February has been tough – even on hockey players who almost never cancel games.
However, Malden/East Boston Youth Hockey (MEB) teams have continued to struggle through all of the storms and schedule changes. One thing that did not change was the Central Mass Winter Classic tournament in Marlborough this past weekend. This tournament attracts players from across New England, New York, and New Jersey, and is always a fun time for all of the families involved.
MEB had four teams competing this year – Mite, Squirt, Pee Wee, and Bantam – in the contest that we have traditionally played in each February for the past few years. The schedule was a tough one this year, with one of the first games of the weekend featuring our youngest players, the Mites. Along with them, we logged lots more minutes on Friday, with five games before early afternoon, and six in total after one late night match, where our Bantam team tied one of our rivals from Casco Bay (Maine). With Saturday games coming early as well for both the Squirt and Pee Wee teams, we had a rough record at the end of the night, with just two of our four teams not on the negative side of the score sheet.
Early Saturday proved to be a good time for our Pee Wees, who won their second in the 7:00 AM game against a team from north central Massachusetts. Our Squirts did not fare as well, dropping another to the Hawks from the south shore (MA). Saturday games picked up again at dinner time, which our teams did not appreciate much. The Squirts, Mites, and Bantams all had difficulty finding the back of the net with the puck while skipping dinner with friends. In late night games, the Pee Wee’s extended their winning streak to take first place in their division heading into the playoffs on Sunday with a win over the Southeast Cyclones (MA). Our oldest players in the tournament ended their qualifying round with more trouble, dropping the 10:00 PM game to the Southern Maine Breakers, ending their tournament trip.
On Sunday morning, our Pee Wees were our only team in the playoffs, and broke out early in their re-match against the Cyclones, leading 4-2 in the second period. In the end, they were defeated 6-5 in a tough game in the early morning playoff round. This team displayed great teamwork and effort, and really enjoyed themselves in the tournament – a great showing for MEB all around! Please see the team photo above – a great time in Marlborough for these kids and all of the other players, siblings, parents and families!
The photo details are as follows:
Bottom Row L to R: Jared Swanson, Anthony Bocchino, and Nicholas Summers Top Row L to R: Deano Summers, Sam Fosdick, Corey Rufo, Kevin Ivany, Brandon Hurtado, and Tim Rufo
Missing: Brendan Curtis, Kevin McMaster, Thomas Sullivan, John Bernbaum, Anthony Bettoncourt, Andrew Hallahan, Shamus Royds, Jake La Verde, and Coach Glen Curtis