No Breakdown This Time for Soaring LHS
BILLERICA -- A year ago, the Lowell High boys hockey team entered the Division 3 North tournament as the No. 1 seed but exited early, losing in their first game to Swampscott.
On Saturday night, the Red Raiders made sure that scenario would not be repeated. The No. 2 seed Red Raiders were much faster, stronger and better in all facets of the game with an 8-1 whitewashing over No. 7 seed Hamilton-Wenham at the Chelmsford Forum.
The win advances Lowell -- the 2017 sectional champions -- to the North semifinals to be played Wednesday night back at the Forum against No. 3 seed Lynn. These two teams met two weeks ago in the first round of the Newburyport Bank Classic Tournament and the Red Raiders came away with a convincing 6-2 victory.
In the win over H-W, six different players found the back of the net including two each from Brendan DeMarco and Thomas Hassett.
“We wanted to make sure what happened last year didn’t happen again,” said LHS coach Brian Akashian. “It was good that we got out on top, but they answered right away. Then we came back, so that’s good. We just want to move on. Our whole thing is we want to practice tomorrow and now we do get to practice tomorrow.”
Andrew Kotsifas got Lowell (14-5-2) on the board right away, scoring a power-play goal just 3:15 into the game. The Generals (9-8-5) responded less than a minute later, only to see Lowell add two more before the end of the first, two more in the second and then three more in the third.
Chipping in offensively for Lowell were Matthew Asselin, Nicholas Mandeville and Ben Asselin with single goals. Owen Goulette finished the night with three assists, while Shawn Spring, Ben Asselin, DeMarco, Cameron Trull, Kyle Frechette and Keegan Cote had one each.
In net, Patrick Cote earned the win, turning away 16 shots.
“We knew that we were going to have a good team coming back,” said Akashian. “We tried to challenge ourselves with a better non-league schedule. We played Central Catholic, Danvers, who is still playing, Triton, who is still playing and Lynn, who we play next, because we wanted to prepare ourselves for the state tournament. We have five seniors who have done a lot for us and have been a part of a lot of wins, and our whole focus is to win it.”
Lynn knocked off Shawsheen Tech, 6-3, on Saturday.
“They have scored the most goals maybe in the entire state so we just have to make sure that we do a good job in our defensive end,” said Akashian.