FALL RIVER — Entering play Monday night, identical 10-game winning streaks made the Somerset Berkley and Medfield boys hockey teams two of the hottest in the state.
Behind goaltender Brandon Silva’s 50 saves, it was the Raiders who stayed scorching, maintaining a perfect 11-0 record with a 3-0 nonleague win over the visiting Warriors at Driscoll Arena.
“We don’t play many teams like them, so we weren’t really used to it,” Silva said after notching his fourth shutout of the season. “Once we got used to it, we put in the work and were there with them.”
Though Somerset-Berkley (11-0, 6-0 South Coast) was outshot by Medfield (10-2, 9-0 Tri-Valley) by a drastic 50-15 margin, the Raiders made the most of their opportunities with a goal in each period. Aaron Preston scored 3:09 into regulation, Noah Taylor scored with 11 seconds left in the second period, and, just 13 seconds after S-B killed off a penalty, Kien Stafford made it 3-0 at 4:38 of the third.
The game carried additional meaning for the Raiders following the passing of the program’s founder, Bob Souza, who died over the weekend at age 85. A moment of silence was held prior to the game and members of the S-B coaching staff wore black ribbons over their lapels in his memory.
Souza, the first coach in program history (1972-82), lived just down the street from current S-B bench boss Kevin Synder. Now in his 35th season with the Raiders, including 20th as head coach, Synder played for Souza in the late ‘70s.
“He was a mentor, a friend, and a neighbor to me,” Snyder said. “Any advice, I’d go up and see coach and ask him for his advice and I’d make my own decisions from there.”