The Medfield High School boys' hockey team is the 2011-2012 Tri-Valley League champions.
The Warriors defeated TVL foe Ashland, 3-0 at Veterans Arena in Franklin Wednesday night to clinch the league title. Tim Haggerty, Chris Diana and Brian McCloud scored goals and Conor Roddy made 20 saves to earn the shutout. With a 12-1-1 record in the TVL, Medfield stands alone atop the league for the first time since 2006.
"I am proud of this team for many reasons but I would say most is their willingness and commitment to working hard everyday and over coming adversity when they faced it," said Medfield head coach Toby Carlow. "We set winning the TVL as one of our goals at the start of the season and to achieve that is very special, especially for the seniors."
Medfield's success this season has been a result of outstanding leadership by its three captains – John Buchanan, Roddy and McCloud – and the depth of talent from line to line.
"The strength of our team is our depth at every position," said Carlow. "We have had injuries and illnesses to overcome and each time a different player has been able to step up and do the job. Sometimes even playing positions that they don't normally play. ... John [Buchanan] as well as the other captains, Conor [Roddy] and Brian McCloud, has been excellent leaders for this team. They have four years of experience at this level and have shown that every day."
Before this season began, Carlow admitted a big question about his team was who was going to replace the offensive production of captain Jim Magrath, who graduated last June. Ben Cox answered that question by turning in a tremendous offensive season for the Warriors, scoring 18 goals in 19 games.
"We definitely lost a lot of offense with Jim Magrath graduating but Ben Cox has stepped up his game and through his play we have actually had a more potent offense," Carlow said.
On defense, Carlow said Rob Treiber has been the team's best player and have had Matt Crowell, who is normally a forward, Will Murphy and McCloud play consistent, tough defensive hockey in front of Roddy. As a unit, the defense has allowed just 27 goals, including five shutouts, in 19 games this season with one to play – Feb. 22 at Wachusett, 8 p.m.
"[They've] been solid all year for us," Carlow said.
At forward, Tyler Etzkorn has had an outstanding season along with Cam Donnelly and Diana to lead a potent Medfield offense that has scored 89 goals in 19 games this season.
"[They] provide us with the depth that makes us a solid team," Carlow said. "Also, Matt Dresens and Pat Lawler have shown that they can play in their second year with the team."
After next Wednesday's regular season finale in Wachusett, the Warriors will turn their attention to to the main goal they set for themselves prior to the season – a long state tournament run that culminates with a trip to 100 Legends Way, Boston.
"Next up for us is to prepare for the playoffs," Carlow said. "We have one regular season game against a very strong Wachusett team next Wednesday, which will be a good test for us. After that, we have our eyes set on the biggest goal we set for ourselves and that is getting to the Boston Garden on March 18th."