Lynnfield upsets Revere in OT, 3-2
Patriots erase 2-0 deficit but can’t finish off upstart Pioneers in Div. 2 North opener
Teams at all levels of athletic competition strive to make the playoffs.
Yet the cruel irony of achieving that elite status is that except for the last team standing, all others end their season on a losing note. The thrill of victory is reserved for only one champion; for everyone else, there is only the agony of defeat.
And so it went for the Revere High hockey team last Thursday evening at Woburn, as the Patriots saw what had been an otherwise glorious season, arguably the greatest ever in RHS hockey history, come to a heart-wrenching end with a 3-2 loss in overtime to an underrated Lynnfield team.
Lynnfield, which beat Watertown in a preliminary round game, went on to defeat Newburyport in the Div. 2 North quarterfinals. The Pioneers play Gloucester tonight in a semifinal matchup at Chelmsford.
“Every year our goal is to make the tourney,” said RHS head coach Jim Palumbo, “but you come in knowing full well that no matter how well you’ve done or how much you’ve accomplished in the regular season, unless you win it all, your season will end in defeat.”
However, as the veteran Revere mentor noted a few days after the Lynnfield game, after the initial shock and sting of defeat had worn off, “You realize that one game does not detract from what had been a great season for us. This was a team that accomplished so much and overcame a lot of adversity along the way. We won the Northeastern Conference championship in only our second year in the league and that is something that every boy always can be proud of.”
The Patriots got off to a slow start against Lynnfield, yielding a goal in the first frame and then falling behind 2-0 four minutes into the second period. Whereas the Pats came out a bit flat, no doubt a result of their pre-tourney layoff, Lynnfield, which had defeated Watertown in a preliminary round game a few days earlier, came out strong. Only the fine goaltending of Patriot Nick DiMare between the pipes kept matters to a 2-0 deficit.
The Pats appeared to swing the momentum to their side on Anthony Morico’s one timer on a bang-bang play from Anthony DelloIacono and Shane Doyle a few minutes after the second Lynnfield goal to cut the margin to 2-1.
But unlike so many of Revere’s opponents during the season who wilted once the Pats got their game going, Lynnfield refused to fold. It would not be until midway through the final frame that Revere finally would tie the score on a goal by DelloIacono from Chris Mastropietro and Jay Sasso.
From there, the capacity crowd was treated to schoolboy hockey at its best, as both teams battled furiously in up-and-down fashion to pot the game winner in regulation.
“We had some great chances,” noted Palumbo, “but we simply were unable to finish them off.”
The overtime session proved short-lived. Revere forwarded an offensive effort that yielded a good scoring chance, but as happens so often in hockey, the missed opportunity gave Lynnfield a “back at you” chance of their own, which they converted just 1:29 into the OT frame.
“It was a tough way to end the year,” said Palumbo. “But we’ll get together in a week or so and when we look back on the season, especially for our eight seniors who provided so much leadership for us, we’ll realize the extent to which we came together as a team and how much we achieved.”
Palumbo and his crew will officially wrap up the season with the traditional awards banquet at the Hilltop Steakhouse April 5 at 6 p.m.
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In other tournament action, No. 1 Savio Prep beat Lowell, 4-2, in the Div. 3 North quarterfinals. The Spartans, the defending Div. 3 Eastern Mass. champs, will meet Concord-Carlisle in a semifinal tilt tomorrow (March 8, 6:15) at the Chelmsford Forum.
Family considerations force Kingston to step down
Chris Kingston, the Revere High boys basketball head coach for the past three seasons, will not be returning to coach the team next season.
Kingston had told his players during a team meeting that he would be stepping down as coach. Kingston was hoping to inform Athletic Director Bob Lospennato of his intentions Tuesday.
Family commitments are behind Kingston’s decision to leave the program. Kingston and his wife, Melissa, are expecting their second child in August. They also have a four-year-old son, Garrett.
Kingston is a history teacher at the Rumney Marsh Academy in Revere. Kingston enjoys teaching in the Revere schools and he will remain on the Rumney Marsh faculty.
Kingston’s Revere varsity finished the 2006-7 season with a 3-17 record. His previous teams compiled 2-18 and 4-16 records.
The Revere program has been plagued by a small turnout of players and difficult intra-league competition, first in the Greater Boston League and then in the Northeastern Conference, where the Patriots are a second-year member.
Also continuing to hamper Revere’s program is the exodus of players to private schools. Justin McNeil, a Revere resident, is a 1,000-point scorer at Savio Prep. Anthony Campagnone is a key player for the St. Mary’s High School team.
Kingston played high school basketball at Malden Catholic, graduating in 1990. He went on to attend Suffolk University where he became a graduate assistant coach of the men’s basketball team.
Kingston endorses junior varsity coach Jon DeMarco
Outgoing Revere High boys basketball coach Chris Kingston will recommend junior varsity coach Jon DeMarco as his successor for the head coaching position.
“I am going to recommend Jon DeMarco for the head coaching position,” Kingston told the Revere Journal Monday. “I like Jon’s dedication, his energy, his knowledge of the kids in the program and Revere kids in general. He not only teaches at the high school but he grew up in Revere and went to Revere High.”
Kingston said that DeMarco has an excellent rapport with the players in the program. “He’s at a good level with the players,” said Kingston. “The kids are very appreciative of what he does. He’s earned their respect for the last couple of years. The players coming up in the program are players whom Jon helped cultivate for the next level.”
DeMarco, the boys junior varsity coach for the past two seasons, played on four state tournament teams in the Revere High program, graduating in 2001. The 6-foot-4-inch athlete went on to play football at Merrimack College for four seasons.
DeMarco helped out former RHS coach Charlie Caliri as an assistant coach in 2002. He is a history teacher at Revere High and an assistant coach in the RHS football program.
DeMarco’s 2006-7 junior varsity basketball team had an 8-7 record in the Northeastern Conference. His 2005-6 JV team had a 6-10 record.
DeMarco, 23, said he intends to apply for the position.
“Being a teacher in the high school and also playing for Revere High and being the junior varsity coach, I’d like to think I’d be a strong candidate for the position,” said DeMarco. “It would be a great opportunity to take on the team at a young age but it’s something I think I’m ready for.”