Boys Hockey Grinds Out Win, Back To .500 On The Season

The Whaler boys hockey team knew coming into their New Year’s Day matchup against the St. John Paul II Lions that they needed to stop the bleeding. They had lost two games in a row and fallen below the .500 mark on the season.

But on Saturday the Whalers were able to get back on track by grinding out a 3-1 victory to improve their record to 3-3.

“Overall we are in a little bit of a drought right now and are struggling, but we found a way to win the game,” Whaler head coach Scott Corbett said. “That is what good teams do. We have a week to work with these guys before our next game. We told the guys we need to start having more intense practices moving forward.”

The Whalers began the game sluggish and let in an early goal four minutes into the game. They needed the first period to find their skating legs.

“We told the guys in between periods we need to win this game whether it be for the league, the tournament, we had to find a way to win this game,” Corbett said. “We needed to find some leadership and we needed to wake up.”

The Whalers came out buzzing in the second period with much more energy, speed, and physicality. Senior sniper and assistant captain Cole Evens found the back of the net 2:01 into the period to make it 1-1.

“I thought we were a little better in that second period but it was the third period where we really started to play our game,” Corbett said.

The Whalers needed a statement third period with their season in the balance. It was a moment where Corbett said their leaders needed to step up. Senior captain Hudson Perry heard the challenge and answered the bell.

Perry gave the Whalers a 2-1 lead 3:32 into the final period. Evens was behind the Lions net, drawing defenders to him. The attention on Evens allowed Perry to find open space in the slot. Evens was able to tap a backhanded pass to Perry, who buried it to give the Whalers their first lead of the game.

The Whalers controlled play for much of the final period. In the final two minutes as Nantucket was holding the Lions off, senior winger Riley Williams was able to break the puck out of Nantucket’s defensive zone and find Evens streaking up the left wing.

Evens patiently waited for his teammates to jump into the play before finally finding Perry hustling into the play again for another wide open opportunity in the slot. Perry ripped it high glove side to give the Whalers an insurance goal and the much-needed 3-1 victory.

Corbett said junior winger Jack Billings in particular was another player he thought played well and led by example on the ice.

“I can’t say enough about Jack,” Corbett said. “As far as our forecheck is concerned I felt like he brought the most intensity. You need players like that on your team.”

The Whalers won’t be in action until Jan. 8 when they travel to take on Monomoy at a time TBD.

On Jan. 9 at 2 p.m. they host the Norwell Clippers, who are widely considered one of the best teams in Div. 4. Norwell has a 3-1 record with 24 goals for to 7 goals against.

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