Wakefield picks up first victory during WYSA/Alumni night

FRESHMAN FORWARD Cal Tryder picked up his first (and second, and third) career goals for the WMHS boys’ hockey team during their emphatic 10-0 win over Peabody on Thursday night. Tryder’s hat trick was matched by his classmate Oliver Miller as their linemate, junior co-captain Thomas Harrington, picked up two goals and five assists. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

Published in the January 2, 2018 edition.


STONEHAM — After starting off the 2017-18 hockey campaign with four straight defeats, the Wakefield boys’ hockey team emerged from the winless ranks with a convincing victory over the Peabody Tanners on Thursday night.

Actually, convincing is an understatement. The Warriors took out their collective frustrations on the hapless Tanners and pounded them, 10-0. The busiest person in attendance at the Stoneham Arena was clearly the official scorekeeper as he tried to keep pace, recording a half dozen goals in a frenetic first period, and four more over the next two, along with a handful of scattered penalties.

Leading Wakefield in the onslaught was Thomas Harrington with a pair of goals and five assists. The junior captain opened the scoring spigot just 30-seconds into the game and that early goal would eventually prove to be the game-winner. His wingmen, freshmen Oliver Miller and Cal Tryder, each notched a hat trick to help snap a drought that saw the Warriors score only four total goals over an equal amount of outings.

Wakefield improved to 1-4 while Peabody languishes with an 0-4 mark.

Assistant Wakefield coach Mike Manfredi, while certainly pleased with the results, acknowledged that the Peabody club is struggling and the Warriors should be cautious in how they categorize this win.

“After some of the ups and downs over the last couple of games, this is definitely a little confidence booster and we needed that,” said Manfredi. “It allowed some of the younger guys to go out there and make a few plays and put the puck in the net. But we can’t get ahead of ourselves and start to think we’re any better than we are at this point.”

5:43 into the first period, Harrington made it 2-0, stealing a mishandled puck on the doorstep and backhanding it behind goaltender Lucas DeMild. Linemates Harrington, Miller, and Tryder combined for another pair, sandwiched around Pat Roche’s first of the season. Before long, it was 6-0 after yet another first, this from Chris Coombs. The Warriors were in cruise control.

“I think the guys really stepped it up tonight and it was a full team effort,” said Harrington. “It’s not an easy thing to score ten goals. We’ve been on the receiving end of games like this and I think it will help build our confidence going forward.”

“Tommy Harrington is that heart and soul type of player,” said Manfredi. “He’s everything you want in a captain and literally gives every ounce of his energy. And we’ve been watching Cal (Tryder) since he was an eighth-grader and knew he had the goods. We were just waiting for him to take that next step.”

While his teammates were filling the Peabody net with handfuls of pucks, Wakefield goalie Justin Harding quietly turned aside all seventeen Tanner bids to earn his first career win.

“I think a game like this, with so much inactivity, is much harder for a goalie like Harding than a game like Reading where he was called upon to make 34-saves,” said Manfredi. “It was good to see him win his first and get that monkey off his back.”

Miller added a pair in the second to earn his first career hat trick. Tryder, meanwhile, had two goals and was perfectly content to leave it at that, especially after the Wakefield coaching staff decided to diplomatically take the foot off the gas in a show of respect for long-time Peabody coach Mark Leonard. 

It was easier said than done, however, after a Peabody skater was penalized for a 5:00 major early in the third period. The Warriors put on what could only be described as a passing clinic and literally avoided taking shots during this segment.

But to the chagrin of Tryder, his long, half-hearted shot from just over the blue-line in the waning moments of the game broke off the goalie’s glove and trickled in for his hat trick and the tenth Wakefield goal. The expression of guilt was evident on the freshman’s face and apologies were later extended to coach Leonard and his team.

“This is something we can build on,” said Manfredi. “We just need any kind of momentum we can get right now. We need to pick up wins whenever we have an opportunity. For some of the younger guys, to experience some success is a huge confidence boost.”

Wakefield defeated Northeast Tech on Saturday and will face Burlington at Burlington Ice Palace tomorrow. Complete game stories will appear at a later date.