The Stoneham boys’ hockey team started 0-3, but adopted a motto of getting better every day.
With their seventh consecutive win, the Spartans have taken the phrase to heart.
Led by senior Jack Henaghan (goal, 2 assists) and junior captain Daniel Storella (goal, assist), Stoneham slipped by Middlesex League Freedom rival Watertown, 3-2, at John A. Ryan Arena Saturday afternoon.
“They’re working hard,” Stoneham coach Paul Sacco said. “Every day we learn a little bit. We take steps back, but each day, we try to take enough steps forward that we get better each day.”
The Spartans (7-3), ranked first in the Globe’s Division 4 Power Rankings (Watertown is third), started strong. Storella found Henaghan blazing through the neutral zone with a stretch pass. The senior was off to the races, slotting his wrist shot under the glove of Raiders senior Jared Norton’s just 25 seconds in.
Henaghan whiffed on a breakaway in the third period, but collected the puck to find freshman Jacob Minsk, who fired a snapshot under Norton’s blocker for a 2-1 lead. Henaghan connected with Storella for the winner, turning at the top of the right circle and firing a pass to the far post, which Storella redirected just inside the left post on a beautifully executed play.
“He’s so talented,” said Sacco of Storella. “His intelligence is crazy. He makes kids around him better because he pulls two or three guys to him which leaves guys open and he finds ways to get it to them. He’s got some serious moves.”
The junior captain laid out with the game on the line, making a sliding shot block on a blast from the point with a minute and 25 seconds to play. Storella has slick moves with the puck and a tough, gritty element derived from his will to win.
“He’s not afraid to lay out — that was huge,” Sacco said. “We’re getting guys to buy in.”
The Spartans enjoyed a 39-21 advantage in shots on goal and were able to control the play through their physicality. The visitors finished their checks, putting a body on every player who touched the puck for Watertown (4-4).
“That’s what we pride ourselves on, finishing checks,” Sacco said. “It really changed the momentum of the game. We wanted to be physical.”
Belmont 3, Woburn 2 — Sophomore Matthew Pomer scored with 7 seconds left to give the No. 3 Marauders (11-0-1) the Middlesex Liberty victory at Skip Viglirolo Rink. Cam Fici had the other two goals for Belmont.
Bishop Fenwick 2, Arlington Catholic 1 — Max Vieira and Dan Reddick helped the visiting Crusaders (3-5) hustle out to an early lead at Ed Burns Arena, and Fenwick never trailed in the Catholic Central League win.
Bishop Stang 7, Bourne 0 — Senior Justin Gouveia recorded a hat trick, and sophomore Quinn Pine (2 goals, 1 assist) and senior Jack Jedrey (3 assists) each tallied three points to lead the Spartans (8-0) to a nonleague win over the Canalmen at Hetland Arena in New Bedford.
Burlington 3, Wakefield 2 — Junior Lucas Magliozzi scored the overtime winner for the Red Devils (1-5-1) in the Middlesex League victory over the Warriors at Stoneham Arena.
Chelmsford 2, Andover 1 — Senior Owen Flanagan’s overtime winner was the difference as the Lions (6-2) edged out the Golden Warriors for a Dual County/Merrimack Valley 1 win at Chelmsford Forum.
Essex Tech 8, Northeast 0 — Sophomore Chris Maher (first two goals of career) and junior Bryan Swaczyk (two goals) led a balanced scoresheet for the Hawks (5-1-2) in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference win at Essex Sports Center in Middleton. The victory also was No. 250 for coach Mark Leonard, in his third season at Essex Tech after 24 seasons at Peabody.
Hingham 5, Braintree 4 — Bobby Falvey scored his second goal of the game with 16 seconds left in overtime, lifting the No. 4 Harbormen (7-3) and giving Tony Messina his 200th career victory in 14 seasons as head coach. Sean Garrity also scored twice and Aiden Brazil added a goal for Hingham.
