The following information was submitted by Marblehead Bantams Assistant Coach Ted Gienieczko:
This season, for the first time in many years, Marblehead Youth Hockey entered several of their teams in the Massachusetts State Youth Hockey Tournament. The tournament began this past January with a preliminary play down round of games at the Haverhill Valley Forum.
The Marblehead Bantam AA team, coached by Mark Lavoie with assistant coaches Steve Roy and Ted Gienieczko, earned a right to continue on by beating teams from Haverhill/Pentucket and Andover.
The tournament reconvened in Marlborough, MA the weekend of March 2-4 with 16 teams remaining to compete for the championship. Marblehead finished 2-0-1 in pool play to advance to the semi-final round on Sunday against Valley League opponent Chelmsford.
The Headers beat Chelmsford 3-0 in a tightly contested game to advance to the finals against South Shore powerhouse Braintree. Braintree had not allowed a goal in pool play and beat Waltham 3-1 to advance to the finals.
The final matchup proved to be a thrilling game against two evenly matched teams. After a scoreless first period, Braintree struck first with a second period goal. The 1-0 Braintree lead stood up until Tim Kalinowski tied it late in the third.
Neither team could score through the rest of regulation time and the match went into overtime. Marblehead carried the majority of the play through the first overtime period, though Braintree mounted some strong counterattacks.
The first overtime period proved inconclusive and the game proceeded to overtime period number two. Much more of the same in the second overtime, some great scoring chances for both teams, but no goals.
Finally late in the third overtime period, Danny Gienieczko rushed down the right side and turned a Braintree defender for a shot on goal, the shot was stopped but the rebound came out to a perfectly positioned Ben Lavoie, who potted the game, and championship winner!
Marblehead's attack was led by Tim Kalinowski and Danny Gienieczko who each scored 6 goals in the tournament. PJ Roy contributed 5 goals and strong play along the boards. A strong supporting cast of forwards included Ben Lavoie, Conor Fallon, Jacob Woodrow, Charlie Sweeney, and David Giliver. Marblehead's outstanding defensive corps consisted of Christian Henniger, Will Crowley, Ridge Driscoll, and Duncan Legget.
The Headers net was manned by Mark Scribner, who recorded three shutouts and singlehandedly saved the tournament with some incredible stops in the championship game, included an overtime save at the goal line.
Not dressed, because of a recent illness, was forward James McCarthy, who nonetheless made the trip to Marlborough and supported the team from the bench.