Pee wee team reaches state championship game

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L-R: Owen Lehane, Ryan Mitcheroney, Joey Hines, John Devane, Matt Gaughan, Drew Giacchetto, Quinn Gibbs, Matt Casamento, Sean Sullivan, Trevor Martin, Abe Garber, Timmy Kelleher, Kevin Hickey; coaches (l-r) Marty Devane, Tim Kelleher, Chris Martin, and Jerry Lehane; missing from photo: Kyle Fitzgerald and Kristen Feeney (Sara Martin photo)

L-R: Owen Lehane, Ryan Mitcheroney, Joey Hines, John Devane, Matt Gaughan, Drew Giacchetto, Quinn Gibbs, Matt Casamento, Sean Sullivan, Trevor Martin, Abe Garber, Timmy Kelleher, Kevin Hickey; coaches (l-r) Marty Devane, Tim Kelleher, Chris Martin, and Jerry Lehane; missing from photo: Kyle Fitzgerald and Kristen Feeney (Sara Martin photo)

Fifteen kids from Canton had the thrill of their hockey careers when they participated in the recent Massachusetts Pee Wee Tier III State Tournament and advanced all the way to the state championship game. Canton’s Pee Wee Green team qualified for the tournament by winning the District 3 championship. On March 1, the team and coaches Chris Martin, Marty Devane, Jerry Lehane and Tim Kelleher arrived at Fitchburg State University confident in their abilities, but wondering how they would match up against the best teams from across the state.

First up on Friday night was a contest against the Holy Name Stars of Springfield. Canton jumped out to an early lead on Matt Casamento’s power play goal and never let up. Drew Giacchetto (2), Joey Hines (2), Abe Garber, Sean Sullivan and Kevin Hickey added tallies to bring the final score to 8-0. On Saturday morning, Canton again came out strong against SMS of Sudbury, Maynard and Stow. Garber and Hines (2) were able to find the back of the net for a 3-0 victory while goalie Quinn Gibbs earned his second shutout of the tournament. After this victory the only team standing between Canton and a trip to the state semifinals was Barnstable, the only Tier III team to have defeated Canton all season.

On Saturday evening the kids came out fired up and played their best game of the season. John Devane set the tone early in the first period with his great hustle and outstanding back checking. Trevor Martin and Garber scored early and when Timmy Kelleher one-timed a perfect pass from Ryan Mitcheroney, Canton found itself up 3-0 at the end of the first period. The score never got closer than two goals after that as Hickey and Giacchetto added tallies in the 5-3 victory.

The semifinal game was a rematch of the District 3 final against Braintree and ended with an identical 2-1 score. Braintree came out hard and put an early tally on the board as Canton faced its first deficit of the tournament. However, the defensive crew were the stars of this game as Gibbs made a number of outstanding saves and the defensive pairs of Casamento and Matt Gaughan and Owen Lehane and Kyle Fitzgerald kept the potent Braintree offense away from the net in the most physical game the team has played all season. Martin tied the score when he blasted a slap shot past Braintree’s goalie in the second period, and Hines scored the game-winner in the third with a wrist shot high to the goalie’s stick side.

With injured teammate Kristen Feeney cheering on the team from the bench, the Canton kids played their hearts out in the championship game against Belmont, but came out on the wrong end of a 4-0 score. Nevertheless, as the state runner-up, the team was invited to participate in this weekend’s New England sectional tournament in Shelton, Connecticut. The kids are looking forward to the tournament and the possibility of having another shot at beating Belmont. Congratulations to the players and coaches on a great tournament.

Submitted by Jim Casamento

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Short URL: http://www.thecantoncitizen.com/?p=19511

avatar Posted by on Mar 14 2013. Filed under Sports, Youth Sports.
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