Hockey 2024

THE SENIORS were honored before a thrilling 8-5 victory over Wilmington on Saturday night at the Stoneham Arena. Pictured from left to right with their families are seniors Aidan Brennan, Liam McNeill, Dylan Wickwire, Frank Leone, Tylor Roycroft and Brian Purcell. (Courtesy Photo)


STONEHAM — The Warrior boys’ hockey team had a huge win over Wilmington last Saturday, Feb. 3 on senior night. There were some star senior stat lines on the night as Tylor Roycroft (4 assists), Frankie Leone (1 goal, 1 assist) and Dylan Wickwire (1 goal, 1 assist) all played their hearts out on their night of honor. The best performance of the game, however, was from a freshman as Joe Covelluzzi put together a hat trick to go along with two assists.

Though the game ended heavily in Wakefield’s favor with the Warriors scoring four 3rd period goals to erase a 4-4 tie after two, the start played out in opposite fashion. Wilmington controlled possessions well in the first as they battered sophomore goalie David Rocca heavily in the initial period. The premier positioning in front of the net for the Wildcats led to a lot of juicy opportunities in front early, which is how the visitors were able to get the scoring started. Wilmington senior Ryan Weinstein sat at the front of the net and chipped a rebound over a sprawled out Rocca to make it 1-0. The away bench was in hysterics in addition to the well-represented Wildcat crowd while Weinstein absorbed the scene of his goal. 

The crowd and bench hype seemed to influence the performance on the ice heavily as the Wildcats scored again just a minute later. This time, junior Nick DiGiovanni had a doorstep follow on a rebound through the five-hole of Rocca, capitalizing on great positioning and timing once again. 

The Warriors desperately needed a response now and were given a golden opportunity as they got a power play just a minute after Wilmington’s second goal. For all but 20 seconds of this penalty kill, Wilmington seemed dominant with clears and physical play. In those final moments, Roycroft got a clean shot on net that was tipped by sophomore Brady Walsh. This tip from Walsh was deflected by the goalie and onto the stick of JP Casey who finished the job in front of the net and made success of the only Wakefield power play of the period. 


THE WARRIORS celebrated four 3rd-period goals with the Red Sea during an exciting 8-5 win over Wilmington on Senior Night Saturday at the Stoneham Arena. Pictured is freshman Joe Covelluzzi (24) who recorded a hat trick and added two assists. (Courtesy Photo)

The defense stayed solid to end the period with four straight saves from Rocca to kill a Wakefield penalty and keep the score at 2-1 after one.

The second period started hot for the Wildcats as they orchestrated another play off off a rebound. A shot by Matt O’Brien deflected off Rocca’s left pad and the first man to the loose puck was Daniel Lagunilla who beat the Wakefield goalie high blocker side just a minute and a half into the period. This expanded the lead for the visiting squad, but not for long. 

The Warriors were aggressive off the next faceoff as Walsh charged into the Wilmington zone, throwing a shot on the right pad of the Wildcat goalie. The shot trickled to the right post where Covelluzzi stretched as far as he could to knock the puck past the goal line, giving Wakefield a responding tally just 10 seconds after Wilmington had scored. 

There wasn’t much celebration for the goal as the Warriors still trailed by one, but Covelluzzi put the burden on himself to make some more noise. Junior defensemen Trevor Veilleux forced a turnover for the Wildcats, chipping up to Covelluzzi along the boards who began to fly up the center of the ice. The freshman forward faced the Wilmington D-pair solo as he powered his way between them, leaving just the goalie in the way who he smoothly deked around for a backhand finish with minimal effort. 

That one-man show of a possession fired up the rest of the Warriors as they dominated possession for the next seven minutes. Traffic in front as well as great play by Wildcat goalie Tyler Marinho negated all of the Wakefield chances at taking the lead despite a significant amount of zone time. Wilmington’s offense eventually did get their heads back in the game, waking up with a great display of chemistry for their fourth goal of the game. Junior Jake Tucker carried into the Wakefield zone and around back of the net, passing to Ryan Weinstein for a one-timer on the doorstep that blew by Rocca’s glove before he could switch from left to right. 

The Warriors would step up again though as they did all game when trailing as they made the best of another power play. Casey threw a shot on net, hoping for someone to follow and Walsh did just that, stuffing the puck just above Marinho’s reach. This tied the game at 4-4 as the time in the second period drained out shortly afterwards.

The third period was a true test of will as both teams had battled hard all night and this was really a matter of who had enough left in the tank to execute at both ends and seal a win. 

The first display of many winning efforts in this final period from Wakefield was by Roycroft as he picked off a Wilmington pass at center ice that lead to a 2-on-1 for the Warriors. Roycroft went tape-to-tape for senior Dylan Wickwire on his right who sniped a shot through the glove side of Marinho for the go-ahead goal. This erupted the Wakefield Red Sea which had packed in for senior night, giving the Warriors some unstoppable momentum the rest of the way through. 

A minute after the go-ahead goal, the Wildcats picked up another penalty, an unaffordable mistake considering the efficiency of the home team with power plays on the night. The Warriors capitalized as Veilleux put a shot on net, allowing Covelluzzi to corral the puck in front and chip off to junior Cam DePrizio to cash in the loose change. 

As if Wilmington wasn’t already deflated enough, Wakefield continued to pile on just three minutes later as Wickwire intercepted a pass in his own zone and passed up to Roycroft who had gotten behind the slow-transitioning Wildcat defense. With just one defender in front and Covelluzzi to his side searching for the hat trick, Roycroft slid a dime to the freshman at the very last second, drawing Marinho to his side and leaving the net wide open for the hat trick. 

With just four minutes left in the game, Wilmington put in their final goal on a loose puck in front chased in by Bobby Cyr to make it 7-5. Just for good measure, Leone potted one final goal with a glove-side rip from the low slot. 

“Coach told us we needed one more,” said Leone, explaining the final goal of the game. “We needed to win by three, it really helps the power rankings.”
The assistant captain went on to shout out his fellow seniors and their excellent performances on the night to secure the win. 

“Wickwire got the first one and you could tell it was very special for him. Tylor had a great night too, lots of assists. Brian Purcell and Liam McNeil both played great defensively and held us in there. All the boys showed up.”

With this game breaking a two-game losing streak for Wakefield, the Warriors will head into the final stretch of the season looking confidently toward the Div. 3 tournament. 

Wakefield beat Melrose 4-3 in overtime last night at the Stoneham Arena, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to score four unanswered in another thrilling win. The Warriors are now 5-8-2 on the season. They were ranked No. 14 in the latest Div. 3 power rankings released on Tuesday. Wakefield will rematch Stoneham on Saturday, 6 p.m. at the Stoneham Arena. The Warriors won the first matchup 7-2 on Jan. 10.