Haverhill Hillies Boys Ice Hockey '14-'15

Wed, Jan 14, 2015 05:00 PM @ Methuen
Team 1 2 3 Final
Haverhill 0 0 0 0
Methuen 1 1 1 3

Dickson leads Methuen's young guns

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Wednesday, January, 14 By Jeff Hamrick

METHUEN — Both the Rangers (winless) and the Hillies from Haverhill (undefeated) brought mini three-game streaks into last night's Merrimack Valley Conference affair.

And both of those streaks were snapped.

With its young starting line leading the way early, Methuen bounced back into the win column with a 3-0 victory over Haverhill at the high school rink. The offense proved key after being shutout twice in the previous three.

"We just played more as a team," said starting winger Connor Dickson, who scored both of Methuen's first two goals. "We made some bad plays, but today we did good against a quality team. We had a lot more communication in this game and that helped us to win this game."

Even though he's only half way through his sophomore season, Dickson actually is the experienced man on a Ranger starting line that includes freshmen Brett Blackwell at center and Patrick Cooper on the right side. Both assisted on Dickson's first goal with 8:18 left in the opening period.


"The day of tryouts (the youth) bothered me," said Methuen coach Denny Egan, who also uses freshman Justin Pitari on the third line. "You moan and groan about losing 13 kids from last year without knowing some of these guys. So seeing them step up has been very nice. They're working hard, but the second half of the season is key."

The second goal against Haverhill (3-3-4) proved key last night as Dickson showed off some slick skills, taking a long pass at the blue line then muscling past a defender before nailing a top-shelf wrister from the slot midway through the second period.

"That was amazing," said Dickson, who has five of his line's 13 goals — exactly half of the team total. "I mean, I had a great pass up from Patrick Cooper, and I just put it away. I've known (Blackwell and Cooper) for awhile, so the chemistry is there."

The Rangers (5-3-1) secured matters with 8:38 left in the third when Pete Menzies slammed home a loose puck in a scrum in front of Haverhill goalie Mike Gleason.

Methuen's Christian Mazzone pitched his third shutout of the season, stopping all 23 shots he faced.

"He made some saves that he had to make, which sometimes isn't as easy as it sounds," Egan said. "Sometimes goalies thrive facing more shots, but when we needed him he was there."

The loss was a let down for Haverhill, which was coming off a thrilling victory over North Andover on Saturday, scoring twice in the final minute of a 3-2 victory — it's third straight following an 0-2-4 start.

"We had some momentum coming into this game," Haverhill coach Joe Roberts said. "Even this game here, the score was not indicative of the game. We outplayed them two out of the three periods ... We outshot them (23) to 15, but we killed ourselves with our own mistakes and we couldn't put the puck in the net."

Game Statistics:

Goals: Connor Dickson 2, Pete Menzies

Assists: Brett Blackwell, Patrick Cooper, Mark Piccirillo, Mike Baglieri

Saves: Haverhill — Mike Gleason 12; Methuen — Christian Mazzone 23

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