Published in the February 8, 2019 edition.
By DAN PAWLOWSKI
STONEHAM — The Wakefield High boys’ hockey team hit the ice at Stoneham Arena on Wednesday night looking to snap a four-game losing streak.
The Warriors matched up against the 8-6-3 Watertown Raiders. Wakefield beat Watertown 4-1 in their first meeting on Jan. 2.
Like their last matchup, the Warriors did a nice job of limiting opportunities and creating chances especially on the power play. Following the lead of captain Mike Lucey, who had a part in each tally with a goal and two assists, the Warriors beat the Raiders 3-1.
“I thought everyone played an overall good game, but Mike Lucey had a great night as well as the rest of the defensive corp and goaltender,” said Wakefield head coach Jason Lawrence.
Justin Harding made 14 saves including clean sheets in the first and third periods.
Lucey converted on Wakefield’s first power play of the game with 8:37 left in the first period. Brogan Chambers found Lucey in a great shooting spot by the left dot and he finished with authority on a top shelf wrister for his third goal of the season.
Wakefield continued to roll throughout the first, only allowing three Watertown shots and keeping the pressure up in the offensive zone.
Their second breakthrough occurred with 1:34 left in the opening frame. Lucey lined up a shot from the blue line with multiple Warriors including Dan Guarino and Cal Tryder creating traffic in front.
Tryder timed it perfectly and tipped the shot in for his second goal of the year, giving Wakefield a 2-0 lead after one of their better periods of the season.
“I thought we played a solid first period in all areas of the ice,” said Lawrence. “We were moving our feet and making hockey plays all over the ice.”
The second period was more an off-balanced struggle for possession with penalties disrupting the flow of the game. The Warriors had a great game from their special teams with the penalty kill getting the job done on two man-down situations to start the period. Wakefield faced a 5-on-3 for 15 seconds but Harding and the defense held strong and got the Warriors through it.
Watertown finally scored on their third power play with 3:12 left in the second to make it 2-1 but the Warriors would get their own chances on the man advantage.
Wakefield had their own 5-on-3 for a lengthy 1:19 and converted on yet another tip on a long-distance Lucey blast. This time it was captain Jake Regan with the soft hands, converting for his fourth of the season to make it 3-1 after two. Mike Locke also assisted on the goal.
There was no scoring in the third despite an up-tempo game. Wakefield outshot Watertown 11-5 in the period.
Harding got his work done early in the period gathering up back-to-back saves just two minutes in. Lucey later broke up a potential breakaway with some good hustle complete with Harding holding strong to keep the two-goal lead.
The Warriors had two more penalties to kill in the third. Chambers had a nice shot block on the first Raider power play of the period and Regan cleared it out of the zone.
Then the PK unit of Regan, Connor Santos, captain Thomas Harrington and Guarino went to work on Watertown’s last power play of the game with 3:40 left and shut them done to help Wakefield coast to a 3-1 win.
“The special teams was in-sync for the second and third and we really relied on that to win the game,” said Lawrence.
With the win, Wakefield (4-9-2) kept themselves in contention for the tournament. With five games remaining, the Warriors will need to go on a miraculous run and win each one to reach the postseason. Their next shot at staying alive will occur on Saturday, 12 p.m. at Ristuccia Arena where they will meet Wilmington (4-10).