Wayland Hockey three points closer to tournament

Evan Barber

The Warriors hockey team showed its mettle as they tied Concord-Carlisle, the best team in Massachusetts Division 3 hockey, on Wednesday, February 4th . They then traveled to Bedford on Saturday to beat the Buccaneers, 8-2. In order to make the playoffs, each team needs to get 20 points. A win is worth two points and a tie is worth one. The Warriors currently stand at 14. Without these three points Wayland would be heavily challenged to make the tournament.

“We all knew this was going to be a battle from the minute we got to the rink,” said head coach Phil Bateman of the Concord-Carlisle game. “We needed at least a point out of this game if we wanted to make the tournament.”

Concord-Carlisle, who had not given up one point from a Dual County League (DCL), opponent all season, was not prepared for the Wayland fore check early in the first period. Wayland’s fore-checking system, put into place after the two teams first met, continued to stun the Patriots throughout the first period.

Freshman Evan Barber started off by giving the Warriors their first lead against the Patriots all year. Junior Peter Sullivan set up the play by dishing a beautiful pass to senior Takota Register. Register took a blistering slap shot from the blue line that ricocheted off the goalie, and Barber was there to finish it off. The Warriors held strong during the next two periods, as senior captain Joe O’Brien missed the net by inches on a chance to put Wayland up by two goals.

Late in the second period the Patriots got a lucky bounce and tied the game. The third period was hard fought as the puck went up and down the ice, never crossing the goal line for a game-deciding point. When the final buzzer rang Wayland and Concord-Carlisle each had earned one point for a 1-1 tie.

On Saturday night Wayland gave a beating to the Bedford Buccaneers. Senior captain Sean Haffey started the scoring in the first period on a one timer. After the first period, the Warriors were winning 1-0, but not pleased with their efforts.

The second period started off strong as Register capitalized on a set up from Sullivan and Barber by launching a rocket that found the back of the net, to make it 2-0, Wayland. Soon after, O’Brien took the puck out of the Wayland zone and passed to Barber, who gave it right back to O’Brien. O’Brien skated through Bedford’s zone and scored to give the Warriors a 3-0 edge.

Following this goal Wayland put on a parade to the penalty box and let Bedford back into the game. The Bucs scored two power-play goals, to make it 3-2 at the break. Once again the Warriors were disappointed with their period results, but they made up for it in the third period.

The Warriors pushed back twice as hard and put up 5 goals in the next frame. Haffey had 2 more goals to make it a hat trick, and after the third goal gave a shout out to his mom by skating over and blowing her kisses.

Wayland’s sixth goal was scored by Sullivan, assisted by Barber and sophomore Mark Haffey, and the seventh by Vincenzo Vittello, assisted by S. Haffey and O’Brien. Freshman Carson Hart made the first goal of his high school career with just seconds left in the game, and let the Bedford fans know it by flashing the “call me” sign in celebration.

“We struggled to score in the first two periods but we were fired up for the third and scored 5,” said Bateman after the Bedford victory. With this win the Warriors put themselves 2 points closer to the tournament. Senior night is set for Wednesday, against Newton South, at the New England Sports Center.