The Gloucester hockey team really didn’t have much to gain on Wednesday night against Rockport in the first matchup between the Cape Ann teams in 22 years.
A win over Division 3 Rockport and the Fishermen would have simply taken care of business. A loss, on the other hand, would have been tough to swallow against a team in a lower division.
To put it simply, Gloucester (5-6-1) couldn’t just win Wednesday, it needed to win big.
As it turned out that’s exactly what the Fishermen did in front of a large and raucous crowd at the Dorothy Talbot Rink to the tune of a 7-3 win.
“We knew we weren’t going to win a 3-2 or 2-1 game,” Gloucester senior captain Mike Muniz said. “We couldn’t let them hang around, we needed to take it to them from the start.”
The Fishermen were firing on all cylinders from the start on Wednesday building a 6-1 lead after two periods and held a 42-23 shot advantage for the game. Gloucester moved the puck as well as it had all season long which led to several quality scoring chances while owning the one-on-one battles in corners and in the neutral zone while carrying the physical play throughout.
The rigors of Northeastern Conference and Division 2 play shone through on Wednesday as Gloucester played like a team that had been into deep waters with the best Division 2 has to offer. The Fishermen, who have played a who’s who when it comes to potential Division 2 tournament teams, carried the physical play and that took a toll on the Vikings as periods wore on.
It seemed as Gloucester just had a little more strength to dig the pucks out of corners, a little more zip through the neutral zone and a little more gas in the tank.