night, and you saw that with their goal. If it wasn't for some decent goaltending it would have been worse. Flat for two periods, not enough work, not enough heart."
A powerplay goal from captain Ian Maag with 3.8 seconds left in the third iced the win for the Headers, who improve to 3-1 on the year. With the loss, the Fishermen fall to 0-2-1 with another test in Triton tonight. The Vikings played a talented Beverly team tough in last night's opener, cutting a 4-1 third-period deficit to 4-3 before eventually falling, 6-3.
Meanwhile, Marblehead's hot start will be tested in tonight's championship game, as Beverly (4-0) has outscored its opponents, 25-4, during its first four games.
"Our goal is always to give up less than two goals, and we didn't meet that tonight," Jackson said. "We wanted to have a strong third period and we didn't win the third, so defensively, we've got some things to work on.
"Beverly's as talented as any team that we'll face. We had a tough time with Gloucester tonight and it'll be a tough time with Beverly tomorrow night. We've just got to come out and work hard."
Marblehead 5, Gloucester 2at Dorothy Talbot Rink, GloucesterMarblehead 1 2	 2 |	 5 Gloucester 0 0	 2 |	 2First period: M, Dean Fader (Trevor Jones), 5:15.Second period: M, Trip Franzese (un), 13:35; M, Tom Koopman (Ian Maag, Kyle Koopman), 14:12.Third period: G, Alex Webb (Jared Favazza) PPG, 5:26; M, Franzese (Aaron DeAngelo), 10:48; G, Jack Nicastro (Eddie Mahoney), 11:44; M, Maag (Ty Bates) PPG, 14:57.Saves: M, Harrison Young 19; G, Jesse Glidden 35.Records: M, 3-1; G, 0-2-1.