The ride has been amazing, a boys hockey title threepeat that got better each year.
The Bedford High School Bulldogs are saying good-bye to 14 seniors, most of whom had a hand in all three Division II crowns, but they’ll certainly savor the most recent one – this past Saturday’s 3-1 win over Bow at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
Why could this one be the most special of the three? Because Bedford finished with a 21-0 mark.
“This feels great,” said Bulldog senior Jeremy Myers, who scored two goals in the final. “We were doing it for everyone who had (a title) before us and for the rest of the kids who are coming up.”
Those players will be competing in Division I next year, as the Bulldogs are expected to make the move up. You can bet that Bow coach Tim Walsh, whose Falcons managed just 11 shots on Bedford goalie Steve Tempesta, won’t be sad to see them go.
“They’re deep,” said Walsh, whose third seeded team finished 16-4-1. “Mature. You’ve got kids who are physically more mature, emotionally mature, and can compare. When you don’t have to play six freshmen regularly, it’s a luxury to have. I wish we had it.”
Bedford coach Marty Myers said one of the main emotions he felt after Saturday’s win was relief.
“Not that our season would have been dictated one way or the other,” Myers said, “but I think it was the appropriate way to end an undefeated regular season.”
And perhaps an entire three year title run? Myers said experience was a key.
“A lot of these kids had been on the previous championship (teams),” he said. “I think that helped our experience, coming here to a big game, being prepared for this game.”
Down 1-0 in the second period, the Bulldogs responded with three
unanswered goals, two coming 40 seconds apart, and took a 3-1 lead into the final period.
Bulldog senior Jeremy Myers scored two of them. He got a piece of Harrison Voloshin’s blast on the power play to get it by Bow netminder Rober Margeson (19 saves) to tie things at 3:51.
His teammate, Nate Boyd, scored the go-ahead goal on what could be the shot of the year. Right along the end line, he spun around and fired a backhander that had very little angle on the net, and it found the far corner. Brett Veilleux and Voloshin assisted.
“He’s a very skilled kid,” Myers said of Boyd. “You know what, putting it on net, I’m not going to say that’s where he intentionally tried to put it. But it happened to go in and it came at a great time.”
Some 40 seconds later, another backhander, this one by Myers, beat Margeson and the Bulldogs had a 3-1 lead. Assists went to Ben Desrosiers and Asa Palker.
Bow’s 1-0 lead came courtesy of an unassisted goal by Chris Mead at 1:23 of the second. Walsh felt they needed more, and he was right. Tempesta needed only 10 stops for the win.
“We had missed opportunities,” Walsh said. “We had a chance to go up 2-0 and we didn’t, and we let them back in. The turnovers are what killed us tonight.”
“There was no panic,” Myers said of being down a goal after a scoreless first period. “We’ve been down before. I thought we were playing well even though we weren’t winning the game.”
Can the Bulldogs keep this going? They had 58 players try out, had another successful JV season and the numbers don’t lie.
“We have a lot of kids in the system,” Myers said. “Our goal will be the same.”
They’ll need just one other ingredient:
“The kids willing to win,” Myers the coach said, “I think propelled us to the end.”