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After a great ride, Scituate boys’ hockey one step away

Mike McMath

The final buzzer went off in Gallo Arena March 12, and Scituate hockey head coach Mike Breen looked at the scoreboard.

Scituate 4, Medway 0.

It was another big step in a most gratifying season for Scituate, putting the team one win away from the Division 2 state championship.

“This hasn’t been a typical Scituate team,” Breen said. “We have so much depth and skilled players, which translated to an unexpected season.”

But with 13 seniors on the 25-man roster, the way last season ended — a brutal 2-1 loss to Medfield at the South Division 2 sectional final — is still a fresh and painful memory.


At the start of the season the Scituate players had three goals in mind.

First, win the Patriot League title. Done. Then, win the sectional final. Done. Lastly, win the Division 2 state title. To be determined.

The season hadn’t even begun before Breen, the 16-year head coach, realized he had a special group of players. After a week of practice, he diverged from his usual early game plan focusing on basics to work instead on more advanced skills.

“This team’s chemistry coming into the season was unbelievable, and something I’ve never seen before,” Breen said. “We started working on skills for each position right away, and it led to a fast start for the team.”

The team lost its second game of the young season to Hanover, 5-3, on Dec. 14, then reeled off winning streaks of 11 games and five games (there was one tie) before dropping another Feb. 20, 4-2, to Norwell in the Gould Cup.

The team’s final record — 18-2-1 — made it the number one seed in the South Division 2 sectional tournament, a first during the Breen era.

“Toward the middle of the regular season, we’ve been eyeing that number one seed for [the sectional tournament], and it became more of a goal for us,” said junior forward David Murray. “With our depth, we knew we could have a dominant regular season and make a run in the sectional tournament.”


“It felt right to be number one because we deserved it after our season,” said senior defensemen Matt Loud. “[In] sectionals, it seemed like we came together even more, because we realized it’s a one-and-down atmosphere.”

Scituate never had a close game during that sectionals tournament, putting up four-goal wins in three of its four games. The team’s biggest win, 9-0, came in the quarterfinals against Oliver Ames.

As for team depth, you look no further than the team’s top two offensive lines.

The first consists of seniors Jake McCarthy and Mike Norton and junior Ryan Harrigan. McCarthy is one of the fastest skaters on the team, Breen said, and the coach calls Norton “Mr. Hustle” in both games and practices.

The second line is Shane Comeau, Liam Walsh, and Murray — all juniors, which delights Breen as he anticipates their senior year.

These six players were ranked in Scituate’s top seven for total points during the season. Murray had a team-high 41 points, with 12 goals and a team-leading 29 assists. McCarthy and Walsh led the team with 20 goals each. McCarthy added 13 assists for 33 points, Walsh 11 assists for 31 points.

Norton, too, had 31 on 12 goals and 19 assists. Harrigan followed with 27 points and Comeau with 23.


“Our second line is the leading line for our team, and all of them are juniors,” Breen said. “That makes me a happy coach for next season — and finishing this season in the state championship game.”

Scituate will take on Lowell Catholic, the North Division 2 sectional winners, for that championship.

Breen concedes he doesn’t know much about the opponent, but wants his team to stick to its game and philosophy.

It will be the fifth time Breen has taken a Scituate team to the state tournament. The school has a 1-3 record at state, losing once in the semifinals and twice in the finals. The only state win came back in the 2006-07 season against Westfield, and the final in that one was 1-0.

Loud, the senior defenseman, knows it will be the last game of his high school career and he wants to leave everything on the ice.

“You’re not playing just for yourself, you’re playing for a community and town,” Loud said. “We just need to live in the moment and take it play by play. If we do that, the state championship will come to Scituate.”

Brian Mozey can be reached at brian.mozey@globe.com. His Twitter handle is @BrianMozey.