Thursday, May 8, 2014

Post Game Blog: Westboro Flips the Switch Against Nashoba

Westboro's Kyle Lemack gets some air for one of his three goals.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

By their own coach's admission, Westboro played a pretty bad game Tuesday against Shrewsbury, and their slump seemed to continue into the first half of Thursday's game against upset-minded Nashoba.

But the Rangers turned it on after halftime, transforming a 3-3 tie at intermission into a 12-5 blowout by day's end. Here is your weekly reminder that these are simply my wandering thoughts from today's game. If you would like a full recap, head on over to BostonLaxNet. The story should be up there shortly.

If you would like highlights from the game, you can find those here.

A Tale of Two Halves

Midway through the second quarter, Westboro coach Tom Baker gave his players a pretty stern talking to. Among the words I could make out (and that I can type here), were "somebody's not doing their job," and "when I look at the film I'm gonna…"

Consider the message received as that talk, combined with a rousing halftime speech, preceded an incredible 9-2 run by the Rangers. Kyle Lemack, Connor Joyce and Jake Foster all seemed to be getting to the cage at will, and Westboro as a whole just seemed to be taking care of the ball.

The change in attitude was personified when Joyce sprinted as fast as he could and dove for the sideline to maintain possession for the Rangers off a missed shot. A moment later, he grabbed a ground ball in front of the net and threw it home to give Westboro a five-goal lead.

Shorly after that, it was Nashoba coach Kevin McNamara calling time to give his players a lecture on effort.


LeMack was creative on attack all day, and once again I was impressed with the sheer power behind Foster's shot. Two players I saw for the first time today that really impressed me were defenseman Hackeem Abraham and goalie Kevin Skervin. Skervin made 11 saves, two of them were absolute robbery, and Abraham just looked like he was hurting whoever had the ball for Nashoba.

Baker mentioned before the season that his defense was going to be a work in progress, but that he loved the fight of his defenders and goalie. Thursday he said they may not be there yet, but their style of play is just what he wants.

"You look at our defense, our defense punches, kicks and scratches," Baker said. "And we've got a goalie that just doesn't quit."

Quite the Cast of Characters

I'll give Westboro this, they've got some characters on that team. When I walked across the field to look at the final score book, a bunch of them jokingly gave me a hard time, and I believe they were all calling middie Brian Bernard "cheese."

Not gonna lie, they were pretty funny.

Obviously, I've only covered them once, but they seemed like a tight-knit group that really enjoyed being around each other. They kinda reminded me of the great 2012 Algonquin team in that regard. Those T-Hawks went on to play for a state championship, and you get the feeling these guys think they can too.

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