Top-Seeded Nauset Boys Hockey Holds Off Marlborough In Second Round

by Brad Joyal

ORLEANS – All season, the Nauset boys hockey team has carried out a next-shift mentality. When the game doesn’t go the Warriors’ way, they are quick to move on and get back to work on their very next shift.

Nauset executed the next-shift mentality to perfection Saturday night.

Just 15 seconds after Marlborough senior Cam Ellsworth scored the game-tying goal in the second period, Nauset senior Julian Krivos answered to regain control for the Warriors in the Division 3 second-round matchup.

Krivos’s goal was all top-seeded Nauset needed as it hung on for a 2-1 victory over 17th-seeded Marlborough in front of a sold-out crowd of approximately 700 at Charles Moore Arena.

“It was huge,” Krivos said of his goal. “We always talk about having that shift-after mentality on the shift after a goal. I just tried to bring the intensity and the extra push we needed to capitalize.”

The victory propels Nauset (20-1-1) back to the state quarterfinals for a second straight season. The Warriors will face No. 8 Pembroke (13-5-4) at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at Gallo Ice Arena in Buzzards Bay.

On Saturday, junior Colin Ward opened the scoring with 3:25 remaining in the second period when he netted a power-play goal with a low shot from outside the faceoff circle.

The lead was short-lived, though, as the Panthers (10-9-3) answered with Ellsworths’ goal with 1:28 to play in the period. That was the only blemish for Nauset senior goaltender Zach Coelho, who was perfect the rest of the way once Krivos scored to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead with 1:13 remaining in the middle frame.

“You can’t let the wind get out of your sails, you take it and move on and have a next-shift mentality,” Nauset coach Connor Brickley said about Krivos’ goal. “It’s great because it’s something we’ve preached all season, so it’s great to see things come to fruition after they took a punch to the mouth. They did a great job and they executed fantastically.”

With a lead intact, the Warriors got back to their brand of hockey in the third period. They didn’t commit any penalties during the final 15 minutes and limited Marlborough’s scoring chances before ultimately securing the win.

“Our structure and our 5-on-5 play makes us a hard team to play against,” Brickley said. “The third period was a good show of that — there was a lot of 5-on-5 play for a while. You can see that we wear teams down and we don’t give them much.”

Brickley said he and the Warriors don’t know very much about their next opponent, but the layoff between games will allow him to research Pembroke and establish a game plan before Thursday’s quarterfinal.

Even though uncertainty exists, Krivos said the most important thing for Nauset will be continuing to play the way it has all season.

“As long as we keep playing our game and doing what we do best, we’ll keep this train rolling,” said Krivos, a Harwich resident.

Brickley added that once the playoffs roll around, the only thing that matters is the end result.

“It’s all about finding ways to win,” the coach said. “It can look good, it can look ugly, you just want to make sure your guys are playing the right way every single shift.”