The No. 9 Wamps (5-2-1) tied it on three occasions, the last when Jack Woods scored midway through the third period. Kyle Hutchinson, Nick Fasano and Tim McLaughlin had the other goals for Hingham.
Hopedale 7, Oakmont 0 — Junior Brady Butler of Milford scored his 100th career point as part of a hat trick for the Raiders (7-0), who cruised in the Central Mass. nonconference matchup at Iorio Arena in Ashburnham. Senior Cam Collins added two goals and an assist, junior Jake Frohn and senior Will Piett chipped in three assists each, and senior John Tomaso posted the shutout.
Hopkinton 3, Dedham 2 — Callum Greenwood scored the deciding goal in the third period for the Hillers (2-5), who also got tallies from Drew Morse and Ryan Teitel in the Tri-Valley League road victory at Flood Omni Rink.
Lynnfield 6, Pentucket 0 — Chase Carney notched his third hat trick of the season and added two assists to spark the Pioneers (7-2) in the Cape Ann League victory at McVann-O’Keefe Skating Rink in Peabody. Evan Fitzemeyer posted the shutout for Lynnfield, and Drew Damiani (goal, two assists), Will Steadman (goal, assist) and Timmy Sullivan rounded out the scoring.
Marshfield 5, Hanover 0 — Brady Quackenbush recorded a shutout in goal for the Rams (5-3-1) in the Patriot League win.
Masconomet 3, Beverly 2 — Senior captain Josh Brann (2 goals) scored the winner to lift Masconomet (8-1) over the Panthers for a Northeastern Conference win at Endicott College.
Medway 3, Norwood 0 — Evan Monaghan made 29 saves for the shutout and also earned an assist as Medway (9-1) handed Norwood its first loss in a Tri-Valley League matchup at Sgt. Pirelli Veterans Arena in Franklin. Nate Van Saun, Pari Lykourinos and Alex Infanger scored for Medway, which is unbeaten against MIAA competition.
Methuen 2, Haverhill 1 — Sophomore Noah Kneeland and freshman Zach Anderson both lit the lamp at Veterans Memorial Rink to lift the visiting Rangers (7-2-2) to the MVC/DCL D3 triumph.
Milton 4, Newburyport 3 — Junior captain Jimmy Fallon scored the overtime game-winner and added an assist, and senior captain Ryan Dexter made 39 saves for the Wildcats (5-4) in the nonleague win at Ulin Rink.
North Attleborough 5, Oliver Ames 1 — Nick Longa scored twice and Nik Kojoian had a goal and two assists to pace the Rocketeers (3-5-1) in the Hockomock League win at Asiaf Rink in Brockton.
Pembroke 7, North Quincy 2 — Senior captain Anthony Birolini had a goal and two assists, senior captain Jaden Curtis scored his first varsity goal and added an assist, and the Titans took the Patriot Fisher win at Hobomock Ice Arena. Junior James Stone made 34 saves for Pembroke (4-5).
Pingree 2, Middlesex 0 — Senior captain Michael Lynch scored both goals and senior goaltender Matt Cusolito made 28 saves in a nonleague shutout for Pingree (4-5-1).
Plymouth North 6, Whitman-Hanson 5 — Kevin Norwood had two goals and two assists, and the Eagles (5-2-1) held off a comeback by the Panthers for the Patriot Keenan win at Rockland Ice Rink. Logan Greeley scored his first varsity goal in the win.
Sandwich 5, Grafton/Blackstone Valley 1 — Drew MacKinnon’s two goals and assist propelled the Blue Knights (6-2-1) to the nonleague win at Gallo Arena in Bourne. Colin McIver added a goal and assist, and Mitchell Norkevicius made 27 saves.
Thayer 6, Nobles 3 — Shane Taddia scored twice for Tigers (3-6) in the Independent School League win.
Upper Cape 6, Diman 5 — Max Bowman capped his hat trick with the overtime goal for the Rams (4-4), who prevailed in the Mayflower matchup at Gallo Arena in Bourne.
Cam Kerry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.