One Game Doesn’t Define a Season for Harbormen

Senior captain Ace Concannon skates off the ice for the final time after shaking hands with head coach Tony Messina.

March 5, 2023 – Story and photos by Joshua Ross

The season for the boys hockey team came to an abrupt end on Sunday night.  The Harbormen lost 4-0 to Reading in the Round of 16 of the MIAA Division 1 State Tournament.  The game was a rematch from a few weeks ago where Hingham won in double overtime.  They were not given that opportunity tonight.

A little bit of a slow start and a Rockets’ goal half way through the first period was all Reading needed to move on.  Hingham had their chances late in the first period and points throughout the second, but Reading was ready for whatever Hingham threw at them.

“You’d think we had a long bus ride or something,” coach Tony Messina joked after the game. “It was slow getting started for sure.”

Senior Connor Richardson battled in front of the net tried to tie up the game late in the first period.

This is only the second team this season they have played twice.  They have been on the short end both times.

“It’s tough playing a team twice or three times,” he responded when asked about it. “We expected something to be different but wasn’t sure what it was going to be.  I think we adjusted to it eventually.  But we also have a lot of videos out there of our games so they can come in and feel like they’ve already played us. You got to hand it to them.  Good game plan.  They executed.  We had our opportunities to score, but we just couldn’t do it.”

It stings now but Messina is happy with the season overall.

Senior goaltender Luke McLellan had a tremendous season overall.

“I think we have a three season undefeated streak at Pilgrim that we were able to keep going this year,” he went on to say.  “We beat some good teams this year.  It’s always emotional in there but I just say ‘there’s only one team that feels good at the end of the season. Everyone else has the same feeling at some point.’ But we felt good the way we came together.  We had a lot of great performance from kids who weren’t in the limelight before.  It’s one of the best teams I’ve had in terms of multiple contributions up and down the line-up.  You never know who was going to score. I’m proud of them. I’m sure deep down they know.  They probably won’t know until the next day, but right now a little emotional.”

One thing that is constant with a Tony Messina team is the leadership.  This year was no different.  The culture that is passed down year to year is remarkable.  In addition to the four captains, he had 14 other seniors to help carry on the tradition.

Junior defenseman Jack Rakauskas will anchor the blue line next year after an impressive rookie varsity season.

“It’s a brotherhood,” he said about his seniors, “Even the kids who didn’t play that much were totally invested and great kids. No issues on the team whatsoever. Really a fun year.”

On a personal note, this is the group of kids I started my photography career with.  I was there when they were just learning to skate.  When they started to dream that one day they might be a Harbormen hockey player.  When they weren’t on the “A” team or the biggest kid or fastest skater, but continued to work and push though the adversity.  I’ve coached a few of them.  We are family friends with many of them and I can honestly say they are one of the nicest group of kids around.  I will miss watching them play.  

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.