Another Warrior-Wildcat boys’ hockey classic

Jan 11, 2021 by

Wilmington comes back from three down to tie 3-3

Published in the January 11, 2021 edition.

By DAN PAWLOWSKI

STONEHAM — A better Monday than a Friday; the Sasquatch; an uneventful trip to CostCo. Add to that list of things that don’t exist: a boring Wakefield vs. Wilmington hockey game.  

The Warriors hosted the Wildcats on Sunday morning at the Stoneham Ice Arena. After Wakefield jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening period, Wilmington’s first of two shorthanded goals made it 3-1 with 4:42 left in the first and the visitors scored a power play goal with 2:28 left, making the score 3-2 after one. 

A 17-11 Wakefield lead in the first period’s shot totals turned into a 13-6 Warrior advantage in a tighter but no less exciting second frame. The Wildcats found their equalizer with 13:19 left and both defenses held strong as the skaters finally started to run out of steam late in the game.

The end result was certainly frustrating for a Wakefield team who not only had more quality scoring chances and a 30-17 shot advantage but were leaving it all on the ice with plenty of shot blocks and endless effort.

Wakefield got two goals from senior captain Brendan Vacca and one from sophomore Bobby DeFeo. Senior Cal Tryder had two assists.  

Wilmington got a quick power play chance just 27 seconds into the game but Wakefield killed it with a deep mix of players. Vacca’s first came on a rebound with 13:56 remaining. Warrior goalie Jon Guida’s blocker save bounced out to Rossini who moved it across to Tryder entering the zone on the left wing. His shot was saved but chipped back into the corner by Vacca, allowing Tryder to skate onto it behind the net and shoot again from the opposite side. Vacca was waiting in front this time to finish for a 1-0 lead. 

The Tryder, Bobby DeFeo and John DeFeo line kept the pressure up immediately after the goal along with defensemen Michael Parent and Joe Colliton.

A diving Andrew Almquist blocked a Wilmington blue line shot and the puck bounced on top of the Warrior cage and right in front which Guida pounced on in a wild sequence. 

Vacca’s second came with 8:30 left. Almquist played a nice pass across the length of the ice to Rossini who dropped a trailing pass to an oncoming Vacca – his wrister from the right dot went top shelf stick side. 

Wakefield made it 3-0 just over a minute later as DeFeo lit the lamp off a centering pass from Tryder. 

It was an effort play on the part of Tryder. After DeFeo took the puck behind the net, a battle sent it over to a vacant left corner. Tryder was the first to hustle to it, settling and firing it back across the middle where two DeFeo’s were fighting for position against two defenders. Bobby’s stick got to it and deflected it in. 

Wilmington’s first goal came on an incredible bounce off the glass in the neutral zone. It was a clear from the Wildcat kill that ended up being a perfect bounce pass to a Wilmington player who was flying in fresh off the bench. He skated right onto it and finished the breakaway with 4:42 left and 39 seconds remaining on a Warrior man advantage. 

Wilmington had a power play chance with 1:45 left but Wakefield escaped the period with a 3-2 lead. 

The Wildcats started the second on the power play but John DeFeo later finished the kill with a block and a long clear. 

Wilmington’s second shorthanded goal just squeaked by Guida, evening up the game and bringing in senior goalie Jacob Barrett who made who made three saves in the final 13 minutes to help Wakefield pick up a point. Barrett’s first and best stop came on a two-on-one which he squared up nicely. 

Wakefield’s skaters helped out with plenty of highlight reel defensive plays including a block on a point shot by Vacca, a diving block from Joey O’Brien who shook off that stinger and finally, in perhaps the play of the game, a steal from defenseman Evan Simoneau who played a two-on-one brilliantly by lying down to cut off the passing lane and get the puck back. 

Wakefield had a couple more good looks but didn’t have the energy to break through as another Wakefield-Wilmington hockey battle became an instant classic with a 3-3 tie. 

The two teams will have a rematch this Sunday, Jan. 18, 11:30 a.m. back in Stoneham. 

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