Although the Revere High hockey team came out on the short end of a 5-1 decision to Masconomet in a first-round contest of the MIAA Division 2 North Sectional of the state hockey tournament last Tuesday, RHS head coach Joe Ciccarello echoed the sentiments of Patriots’ fans in expressing his pride in the performance that his team turned in against a heavily-favored Masco squad that was the champion of the Cape Ann League.
“We proved we belonged in the tourney,” said Ciccarello. “Masconomet was rated as a powerhouse team, but once we settled down, we showed that we could skate with them.”
The Patriots displayed some early jitters, yielding a quick goal on Masco’s second shift of the game, and then falling behind 3-0 early in the second period when Masco scored on a power play.
Ciccarello called a time-out to regroup his troops and the brief interlude paid off handsomely, as the Patriots soon thereafter got on the board to slice the Masco lead to 3-1. A nicely-executed 2-on-1 break by Steve Noel and Marco Mazzarelli, with Marco sending a nice backhand pass to teammate Noel, who cleanly beat the Masco goalie, pumped some life into the Patriots and for a time changed the momentum of the contest.
Revere pressured the Masco end for the rest of the period and came close to potting a second goal. But the Patriots could not find the handle for what could have been a huge and possibly game-changing lighting of the lamp.
“We had our chances to close the gap to one goal before the period ended, and I firmly believe that if we had been able to do so, we would have changed the entire complexion of the game,” noted Ciccarello.
However, Masconomet managed to stave off the Patriot surge and go into the locker room with a two-goal edge.
The teams played evenly for most of the final 15 minutes, until some Revere penalties in the closing minutes gave Masco a pair of 5-on-3 power plays that resulted in the 5-1 final reading on the scoreboard.
“It was a much-closer game than the 5-1 final score would indicate,” said Ciccarello. “It’s never a good outcome when you lose, but we proved to ourselves that we could skate with one of the top teams in the area.
“We had a great season,” continued the coach, noting that his team’s final record of 11-7-3 represented virtually a complete reversal of last year’s squad that managed only two victories. “I’m very proud of how this team played and proud to be their coach. We left it all on the ice in our final game and that’s all that any coach can ask of his players.”