Warriors post 3-1 triumph in Gianatassio coaching debut

Published in the December 17, 2015 edition.


BEDFORD — A time span of 1:39 doesn’t seem like much but for the Wakefield Memorial High boys’ hockey team it was enough.

The Warriors scored all three of their goals during that time span in the middle of the second period which proved to be decisive in their 3-1 victory over Lexington last night in the season opener over Lexington at The Edge Sports Center in Bedford.

The win was the first for new head coach Chris Gianatassio who was making his debut for Wakefield on the bench after having been an assistant with the program last year. He is more than pleased with getting the initial win to start the season.

“We’re happy to get it over with (getting the first win),” said Gianatassio. “We wanted to win this game with two tough games coming up against Reading and Arlington. I thought we played an OK first period but our senior leaders stepped it up in the second period. Also, Ben Yandell was unbelievable in goal.”

Seniors captains Steve Marino and Anthony Funicella, both forwards, netted the first two goals for Wakefield within 43 seconds of each other. The third goal was provided by junior forward David Melanson just 56 seconds later.

Senior defenseman Logan Dunn assisted on Marino’s goal, while senior captain and defenseman Dylan Melanson and freshman forward Tom Harrington earned assists on the second goal. The third goal was unassisted.

“Everyone played well. Our seniors led the way. We have four freshmen on the team and three of them played,” said Gianatassio. “Everyone contributed to the win. We deserved to win this game.”

The Warriors outshot Lexington, 6-5, in the second period but made those shots count as Lexington goalie Scott Douglass could do nothing to stymie the Wakefield attack during that time.

The first goal came at 9:13 of the second period. Dunn sent a pass down the left wing off the boards to Marino. Marino skated down the left side and backhanded the puck through the Douglass’ legs for the goal to put Wakefield in front 1-0.

Less than a minute later the Warriors were on top 2-0. Funicella, while falling to the ice in front of Douglass on another rush to the net, managed to knock the puck inside the left post at 9:56. Dylan Melanson and Harrington set up the play.

After Marino was sent to the penalty box for cross-checking at 10:06, Wakefield scored a shorthanded goal at 10:52. From in front of the net, David Melanson stole the puck from a Minuteman player and fired it in past a surprised Douglass to put the Warriors in front, 3-0.

Wakefield carried that lead into the third period until the Minutemen ruined Yandell’s shutout bid at 8:01 of the frame. Ethan Gordon flipped a high shot into the top of the net after breaking in alone on the senior goalie down the right side. Galen Riley assisted on goal.

Lexington outshot the Warriors, 11-3, as it felt the sense of urgency in the third period. Wakefield also was penalized three times in the third which gave the Minutemen three power play opportunities. The Warriors denied them each time. Wakefield also didn’t allow any more goals when Lexington pulled Douglass in favor of the extra skater in the last two minutes.

In the first period, Lexington had a 7-4 edge in shots. Twice Lexington’s Sal Frelick was denied by Yandell with the second save coming with the glove. The Warriors also had a chance later in the frame but senior forward Zack Kane couldn’t handle the puck in front.

Later in the first, the Warriors had their only man-advantage of the game. David Melanson got off a wrist shot that Douglass made a glove save on to keep the game scoreless after one period.

In the second, the Mintutemen had a couple of good scoring bids. First Jack Kenness had a shot clang off the right post. Then, Gordon broke in, but a defender and Yandell helped break up the play and prevent a goal.

Later in the second, Wakefield scored three goals in quick fashion to turn the contest in its favor.

The Warriors will be on the road again as they take on Reading on Saturday night at 6 p.m. at the Burbank Arena.


At The Edge Sports Center, Bedford

WAKEFIELD……….0  3  0 — 3

Lexington……………0  0  1 — 1


First Period — No Scoring. Penalties — Lex, Arnold (roughing) 13:21.

Second Period — Wak, Marino (Dunn) 9:13. Wak, Funicella (Dy.Melanson, Harrington) 9:56. Wak, Da.Melanson (un.) 10:52 (sh). Penalties — Wak, Dy.Melanson (interference) 1:21; Wak, Marino (cross-checking) 10:06.

Third Period — Lex, S.Frelick (Riley) 8:01. Penalties — Wak, Dunn (tripping) 1:30; Wak, Da.Melanson (interference) 5:49; Wak, Dunn (tripping) 10:31.

Shots on Goal — Wakefield 4-6-3 — 13. Lexington 7-5-11 — 23.

Power Plays — Wakefield 0 for 1. Lexington 0 for 5.

Goalies — Wak, Yandell (23 shots-22 saves). Lex, Douglass (13-10).