Nauset Suffers 1-0 Loss To Marblehead In Division 3 State Final

by Brad Joyal

BOSTON – The Nauset boys hockey team’s historic season finished in heartbreaking fashion.

The top-seeded Warriors saw their 19-game win streak snapped with a 1-0 loss to sixth-seeded Marblehead in the Division 3 state championship at TD Garden.

“It’s tough,” Nauset coach Connor Brickley said. “Those guys did everything that we wanted them to do. It’s not like they did anything different from the games past. We played our team game, we limited the opportunities against, controlled most of the game, and got a lot of offensive zone faceoffs.”

Marblehead (17-9-1) opened the scoring 10:19 into the game after sophomore Avin Rodovsky netted the game-winner from the low slot. Junior Kyle Hart tallied an assist after skating behind the Nauset goal and finding Rodovsky left uncovered at the goal mouth.

After failing to score on a partial breakaway minutes earlier, Rodovsky got his redemption and put the Headers on top.

“I got really mad at myself after I missed that break,” Rodovsky said. “I just wanted to come back as strong as I could. We probably should’ve buried some more, but it was a good feeling.”

Nauset (22-2-1) threw everything it had at Marblehead and its junior goaltender Leo Burdge, who made 37 saves in a shutout effort. Although the Warriors hit the post five times and the crossbar twice more, they ultimately were held scoreless for the first time all season.

“There were a lot of scrums in front of the net that just weren’t going behind the goal line, and we hit a lot of posts that just didn’t fall our way,” Brickley said. “It’s hard, but the guys know they played our game.”

Nauset junior captain Logan Poulin said the Warriors felt like they let one get away.

“I think we had maybe 10 crossbars/posts,” said Poulin, a Truro resident. “A ton of credit to them — they got their shots and did their job — but we think we should’ve had that. They came out and deserved it though.”

Nauset’s best scoring chance came late in the third period when a shorthanded 2-on-1 led to a scrum in front of Marblehead’s net. After Burdge made the initial save, the Warriors had multiple attempts to bury the loose puck from close range but couldn’t find the back of the net before the Headers netminder tied up the puck with 4:33 remaining.

“My main focus was tracking the puck and commanding the defensive side of everything,” Burdge said. “I tried to cover as much as possible and got a block and then I just covered it as soon as I could.”

Although the loss marked the end of Nauset’s historic season, the seniors felt fulfilled as they left the Garden after guiding the program to its first state championship appearance since the 2004 squad suffered a 6-0 loss to Saugus in the Division 2 state final.

“My freshman year, we didn’t make the playoffs,” said senior Julian Krivos, a Harwich resident. “Now in my senior year, we’re at the Garden. It’s crazy. We’ve been from the bottom to the top and it’s been a great ride.”