The Melrose boys hockey program has an extended historical past courting again to the Nineteen Forties, when the Pink Raiders gained multiple state and New England championships underneath the legendary Henry Hughes.
Present coach Vin Mirasolo stated he doesn’t dwell a lot on the tradition of the program, however there’s one piece of history he makes positive his present gamers know.
“What we’re conscious of, certainly one of our workforce objectives is to win the Middlesex League,” Mirasolo stated. “It’s been close to 40 years since Melrose has achieved that.”
Mirasolo also is fast to level out the regular season barely is one-third carried out, but the Purple Raiders entered the weekend at 7-0-2 general and certainly one of seven remaining unbeaten boys groups in Japanese Mass. And sure, their four-0-1 Middlesex League mark tops the Freedom Division.
“I feel we came into the season with lots of potential,” stated Mirasolo, in his seventh season with this system. “We have now a pleasant combine. We’re very young, but we have now loads of expertise.”
Melrose’s prime two strains function four sophomores and two juniors, however several of them have been key elements of last yr’s squad, which went eleven-9-1 and fell to ML rival Belmont within the first round of the Division 1 North event.
Junior Andrew Calvert facilities sophomore Brendan Fennell (LW) and junior Cam Marks (RW) to type one of the league’s most potent strains, a trio that is in its second season collectively. Sophomores Quinn McCarthy, Charlie Haggerty and Sean Senier have been asked to step into key roles in preseason.
The Raiders are extra experienced on the back end with seniors Liam Crovo and Adam Bain on the blue line along with junior Joe Lucien. Senior Mark Dewing is also a veteran in objective.
For Mirasolo, who previously coached at Lynnfield and has greater than 250 career victories, this yr’s squad has a special feel from the teams when he took over in 2012-thirteen. His first three seasons produced 12, thirteen and 12 wins, one of the best three-yr stretch because the mid-Nineteen Seventies.
“My first couple of years here I walked into a very good group of athletes,” he stated. “This can be a group of hockey players, at the start.”
While many Middlesex coaches pointed to Melrose as a workforce to observe getting into the season, that message was pushed house early when the Raiders battled to a 1-1 opening-week tie with powerful Arlington.
“From the youngsters’ perspective, seeing what they did towards Arlington, once we have been up 1-0 with eight minutes left, we played with them the whole recreation,” Mirasolo stated. “That permit them know they will play with pretty much anyone.”
Melrose additionally has a key 4-three victory towards Stoneham final weekend when Marks scored the profitable aim with 56 seconds to play. But the street gets robust from right here, beginning with Wednesday’s first of two meetings with defending ML Freedom champ Burlington. Melrose also has nonleague matchups towards St. John’s Prep and Xaverian.
“The toughest a part of our schedule is but to return,” Mirasolo stated. “That will probably be telling.”
Foxboro makes level
Foxboro fielded its first boys hockey staff in 1999 and the Warriors began competing towards their regular Hockomock League rivals in 2002-03. Within the 15-plus seasons since, Foxboro by no means had come close to beating Hockomock energy Franklin.
Until Wednesday night time.
The Warriors picked up their first-ever point within the collection once they battled Franklin to a three-3 tie. Much more vital is that Foxboro carried a 3-1 lead into the third period before Franklin rallied late.
“It was an ideal recreation,” Foxboro coach Mark Cedorchuk stated. “Our guys played properly and executed defensively what we have been asking them to do.”
Foxboro is coming off its greatest season in program historical past, a 10-9-2 report that matched its most wins ever (2003-04).
“Regardless that we had a profitable season final yr, greatest in group historical past, our gamers aren’t glad,” Cedorchuk informed the Herald in preseason. “They are hungry to improve on that.”
Sophomore ahead Kirk Leach (eight-10-18) and junior forward and captain Ronnie MacLellan (8-9-17) have led the best way along with senior captain Brendan Tully, a dynamic two-approach defenseman who’s third on the workforce in scoring (7-8-15). Each had a aim Wednesday towards Franklin.
Senior captain Tanner Kennedy (1-5-6) is another veteran, while freshman Jack Watts (4-2-6) has bolstered the offense. Junior Espen Reager has been a standout in internet with a 2.17 GAA and .932 save proportion, together with more than 50 stops in a loss to Oliver Ames.
Foxboro, which earlier this season gained the championship of the St. John Paul II Christmas Event, took a 4-three-1 report into last night time towards Stoughton. After a nonleague recreation tomorrow vs. Norton, the Warriors return to Hockomock play Wednesday towards unbeaten Canton.
By the best way, Foxboro by no means has taken some extent from Canton.