SALEM — As the Gloucester hockey team has proven all season, it doesn’t always have to be pretty.
That’s never been more accurate for the Fishermen than it was last night when they took on a strong Swampscott team at Salem State University’s Rockett Arena.
The Big Blue carried play for much of the game, throwing waves of offense on the Gloucester net and keeping the Fishermen away from their own.
At the end of the day, though, Swampscott’s dominance didn’t much matter. Despite outshooting the Fishermen, 40-22, the Big Blue ultimately fell to Gloucester, which rode a Cam DeCoste hat trick and a 38-save performance from goalie Owen Parisi to an important 4-2 victory.
The win gets Gloucester back to .500 at 6-6-1. To qualify for the state tournament, the Fishermen will need to earn seven of 14 possible points down the stretch.
“I think we were outplayed for most of the night and we’re lucky to win the game,” Gloucester coach Don Lowe said after the game. “It was a good thing the goaltender stopped 40 shots or we wouldn’t have won the game. Nice to see Cam DeCoste get a couple goals when we needed them. More points for the tournament. We play every game to get two points and we got another two points tonight.”
While it may have been ugly, last night’s was an impressive win for Gloucester. Swampscott entered the game tied atop the NEC South standings at 10-3, and Salem State’s large ice surface gave the speedy Big Blue an edge before the game even began.
To make matters worse for Gloucester, an injury kept captain Mike Muniz — who plays monster minutes on the blue line — out of the game, forcing second-line center and leading scorer Alex Webb to the blue line.