- Name: Bob Johnson
- School or league: Watertown High
- Team: Boys Ice Hockey
- Award: Red Raider Ice Hockey
The Watertown High boys ice hockey team now stands at 5-3-1 on the season after a 6-1 home loss to Wilmington last Wednesday at the JAR, and a 3-3 tie on Saturday on the road with Stoneham.
There are many reasons why Wilmington won the State Championship last year and is heavily favored to repeat this spring. They play 3 solid lines that move the puck quickly through the neutral zone and attack with authority. They have tremendous defensemen who know when to sit back and when to join the play, and they have a steady goaltender who doesn’t give up rebounds and second chances. All that experience and talent has the capability of putting teams on their heels, and that’s exactly what the Wildcats did to the Red Raiders. Senior Anthony Forman scored the 1st goal of the game midway through the 1st period when he buried a quick snap shot through a screen that caught the net minder by surprise. But by the end of the frame the visitors built a 2-1 lead that they would never relinquish. Wilmington would dominate the next 30 minutes of the game, burying 2 goals in each period for the 6-1 final.
The Red Raiders have built up quite a rivalry with Stoneham the last several years. The two teams are very similar, and play each other tough. Trailing 1-0 early, Chris Fidler scored a rare goal right off a face-off. Normally a left wing, the tricky super-soph took the draw and surprised everyone with a quick shot on the drop of the puck that found the back of the net for the 1-1 tie. Unfortunately, the Spartans would get that goal back just twenty seconds later to build a 2-1 lead after one period. Fidler and linemates junior Joe Kelland and senior Matt Johnson would sparkle the entire 2nd period, putting pressure on the Spartan goalie and creating numerous scoring attempts. At the 7 minute mark, Senior Connor Demore finally tied the game when he roofed a backhander on a 2 on 1 created by a nice breakout pass from sophomore Nick Giordano. And 90 seconds later, Johnson would set up senior Dan Loprete with the go-ahead goal and a 3-2 lead. But the Spartans would battle back to tie it at three with a late power play goal just before the break. Red Raiders Sophomore goalie Anthony Busconi would be impenetrable in the final 15 minutes, stopping all 15 shots he faced, and preventing the Spartans from scoring the go-ahead goal and seal the 3-3 tie. Up next, another defending State champion, as the Red Raiders travel to Burlington on Wednesday for a 5:30pm game, then it’s back to the JAR on Saturday for a 12:30 matinee with Melrose.