By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
After a pair of wins to start the season at Acton-Boxboro (8-3) and at Medford (4-2), the Needham High School boys varsity hockey team enters the holiday break with a 2-1-1 record after a 2-2 tie with Natick on December 17 and a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Framingham on December 21.
Much of the Rockets’ recent success can be attributed to the stellar goaltending of junior Dylan Jones, who has turned away 92 of a total 102 shots faced throughout the first four games of the season. Head coach Mike Hoban says that Jones has been a big part of the Rockets’ success out of the gate, and hints that his confidence and overall play has improved game by game.
“Jones was especially good against Framingham,” said Hoban. “They had two empty netters at the end there so the stats are a bit deceiving as far as the amount of goals scored on us and how well Dylan played. Dylan has stepped up big for us so far this year and his confidence has definitely improved every time he’s gotten in net.”
The brotherly duo of senior captain Seth (four goals, three assists) and freshman David Jacobs (one goal, six assists) have led the Rocket offensive attack, as the Brothers-Jacobs are currently tied for the team lead in points at seven apiece. Seth and David also scored Needham’s two goals in the 5-2 loss to Framingham on Wednesday.
“That whole line is producing very well with Tom Fachetti and they are leading our offense right now for sure,” said Hoban. “Seth and David obviously have a lot of chemistry together being brothers and it has shown on the score sheet.”
On defense, the Rockets have been led by senior two-way defenseman, Joey Conry (two goals, two assists), as well as their lockdown stay-at-home defenseman and senior captain, Ricky Tamkin (one assist).
“We’ve got eight defensemen on this team who we’re confident in letting step in at any moment,” said Hoban. “Again, some games like the Framingham game don’t tell the full story with how well your defense played because of two empty-net goals, but overall as a unit, everyone has been pretty strong. We’ve had a couple breakdowns that we need to work on in practice but I like where this team is at defensively.”
At the time of print, the Rockets are slated to return to the ice on December 28 when they travel down the road to Babson to take on old friend Wellesley.