Let the games begin

Riley Constantine gathers his hockey gear in the parking lot as he prepares to head into the Veteran’s Allied Rink for EHS hockey practice. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Hockey will drop the puck March 9, football kicks off April 16

By LORENZO RECUPERO

In recent years, Everett High School hockey’s been heating up. 

Beginning March 9, the official start date of this year’s Coronavirus-shortened regular season, which is slated to stretch over 8 games total, the Crimson Tide will hit the ice looking to assert themselves as one of the Greater Boston League’s (GBL) top teams.

At 4PM on Tuesday, fittingly, they’ll start their mission against Medford, one of the top hockey programs in the area. Getting an opening day win there would immediately put the Tide in the top-teams conversation.  

“Last year, [we didn’t win a championship] there was moral victories, including a big win over Medford,” said longtime EHS coach Alex Naumann, assessing where his team stands now while looking back at a late season win (8-5) over Medford last year. The win meant so much because Medford pummeled the Tide, 17-1, in their first meeting. 

The redemption tour for EHS hockey may have started with the win over Medford last year, as they narrowly missed by just one point their first postseason berth in several years.

“We will be competitive this year, without a doubt,” said Naumann, who believes the pandemic might’ve effected when the season will start, but not his teams desire to bring the heat this season. 

“We will not be having a state tourney like years past, but we will still be playing for a GBL championship, and the idea that they are playing for the league title I think motivation enough for them,” said Naumann.

EHS hockey players head into practice at Allied Veterans Skating Rink. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

The MIAA officially cancelled any state tournament plans due to the pandemic, so the GBL will hold its own two-game playoff later this year to determine who will be crowned league champion. Currently, the GBL schedule is still being shuffled as more schools open up their sports programs as they drop out of the ‘high-risk’ zones, including Somerville, Lynn, and Revere. 

The Tide, a coed program with Mystic Valley (MV), will feature a team equipped with both youth and experience, as four seniors, Brenden Currie, Kaleigh Snook, Max Brown (MV), and Aaron Hickey (MV) will return as captains, while three 8th graders will also get some playing time.

Coach Naumann believes the mix of players makes for a strong team, especially defensively. 

“We’ve got some really good players coming in, about 18 total, so we’ll have some depth, too” said Naumann. “Defense will be our strong point, though, and we are looking forward to Jeff Moran in net for us,” said Naumann, who is excited to see his junior make his first ever start as goalie. “He’s doing so well right now in a not-so-easy position, but he keeps getting better and better every day,” Naumann said with a pleased chuckle. 

The Tide‘s three leading scorers from a year ago, Brown, Currie, and David Saia are all returning starters. 

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