Down 4-1 in the season opener against Newton North at Iorio Arena on December 14, Walpole Boys Hockey struggled to get anything going until the Rebels saw an unfamiliar but welcoming sight: their three goal deficit suddenly shrunk to one in a matter of minutes. After being outplayed for the majority of the game, the Rebels needed someone to give them a boost—a boost which came from the player wearing the number seven jersey, senior Billy Moore, who took over in the third period. He single handedly went coast to coast to net two goals to give the Rebels a much-needed spark. Despite the Rebels losing this close game 4-3, Walpole recognized they had a new offensive secret weapon that could change the outcome of a competition.
After returning to play high school hockey for his senior year, Moore has taken advantage of his improved skills to make him one of the most dangerous players in the Bay State League. With an 9-6-2 record for the Rebels so far, Moore has more than contributed to their success, scoring the game winner against Wellesley and assisting Pat Quinn twice in their biggest win of the season against Milton.
Through 15 games this season, Moore leads the Rebels with nine goals. His efficiency so far this season has made Moore one of the most proficient offensive players in the league. His shiftiness and smooth skating has made Moore a problem for opposing defenses as he showed in the Newton North game. Moore, who played his junior year for the Tier 1 team Boston Advantage, made the decision this fall to come back and play for the Rebels his senior year. Moore spent his freshman and sophomore year playing for Walpole but chose to go play with Boston Advantage in hopes of improving his skill by playing against Division 1 caliber talent.
Throughout Moore’s time playing for Boston Advantage, he benefited from playing against elite competition which improved his skills. While playing for Boston Advantage, Moore netted 10 goals along with nine assists.
Moore said, “Playing for Boston Advantage, I pretty much improved in all aspects. Going up against some of the best players in the state made me a smarter and faster player.”
Moore is still unsure if he will play hockey in college, but acknowledges that if he pursues to do so he will be well suited after being well coached in Boston Advantage and by Walpole Head Coach Ron Dowd.
Moore added, “I think I have strengthened the team in many ways. I’ve added depth to the team on both the offense and defensive end. Coach Dowd has made sure that each line is strong and so we never have a drop off.”
The addition of Moore has given Walpole much more depth at forward, making them one of the best offensive teams in the Bay State League. The Rebels depth at forward position has led to having their second line arguably just as good as their first line, anchored by senior Captains Tom McNamara and Sean Donnelly. His addition has helped make sure that there was no drop off of production from the 2012 season into the 2013 season because Walpole graduated then leading goal scorers John White and Matt Bender. With so many teams trying to shut down Moore offensively, senior Pat Quinn (six goals) and junior Kevin Quinn (seven goals) — the linemates of Moore — have had breakout seasons.
“Having [Moore] back has definitely made us a lot deeper at the forward postition and just a better team overall,” said senior Captain Tom McNamara. “He makes all of his teammates around him better and has made the team a lot stronger. Everyone is comfotable playing with him on the ice, making it easier to play our style of hockey.”
The Rebels hope that this depth at forward can bring them far into the postseason; however, the team and Moore’s real goal is a lot more than just a tournament berth.
“Our goal for the season it to make it to the Garden and win the State Championship,” said Moore. “I have the best teammates out there, and I know we can put together a strong tournament run.”
Currently in third place in the Herget, Walpole is just shy of overtaking rival Norwood for second before seasons’ end. With a new attitude of competing for a Herget Division Title every season — and the addition of secret weapon Billy Moore — Walpole might just catch Norwood (something they could not do all last year), and make a long tournament run.