Senior captain and goaltender Jack Curran (pictured) gets set for a defensive zone face-off. Photo by Mike Flanagan.
By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Coming off a 1-0 victory at Wellesley on Wednesday night, the Walpole High School boys varsity ice hockey team returned home to Rodman Arena on Saturday to host the Raiders (1-4-0) in the latter half of a back-to-back. Since falling 1-0 at Needham on opening night, Walpole had won three straight contests and looked to push their streak to four on Saturday.
With 10:01 to play in the opening period, Wellesley went on the power play with the chance to net the game's opening goal. However, with 9:40 remaining, junior forward Declan Hunter blocked a shot at the point and rushed in on a shorthanded breakaway. Hunter deked to his back-hand and got Wellesley goalie Reagan O'Neil to bite before depositing the puck home through the five hole, giving Walpole a 1-0 lead. Walpole killed off the remainder of the power play and took their 1-0 lead into the intermission.
Less than four minutes into the second period with 18:41 remaining, senior captain Kevin McElaney doubled the lead to 2-0. Junior defenseman Will Blakely fed a cross-ice pass to junior forward Frankie Govini, who corralled the puck and dished a perfect back-door pass to McElaney for a tap-in to make it 2-0. With 7:58 to play, Govini notched his second point of the contest, this time burying a wrist shot up high in the slot to make it a 3-0 game.
With 5:21 to play in the period and Walpole on the power play, junior defenseman Joe Verderber fired home a shot from the point on the power play to deliver the dagger and make it a 4-0 game. Just 45 seconds later, sophomore forward Jake Preto added some insurance, shooting a perfect wrist shot bar-down off an offensive zone face-off win by sophomore Joe Cox. Walpole preserved the shutout for senior goalie and captain Jack Curran, aided by some relief from senior Jack Reynard, winning handily by a 5-0 final.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.