By Paul Mortenson
The Bedford Buccaneers middle school hockey team played for the Valley League West Championship this past Sunday, February 28th, against Somerville, coming up just short in a heartbreaking 5-4 loss.
Bedford had a short bench of only 9 players due in part to injuries to defenseman Sam Mortenson and forward Anthony Missitti. Also, one of the team’s leading playmakers, James DeMeo and his father, Buc’s coach Tom DeMeo, were traveling and thus unavailable. The remaining Bucs, however, stepped up against a fully stocked Somerville team, never giving up. Somerville scored first, but the Buc’s Ryan Tramonte answered quickly deking out the Somerville goalie with an assist by winger Sean Doucet. Unfortunately, Somerville responded with four more goals before Tramonte could answer again, this time unloading with a withering shot labelled to the goalie’s blocker side on an unassisted effort.
The Buc’s started the third period on the power play, when center Mikey Giles, possessed with great hockey sense, smartly positioned himself in the center slot and converted on beautiful passing from Doucet to Tramonte to Giles to bring the Bucs to within two goals.
The third period offered some of the most exciting hockey of the entire Buc’s season. Brendan Vaughan and Bobby Marcus, both offensive players, impressed by filling in as a defensemen, creating many scoring chances. Bobby Marcus eventually brought the Bucs to within one goal with a tough grinding goal in front of the Somerville net with an assist from Tramonte. Coach Chris Doucet pulled the Buc’s goalie, hoping to tie the game. The Bucs had many scoring opportunities in the final minute of the game.
Again, the Bucs never quit. League point leader, Sean Doucet, continued his overall physical play and fearlessness in the corners. Justin Connell and Remy Lacchia, once again showed their trademark hustle throughout the game. Buc Susan Doubek had a great scoring opportunity early in the game and she continued her as always relentless forechecking. If only Buc defenseman Cam Fallon got a clear opportunity to unleash his renowned cannon of a slapshot the game could have ended differently.
Somerville had a number of quality scoring chances throughout the game, but goaltenders Sylvia Wolk and Chance Bodkin turned away many quality opportunities keeping the Bucs in contention.
The Buccaneers went into the game with an 11-1-0 record in the regular season, a bye in the first round of the playoffs and a second round playoff win on Saturday night, 5-4, against the only team they lost to this season, North Middlesex.
It is certain that we will see more great play from these young people as they move onto high school.