Nauset Boys Hockey Builds Momentum With Codfish Cup Win

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: School Sports , Hockey

The Nauset boys hockey team poses after defeating the Dennis-Yarmouth/Cape Cod Academy/Cape Cod Tech co-op team to win the Codfish Cup on Monday at Tony Kent Arena. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO

SOUTH DENNIS – The momentum is growing with the addition of each victory. The buzz around the Nauset boys hockey team is tough to ignore.

The Warriors added another win to their pile Monday night when they skated to a 3-0 victory over the Dennis-Yarmouth/Cape Cod Academy/Cape Cod Tech co-op team in the fourth edition of the Codfish Cup at Tony Kent Arena.

Senior Cooper Guiliano and juniors Cooper McIntire and Dan Deering each scored goals for Nauset (8-2).

The win marked the latest celebration for the team, which is in the middle of a complete turnaround after posting a 3-8-1 record last winter.

“We just have a better attitude this year,” said McIntire, a junior right wing from Chatham. “I think last year was tough with COVID and everything. This year, it was good to get that first win against Monomoy and everything just kept rolling off that.”

“Last year, I felt like we had a really good group and were really talented but it almost felt like there was a lot of individuals on that team,” added Guiliano, a center/right wing from Orleans. “This year, we don’t really have that as much and we’re really buying into what the coaches are preaching and we’re working hard every day.”

Ask Nauset coach Drew Locke his opinion on this year’s squad and he’ll tell you he’s got a tighter group of players that are buying into the message he and his coaching staff are delivering.

“It’s a lot of discipline and hard work,” Locke said. “We’re not the most talented group, but hard work beats talent every time.”

The Warriors are hardly lacking talent. They have averaged 4.7 goals this season and have scored at least three goals in every game except for one, a 2-1 loss at Martha’s Vineyard on Dec. 14. The team’s high water mark came New Year’s Day when it rolled to a 10-2 victory over Blue Hills in Canton.

Locke said the ability to light the lamp in bunches is one of the key differences between this year’s team and other Nauset squads from recent years.

“The last, at least four years, it’s been tough to score goals,” the coach said. “We’re scoring goals this year.”

While Nauset is relying on everyone to score goals, the team is counting on freshman goaltender Mathew Swanson to carry the load between the pipes. He’s looked like a seasoned veteran at times during his first season, including Monday night, when he made 18 saves to secure the shutout.

As the wins pile up, so too does the Warriors’ confidence. The players can sense something special is happening.

“We’re just kind of riding the wave,” Guiliano said. “It’s good because we’re having tons of kids contribute. I think almost everyone on our team — on our top three lines — has a goal right now. Everybody has been helping.”

Monday’s victory marked Nauset’s second consecutive win over D-Y/CCA/CCT in as many weeks.

The Warriors earned a 4-1 win when the rivals met at Charles Moore Arena on Jan. 10. The two wins over the Dolphins serve as yet another reminder of how far Nauset has come in a short period of time.

“The past two years that I was on the team we hadn’t beat D-Y until this year,” said McIntire. “We faced a lot of adversity coming into this year and we’re 8-2 now, which is great for the team morale.”

Locke succinctly summed up the team’s success: “It’s special to keep winning,” he said. “What’s great is they keep getting better — that’s what’s different about this squad.”

Email Brad Joyal at Twitter: @BradJoyal