Squirt AAA team advances to State Tournament for second consecutive year
All in attendance last Friday evening at the Allied
Veteran’s Skating Ice Skating Rink in Everett witnessed a thrilling victory by
Wakefield’s Squirt AAA team over a talented and skilled Reading Squirt AAA team
to vault into the MA State Hockey Tournament for the second year in a row. Last year’s Squirt AAA team lost to
Framingham in the Semi-Finals of the Tier II State Championship round in Springfield,
This year’s squad includes returning players Shane Haggerty,
Kevin Wilson and Jack Penney. The team
also includes Oliver Miller, Tim Lucey, Matt Moniz, Michael Pettito, Matthew
Pettito, Caylin Wesley, Patrick Collins, Howie Melanson, Kevin Doherty and
goalie Luke Roberts.
Last Friday night, your Wakefield Squirt AAAs played their
hearts out for the chance to return to the state championship tournament and
continue to build pride for the Wakefield Youth Skating Association. After going toe-to-toe with the strong
Reading club for most of the first period, Wakefield drew first blood with
Michael Pettito deftly lifting an errant rebound over the Reading goaltender’s
left pad and inside the left goalpost for a 1-0 first period advantage.
Solid defensive play by Wilson, Haggerty, Penney and Matthew
Pettito, stellar goaltending by Roberts, and non-stop backchecking by Lucey,
Melanson, Wesley and Doherty kept the Reading forecheck at a standstill until
mid-way through the second period when a Reading forward tied the contest at
1-1 with a great hustle play to sneak one past Wakefield’s goal line.
With the State Tournament berth on the line, the 3rd
period was played at a frenetic pace, with both teams trading offensive chances
trying to score the game winning goal for their town program, parents and
friends. After a timeout, Wakefield set
up their overload face-off play with Oliver Miller cleanly winning the face-off
from the right circle to Jack Penney for a clean shot on the Reading cage. The goalie made the save but opportunistic
Matty Moniz pounced on the rebound to stuff the eventual game-winner home.
After a Reading time out to set up their 6 on 5 offense,
Miller won another crucial face-off at center ice and swept the puck to Moniz. Moniz quickly entered the Reading zone and
fired a missile to the center of Reading’s open net to seal the game and the
D10 Championship for the home team. The
Squirts will play in the State Tournament in Springfield MA once again on the
weekend of March 22-24.