|Trevor King (left) and Steven Bristol are captains of a 14-2-1 Weymouth squad pushing hard for the Super 8 tournament. (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)|
Following in brothers’ skates
Wildcat pair hope to match Super 8 effort
Trevor King and Steven Bristol vividly recall the last time Weymouth High skated in the Super 8 tournament.
As eighth-graders, the pair attended every Wildcats game to watch their brothers, former team captains Tim King and Ryan Bristol, in Weymouths march to the championship game in 2007, a 6-1 loss to BC High.
Four years later, the two are on a similar track: team captains on a 15-2-1 Wildcats squad pushing hard for the Super 8.
Tim and Ryan just said it was the time of their lives, said Steve Bristol. Both of them, especially Trevors brother, both of them couldve went somewhere else and played for a private school, prep school, juniors anything. But they came back and said it was fun. Trevors brother said he had no regrets about staying in the public schools.
King said he learned a great deal from watching his brothers team. That group was pretty special, he said. We have a big group, a big graduating class, just like they had. When they went to the Super 8, we saw a lot of things. I think you know were on our way there.
Both standing over 6 feet, the senior defensemen have shared the captaincy with senior forward Tyler Piacentini the last two seasons. The trio, along with nine other classmates, form a tight-knit group that has played an integral role in rebuilding a Weymouth program following heavy graduation losses and the retirement of coach Bob Donovan after the 2007 season.
A number of the seniors played on the varsity as freshmen, with a few seeing regular shifts. The Wildcats have made three straight appearances in the Division 1 South tournament, each season making a deeper run. Last year, Weymouth was eliminated with a 4-1 loss to Archbishop Williams.
I think we have a legitimate shot at making [the Super 8], said fourth-year coach Matt Cataldo, a Hingham native who played collegiately at Salve Regina. A lot of it is going to come down to how we finish the season. I think were in good shape right now record-wise and with who weve beaten and who weve competed with.
Cataldo intentionally scheduled a challenging slate of nonleague games this year with aspirations of competing for a Super 8 berth. Weymouth travels to St. Marys of Lynn on Saturday, plays Catholic Memorial on Monday, and then hosts Central Catholic a week from today. The Wildcats own a 3-1 win over Marshfield (9-2-4) and split a two-game series against Hingham (10-4-4).
We started the first two years playing kind of weak games, said Piacentini, a 5-foot-6 forward who has a team-leading 26 goals and 26 assists. Now our schedule is tough. I think we have one of the best schedules in [the Bay State Conference]. When the playoffs do come around, we should be ready.
Collectively, this senior class has played hockey together since the instructional level. Theyve built a special bond with Cataldo.
This group of seniors is just a great group of kids, Cataldo said. Theyre very hard-working during the season and in the off-season. Theyre constantly in the weight room. During the summer and the spring, theyre skating four to five days a week. This has been something weve been building towards. Theyre a very, very, very hungry group.
Over the course of their four years, theyve gotten much, much better as hockey players much smarter. From a coaching standpoint, its been fun. We started at the basics when they were freshmen and weve just kind of been building up and now were working on things that maybe some teams dont even worry about.
While Piacentini steals the headlines offensively, and King and Bristol do the dirty work defensively, Cataldo says less-heralded players, such as senior forward Nick Peatfield, make the Wildcats well rounded.
Hes a third-line center, said the coach. He converted his sophomore year from a defenseman to a forward and hes just done a great job. Hes the type of kid you need on a team whos not going to complain about ice time. Hes not going to complain about who hes playing with. He just works so hard.
If a Super 8 does not materialize, the Wildcats will focus on a Division 1 title. Either way, the seniors dont want their final season together to end any time soon.
This is the closest team Ive ever been on, Piacentini said. All the kids, theres a great group of us, we hang out a lot.
Thats the one thing Coach was saying, Bristol added. Were tight-knit even more so than that group [from the 2007 Super 8]. They had all the skill in the world but they werent as close as us.
B-R dethroned but still potent
Another senior-heavy team looking to make a playoff statement is Bridgewater-Raynham (10-4-1). But for the first time in the careers of the nine Trojan seniors, B-R will not enter the Division 1 South tournament riding the coattails of an Old Colony League championship.
League rival Barnstable (11-1-3, 5-0 OCL) effectively dethroned the three-time defending OCL champs with a very physical 3-1 win Saturday afternoon.
Weve had a little bit of a problem even dating back to last years [first-round] tournament loss to Marshfield like in big games against solid goaltenders finding a way to score goals, Bridgewater-Raynham coach Mark Jones said.
Despite B-Rs number of seniors, the Trojans entered the season relatively inexperienced.
We did lose our top line from last year, all the scorers we had, Jones said. But weve got nine seniors and a lot of quality hockey players and theyre doing well.
Around the rink
Westwood has won nine games in a row since a late December loss to Canton. The Wolverines should be one of the top seeds in the Division 3 South boys tournament along, with probable South Shore league champ Abington/East Bridgewater (14-1-1). ... The Mansfield and Canton boys should be among the top seeds in Division 2 South.