By Nick Curcuru
---- — GLOUCESTER-- The Gloucester hockey team has nearly pulled itself out of an early season hole.
The Fishermen started off the season 1-5-1 and were facing a serious uphill climb to get back into tournament contention. On Saturday Gloucester took one step closer to .500 with a dominant 6-1 win over Salem where it held a 56-13 shot advantage. The win was Gloucester’s third straight (four out of five) and improves its record to 4-5-1 on the season, just one win from the all important .500 mark.
“The goal is to get to .500 and we got a little closer tonight,” Gloucester head coach Don Lowe said. “We did what we needed to tonight.”
Over the last three games Gloucester has feasted on the competition topping Salem, Methuen and Revere by a combined score of 19-8.
During the three game winning streak, the Fishermen have gotten consistent goals from all three lines. That was again the case on Monday as all three lines put the puck in the net and four players (Alex Webb, Pete Mondello, Alex Enes, Jared Favazza) had multi-point games.
“The big difference (in the winning streak) is that we’ve been getting goals across the board,” Lowe said. “Everybody has been chipping in. Webb and Mondello have been doing it all season but the key has been getting goals from all of our lines.”
Gloucester’s dominance was obvious from the get go as it pummeled the Salem goal with shot after shot. If it weren’t for Witches goalie Brett Harring (50 saves) things could have been much worse.
The Fishermen got one past Harring in the middle of the first period when Pete Mondello raced past the defense and beat the Witches net minder with a perfectly placed back hand shot top shelf for a 1-0 Gloucester lead. Casey Noyes made it 2-0 just under two minutes later when he put home an Alex Webb rebound after an odd man rush.
Salem got on the board with a fluke goal late in the first. Salem’s Spencer Bercholtz initial shot was turned away by Gloucester goalie Owen Parisi, who is 3-0 in three starts this season. Bercholtz shot, however, took a funny bounce off the boards behind the Gloucester goal and bounced back out front, deflecting off a Gloucester defenseman and Parisi before going into the net making it 2-1 and putting Salem back in the game.
Gloucester, however, put the game away with two more second period goals from Webb and Mondello. The Fishermen extended that lead to 6-1 on a pair of power play goals in the third period. Freshman Enes set up sophomore Favazza with a goal 4:30 into the period and Favazza returned the favor 90 seconds later setting up Enes with a goal to make it 6-1.
Gloucester has played itself back into the tournament race and needs 11 points in its final 10 games to qualify for the first time since 2010.
The team can get to .500 for the first time this year tonight when Newburyport visits the Talbot Rink (6:00 p.m.). Gloucester also has an important matchup with Rockport on Wednesday at the Talbot Rink (6:00 p.m).
“We need to continue to work hard and keep putting the puck in the net,” Lowe said. “It’s never easy and it’s only getting tougher. It’s nice to work our way closer to .500 and we are on a bit of a roll but we still have work to do.”