Boys Hockey Remains Undefeated through First Ten Games


Ben Brownsword

After falling just short of a tournament berth last winter, Walpole Boys Hockey looks to be revitalized for the 2015-16 season. Through ten games, the team’s undefeated record stands at 8-0-2. They boast an incredible +20 goal differential, scoring 29 goals and allowing just nine.

The biggest difference for the Rebels from last year? According to senior Jimmy McKenna, it’s the attitude that this year’s team is bringing.

“I think we have a lot more confidence, especially with scoring,” he said. “Many key guys last year weren’t putting the puck in the net and it really showed but this year more players are scoring.”

Although the Rebels have showcased their high scoring talent in many games this season, their season began with an impressive defensive performance. Opening the season against Herget rival Natick, junior goalie James Corcoran held their opponents scoreless with several good saves. Walpole was held scoreless as well, and the game ended 0-0.

After the tie in the opening game, Walpole’s offensive weapons dominated as the Rebels went on a scoring tear in their next matchups. Before winter break, Walpole beat Newton North, Brookline and Wellesley in conference matchups. In those three games, Walpole hung 11 goals on their opposition, with seven different players notching goals. In contrast, their defense only let up two in total in that span.

Coach Ron Dowd praised players that stepped up into big roles for the season. “[Sophomores] Ryan Birch, Matt Morris and Cullen McGlynn are all playing big roles for us,” said Dowd. “Killing penalties and on the power play, they have made impacts.”

Over winter break, Walpole hosted the annual Songin Winter Classic, held at Rodman Arena in Foxboro. In their opening game, they faced off against Boston Latin. After going down 1-0 early in the game, the Rebels rallied and won 2-1 with goals coming from junior Pat Donovan and senior captain Liam McCabe. On the other side of the bracket, Natick beat Brockton to set up a rematch of the season opener between Walpole and Natick. However, this time around there was a trophy on the line.

In the championship, Walpole found themselves in a hole early after a power play goal put Natick up 1-0. However, sophomore Teddy McElaney scored his first goal of the season to tie the game up before the end of the first period. The second period ended with the score still 1-1, but in the third period Walpole pulled away, with goals from McCabe and McKenna. A late Natick goal turned out to be just a consolation, and Walpole came out with a 3-2 win and the Songin Winter Classic trophy.

Senior captain Tim Farrow was impressed with the play of the underclassmen in the tournament. “Young guys have stepped and contributed early. That’s been a huge help for us,” he said.

After the momentum from the Songin Classic win, Walpole went 3-0-1, beating Norwood, Brockton and Dedham in that stretch to bring their record to 8-0-2.

The Rebels have about half of their regular season schedule remaining, but if the first half of the season is any indication then they should be gearing up for a chance to win the Bay State League and to make a run in the state tournament.