By Jeff Hamrick
---- — HAVERHILL — It might say Sachems on the jerseys, but that didn’t stop the Pentucket/Georgetown hockey squad from going to another Native American dialect for its team motto: we martin.
“It’s the Algonquin word for brotherhood,” Ben Klosowski said. “We’re Sachems, but we needed an Indian word for brotherhood.
The junior forward and his mates pulled off a shocker yesterday at Veteran’s Memorial Rink with a convincing 3-0 victory yesterday over previously undefeated and Cape Ann League-frontrunner North Reading.
“We knew they were supposedly the best team in the league, and we just wanted to prove otherwise,” said goalie Anthony Orlando, who splits time with fellow frosh Robert Porter in net. “When things are going (as well as they were last night), all you can do is pay attention to how nuts the bench is going.”
With 27 saves, Orlando was a big part of the upset, which came on the heels of Porter’s shutout of Lynnfield earlier in the week. Those wins have helped the Sachems (4-3 overall, 2-3 league) rebound from a 6-1 loss to Newburyport, which then dropped a 2-1 decision to North Reading on Thursday.
“We knew we were the best team in the league and we just had to prove it to them,” said Klosowski of yesterday’s showing. “We were getting the puck deep and pressing the net.”
Which exactly is what Pentucket did — starting early.
Wasting no time attacking North Reading (6-1-1, 3-1-1), Pentucket took the lead for good at the 2:40 mark on a score by Georgetown sophomore Cam Wolbach. A mere 68 seconds later, Klosowski scored the first of his two goals.
“We stressed all week long that (North Reading) was a good team,” Pentucket coach Bill Burns said. “They hadn’t lost yet and we had to be ready for a (fast) pace. We had to have a high intensity level and we had to start quick. We could not afford to spot them a lead.
“I think the kids understood that right away. We went over our defensive system at length to make sure we didn’t make any mistakes down low, and the kids did a pretty good job of executing that.”
North Reading, which had not allowed more than two goals in any of its first seven games while averaging 1.3 goals against, fell into an even deeper hole on Klosowski’s power-play goal with 4:04 left in the first.
That was more than enough offense for Orlando, who received strong play from the five defensemen Burns utilizes. In fact, with starters John Moner and Patrick Slack, who are both from Georgetown, and backups Andrew Greenbaum, Bob Hallowell and Ben Gardner leading the way, P/G kept the Hornets out of the net on all of their five power-play opportunities. North Reading managed only five shots on its three one-man advantages in the third period
“I think when you have success early in the year, it’s a dangerous thing — especially for some high school kids” North Reading coach John Giulotti said of the setback. “They start looking at the stats and they start looking at the standings, and they think that’s real.
“What they need to understand is that hockey is a very emotional sport and you have to come out every day. Today, Pentucket played a fantastic game, and they really took it to us. You take the goods and the bads and put them in the rear-view mirror and move on.”
As for the motto? Well Burns went to Wikipedia to find that.
“We lost eight seniors last year off a good team that just missed going to states by one game,” Burns said. “These kids coming in had to realize all they had was each other. And that’s brotherhood, which is what that word means.”
Any way you say it, the brothers of Pentucket/Georgetown incredibly are still in the hunt for a league title.
Pentucket/Georgetown 3, North Reading 0
North Reading (6-1-1, 3-1-1): 0 0 0 — 0
Pentucket (4-3, 2-3): 3 0 0 — 0
Goals: Ben Klosowski 2, Cam Wolbach
Assists: Bob Barry, Ben Gardner, Patrick Slack, Ethan Bridgewater, Michael Kutcher
Saves: NR — Keith Linnane 20; P/G — Anthony Orlando 27