O’Neil emails MIAA protesting hockey game site

Angela Park and Thomas Chan

Pictured above is a copy of the email that Josh O'Neil sent to the MIAA. O'neil attempted to get the date, time, and location of the boys hockey game changed. However, the game has not been rescheduled.
The boys’ ice hockey Division III State Semifinals featuring Wayland vs. Hanover will be held on Wednesday at Gallo Arena in Cape Cod at 6:30 p.m.

Senior Josh O’Neil sent an email to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) addressing his concerns with the location of the Division Three Boys Hockey State Semifinals. O’Neil believes that the game’s location, the Gallo Arena, provides Hanover with an unfair advantage over Wayland. He divided his argument into major four points.

First, O’Neil claims that Hanover had a “home-ice advantage” since each of Hanover’s tournament games has taken place at the Gallo Arena, while Wayland has yet to play at the Gallo Arena all season.

“It’s like the NFL figuring out that the Patriots were in the Superbowl and deciding ‘Oh! The Super Bowl will be played at Gillette this year!’” O’Neil said. “It’s BS.”

O’Neil’s next point is the discrepancy in driving distance. The Gallo Arena is 35 to 40 miles away from Hanover, but it is almost 80 miles from Wayland.

“I’m sure there are arenas and ice hockey locations that they can play at that are closer to both and are probably even better,” O’Neil said.

O’Neil is also upset by the WHS schedule conflicts that will likely occur. The game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The rush hour traffic from those commuting back to Boston, combined with traffic from both Hanover and Wayland, would limit the efficiency of arrival.

Further, WHS seniors have Senior Show practice on Wednesday until 5:00 p.m. This would not allow the seniors in the Senior Show to make it to the game in time.

O’Neil’s final argument is that because the match is between Wayland, representing the “North,” and Hanover, representing the “South,” a neutral arena must be neither northern nor southern. O’Neil claims that because of the Gallo Arena’s southern geography, it is not a reasonable revenue.

“Massachusetts is a hockey-rich state. There’s no debate. Massachusetts has the best hockey in the country,” O’Neil said. “You can play somewhere better than across the Bourne Bridge.”

O’Neil sent his email to a couple local news stations hoping to capture the MIAA’s attention but feels that he wouldn’t be heard.

“If someone gave me five to one odds that they wouldn’t change it, I would take them,” O’Neil said.

The game is still scheduled for the Gallo Arena on Wednesday, March 12.