By Andrew Mannix
Boys’ hockey, 9-4-3, qualified for the State Tournament for the first time in 18 years with a 3-0 defeat of Norwood Thursday night. It will be their first appearance in the tournament since 1998.
Last year the Tigers were within 3 points of the tournament finishing 7-10-3, and were not able to qualify. This year the Tigers qualified with six games left to play.
The Tigers have won five of eight with losses to Framingham, Braintree, and Wellesley and wins against Brookline, Needham, Brockton, Wellesley, and Norwood.
The Tigers have only six seniors of the team. Having as many underclassman as upperclassman, the Tigers have gotten contributions from youth and experience.
With all the success this school has had with athletics, boys’ hockey had taken a bit of a back seat due to lack of success over the years. Due to the improvements, the program has come roaring back into the conversation.
Senior Chris Quinn , a captain with seniors Thomas Gresser and Matthew Mulvaney, said that making the State Tournament has been the primary goal for the Tigers the entire year.
“It means the world to us to be the first team in 18 years to make tournament. It’s making a mark in Newton North history” said Quinn.
Although the primary goal for the Tigers this year was to make the tournament, their eyes are set far past that now. According to Gresser, the team has to keep their focus on securing a top seed in the playoffs.
According to Quinn, the Tigers will have to be “the hardest working team in the league to continue the success.”
If the Tigers want to secure a top seed they will have to finish strong in their final five games. What is in store for the Tigers is rematch against Weymouth, who beat the Tigers earlier in the year, Wednesday, Feb. 4 at home. Other games include a road match with rival Brookline Saturday, Feb. 7 and home games against Everett, Framingham and Needham Sunday, Feb. 8, Wednesday, Feb. 11 and Saturday, Feb. 14 respectively.
No matter the outcome, the Tigers have fared better than they had in the past 18 years.