GLOUCESTER-- The Gloucester hockey team officially has its back up against the wall.
With Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to Winthrop at the Dorothy Talbot Rink the Fishermen no longer have any room for error if they want to qualify for the state tournament. At 4-9-1 on the season, Gloucester needs 11 points over its final six games meaning one more loss or two more ties will eliminate it from playoff contention. The Fishermen can finish no worse than 5-0-1 down the stretch run to get into the postseason.
The Fishermen came into Talbot Rink on Wednesday night looking to prove that they are better than their would make them out to be.
Things weren’t getting any easier either with Winthrop coming into town. The last time the two NEC North rivals met Winthrop came away with a hard fought 2-1 win on its home ice.
The Fishermen came out and played right with the favored Vikings, who have been almost unbeatable as of late winning six in a row including an impressive 5-1 win over Marblehead this past weekend, for most of the night. The scoresheet, however, does not show just how hard Gloucester played as Winthrop proved to be too much and lived up to its defensive reputation allowing just 12 shots on goalie Raymond Feeley.
Led by their senior captain Chris Page’s two points, a goal and an assist, the Vikings were able to pull out the victory and improve to 11-4 on the year, 7-2 in the conference just two points behind front runner Beverly.
When the puck dropped for the opening face-off Gloucester was ready to play physical and get its hands dirty. Winthrop was there to answer the Fishermen’s toughness though and 5:16 into the game the Vikings’ Jonny Orlando scored on an assist from Page to make it 1-0 Winthrop. Gloucester junior goalie Derek Morris was able to keep his team in the game making a few big saves to in the frame to keep it a one goal game at the first intermission.