SAUGUS — It wasn’t long ago that any meeting between the Gloucester and Saugus hockey teams had serious implications on the NEC North standings.
When the two teams met last night at Saugus’ Kasabuski Rink, though, it was a far different story. Rather than hoping to justify conference title hopes, the Fishermen and Sachems were each looking to simply get in the win column for the first time on the season.
By the time everything was said and done, it was the Fishermen who were left with a zero in the win column. The Sachems wore Gloucester down in a penalty-ridden, chippy contest, riding sound defense and timely scoring to a 3-0 victory.
“This was big for us,” Saugus coach Jeff Natalucci said. “Coming into this at 0-4, we needed some confidence and I thought this was our most consistent game so far. Four losses and in three of them we got beat pretty good, but we stuck with it and got the win tonight.”
The energy that had been largely missing for the Fishermen through much of the season returned last night. With it, though, came penalties.
Starting early in the game, the scrums started, and emotion got the better of Gloucester throughout the game. It seemed as though every time the Fishermen (0-4-1) began to find a rhythm, they’d put Saugus on the man-advantage.
Despite that, though, the Fishermen were very much in the game. Saugus forward John Prentice took advantage of a Gloucester defensive miscue midway through the first period to put the Sachems up, 1-0, but outside of that goal the Fishermen played a complete first period.
That carried into the second, where they were able to hold off a Saugus push and kill off a 5-on-3 thanks to the play of goaltender Jesse Glidden (29 saves) and the corps of defensemen in front of him.