Warriors surrender two third period goals, drop 3-1 contest

DEFENSEMAN DOM Bruno (#22) controls the puck while teammate Ben Coccoluto (#11) looks on. The Warriors played a pretty good game against Wilmington last night at the Kasabuski Arena but lost by a 3-1 tally. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

DEFENSEMAN DOM Bruno (#22) controls the puck while teammate Ben Coccoluto (#11) looks on. The Warriors played a pretty good game against Wilmington last night at the Kasabuski Arena but lost by a 3-1 tally. (Donna Larsson File Photo)


SAUGUS — For the first two periods, it was a pretty evenly played game between the Wakefield Memorial High and Wilmington High boys’ hockey teams. However the third period was all Wilmington and that was the difference as the Warriors suffered a 3-1 defeat last night at the Kasabuski Arena.

The Wildcats scored the first goal of the game in the second but Wakefield answered with the equalizer later in the frame. But Wilmington lit the lamp twice in the third period and outshot the Warriors, 14-6, to keep Wakefield winless on the season.

Wakefield dropped to 0-4-2 overall on the season and 0-3-1 in the Middlesex League Freedom division. Wilmington, meanwhile, increased its record to 4-3-1 overall and 1-3-1 in the league.

The Wakefield goal was scored at 14:27 of the second period and it came on a power play. Junior captain and forward Anthony Funicella collected a loose puck in front and backhanded a shot by Wilmington goalie Nick Russo. Senior forward Zach Salamone and senior defenseman Jack Brown assisted on the play which tied the game at 1-1 at the time.

But Wilmington came out to start the third period energized and took the lead just 2:39 into the final period. Senior forward and captain Steve DeFuria took a pass from junior forward Brian Cavanaugh and skated into the zone alone. DeFuria sent a shot through the five hole of senior goalie Ben Yandell who tried to cover as much ground as he could.

The Wildcats tallied an insurance goal at 11:38 as junior forward Eric Steeves knocked in a rebound at the left post. Senior forward Michael Carroccino and senior forward Brian Moran earned the assists on the play which gave the visitors a 3-1 lead and that wound being the final score.

“We played fairly well,” said Head Coach John Pellerin. “We gave up a couple of pucks at inopportune times and Wilmington capitalized. I thought it was a good game for the first two periods and half of the third. I’m proud of the kids. They kept digging the entire game.”

Yandell played another strong game in goal for the Warriors as he made 25 saves. While the Wildcats scored three goals, they could’ve had a few more had the senior not been up to the task in between the pipes.

In the first, DeFuria was denied on a shot from the right circle as Yandell cut down the angle. Wakefield also had a bid that went wide of the left post in the initial frame as well. But at the end of 15 minutes, the game was still scoreless.

Each team killed off one penalty in the first period and Wakefield killed off an early infraction in the second period. A couple of minutes after the penalty ended, Wilmington took a 1-0 lead with a goal at 6:52.

Steeves skated down the right wing and sent a pass to the left post where sophomore forward Joshua Buske was there to knock it in.

Wakefield killed off another man-advantage and then Wilmington’s Ed Silva was sent to the penalty box for hooking at 13:07. Wakefield made the Wildcats pay with the tying goal. Brown took the puck at the right point and sent it to Salmone in front. Salamone tapped a feed to Funicella who did the rest.

But in the final period, the Wildcats controlled more of the territorial play and it paid off with two more goals. Each team also had one power play in the frame but nothing came of the man-advantage for either team although Wilmington did have several shots.

Wakefield’s Ben Coccoluto, a sophomore defenseman, was denied twice by Russo in front during the third period on a brief flurry of shots.

But Wilmington proved to be better at finishing its quality scoring bids in the final period and that was the difference in the outcome.

“We have not been out of a game except for the opener,” said Pellerin. “This is a tough league. We’ll take the positives and move on to Melrose on Saturday.”

The Warriors face the rival Red Raiders on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. at the Kasabuski Arena. Since both teams call Kasabuski home, Wakefield will be the home team for the contest.


At Kasabuski Arena, Saugus

Wilmington………0  1  2 — 3

WAKEFIELD……..0  1  0 — 1


First Period — No Scoring. Penalties — Wak, Dy.Melanson (slashing) 9:01; Wil, Carroccino (elbowing) 13:18.

Second Period — Wil, Buske (Steeves) 6:52. Wak, Funicella (Salamone, Brown) 14:27 (pp). Penalties — Wak, McAuliffe (roughing) 1:39; Wak, Dunn (tripping) 10:37; Wil, Silva (roughing) 13:07.

Third Period — Wil, DeFuria (Cavanaugh) 2:39. Wil, Steeves (Carroccino, Moran) 11:38. Penalties — Wil, DeFuria (interference) 4:40; Wak, McAuliffe (slashing) 7:27.

Shots on Goal — Wilmington 10-4-14 — 28. Wakefield 8-8-6 — 22.

Power Plays — Wilmington 0 for 4. Wakefield 1 for 3.

Goalies — Wil, Russo (22 shots-21 saves). Wak, Yandell (28-25).