Marlborough boys hockey beats Essex Tech, advances to MIAA quarterfinals


Marlborough boys hockey beats Essex Tech, advances to MIAA quarterfinals
Marlborough’s Marcus Chrisafideis scores on a breakaway against Essex Tech on Monday. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

MARLBOROUGH – The Marlborough boys hockey team was all smiles on Monday night as it rolled to another playoff win, this time against Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School.

The Panthers won the game by an 8-0 final score, shutting out the Hawks before a friendly crowd at Navin Skating Rink in Marlborough.

“I’m very happy we won, but I’m more excited for the kids,” head coach Mike O’Brien told the Community Advocate after the final horn.

Marlborough struck quickly in the first period, opening a 2-0 lead on goals by Mark Evangelous and Marcus Chrisafideis.

The Panthers then pinned the Hawks in a 6-0 hole with four more goals in the second period.

Jeremy LaCroix notched two of those goals, while Chrisafideis and Braden Deckers also scored.

Chrisafideis then secured the hat trick and then some via a pair of goals in the third period.

“They were really ready to go tonight,” O’Brien said of his team. “They were excited to play. And I think you saw that in the way that they really were moving fast tonight and moving the puck well.”

O’Brien further noted Marlborough’s lively student section, which had much to celebrate on Monday night.

“It was a great atmosphere and a great crowd,” he said. “A lot of their student friends were here to see these guys perform like that.”

Chrisafideis continues strong season

One of four Panthers goal scorers against Essex Tech, Chrisafidies did lead his team’s offense in this Round of 16 state tournament game, continuing a season that saw him notch his 100th career point just last month.

O’Brien noted Chrisafideis’ offensive output. He also lauded the star forward for his leadership.

“Marcus obviously scores, everybody sees that,” O’Brien said. “But there’s also stuff that Marcus does when nobody is here at the rink.”

“A lot of guys feed off of how well he plays, but they also feed off of him just having always a positive attitude and a good energy to bring to the team,” O’Brien continued.

Marlborough bounces back from loss

Though this 2021-2022 season has been one of great heights for the Panthers, it has had its low points.

Most recently, the team took a difficult loss to Nashoba in the finale of their CMADA tournament late last month.

That defeat was Marlborough’s first of the season.

“Where they had been riding so high, the experience of a loss and especially losing in the finals there, that stung,” O’Brien said this week. “The guys didn’t like the way that felt.”

The Panthers used the loss as fuel, though, beating Ludlow in their playoff opener on March 3 to open their MIAA state championship tournament run on an upswing.

“Now they’re in a situation where, if you lose, you’re going home,” O’Brien said. “The combination of feeling how bad they felt after the loss and knowing that the next loss means our seasons over, I think that really brought some guys their focus a little bit sharper.”

Marlborough eyes quarterfinals

The top-ranked Panthers are now getting set for a quarterfinals clash with Danvers at home.

That game had not been scheduled as of Wednesday morning.

Continuing their playoff push, regardless, O’Brien said on Monday that he remained excited about his team’s performance.

“There’s really not one thing to complain about on our end tonight,” he said. “…Overall, I think we’re playing pretty well.”


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