In the world of the state high school athletic tournaments, it is axiomatic that there can only be one team left standing to hold the championship trophy.
For everybody else, it’s wait ‘til next year.
However, despite their 2-1 loss to Lincoln Sudbury last Tuesday in the semifinals of the Division 2 North Sectional, the members of the Revere High hockey team can take great consolation and pride in knowing that their accomplishments this season have forever inscribed them in the annals of Revere High hockey.
But beyond the collective and individual achievements of the best team record for most points in a season (33) and MVP of the Northeastern Conference (Chris Mastropietro, for the second year in a row), as well as two tourney wins that took them to the semis (a place where no Revere High hockey team has journeyed in at least 35 years), the 2008-2009 edition of the hockey Patriots played with more heart, hustle, smarts, and enthusiasm than any team in RHS history.
“No one expected us to perform to the level that we did,” said RHS head coach Jim Palumbo, who himself is a member of the Massachusetts Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame. “But this team came together as a unit as no team ever has before.
“We knew we had three all stars in Chris Mastropietro, Jay Sasso, and Nick DiMare, but what enabled us to do so well was how everybody else stepped up to fill a role and contribute in a meaningful way,” continued the coach.
Defenseman Nick Adreani, who scored the lone Patriot goal at 13:13 of the second period to tie matters with Lincoln Sudbury at 1-1, was one such player, along with fellow defensemen George Weiner and Anthony Noel, who by the end of the season had formed one of the tightest and most effective defensive units in the Northeastern Conference.
On the forward lines, Sean Dean, who had scored only one point last year, joined Sasso on the first line to become the team’s third leading scorer. Matt Vazquez, Joe Corbett, Jon Tran, Andrew Sullivan, and Peter Marino also played key roles in the team’s success at both ends of the ice.
All showed the legion of Revere fans who journeyed to Stoneham for the semifinal encounter that their accolades this season were well deserved, as they battled Lincoln Sudbury evenly for the entire game, the difference coming with less than six minutes to play when L-S notched the game winner.
“It was a great high school hockey game with both teams skating up and down the ice and having their chances, and the goalies playing spectacularly,” noted Palumbo.
Adreani had scored his goal when the ever alert Palumbo pulled goalie DiMare for a sixth skater on a delayed penalty call and it was Adreani who jumped onto the ice as the extra man and converted on the opportunity.
Palumbo and Crew almost worked some more magic at the end of the game when DiMare was pulled for a sixth skater and there was a face off in the Lincoln Sudbury end. The Pats worked out a play off the face off, but their effort fell just short of lighting the lamp with the game tying tally as Lincoln Sudbury held on for the win in the dramatic closing moments.
“We gave it our best and that’s all you can ask,” Palumbo said afterwards. “We left everything out on the ice.”