ORR/Fairhaven hockey having dominant season
Mattapoisett — The Old Rochester Regional/Fairhaven boys hockey team is on a run five years in the making. And head coach Eric Labonte is excited to see where it’ll take him.
“I’m real curious where we’re going at the end of the day,” he said. “I have a good feeling.”
The team currently sits at 18-1, and perhaps no game exhibits how dominant the team can really be more than the 16-1 routing of Apponequet on Feb. 15.
The first goal came less than 20 seconds into the first period and then didn’t stop coming. By the end of the first period, the score was 9-0. The scoreboard stopped tallying goals at 7-0.
But the team wasn’t just firing on all cylinders offensively, it was also strong defensively. Apponequet had a hard time gaining the offensive zone. Almost as soon as a rush crossed the blue line, Old Rochester/Fairhaven defenders were there to break it up.
After jumping out to a 9-0 start in the first period, Labonte said he had his team change its approach.
“I told the kids who haven’t scored yet to shoot and I told everyone else not to,” he said.
Despite the dominance, Labonte didn’t feel particularly great after the game.
“We try not to make the score that high,” he said. “I don’t like that score. Apponequet is a young team and we’re a veteran team.”
This is a team that Labonte said he has been building for the past five years, revolving around senior players such as Landon Goguen, who joined the team as an eighth grader.
“Our seniors and juniors are the meat and guts of this team,” he said.
Labonte attributes the success of the team to his players' speed.
“Our first line could be one of the fastest in the league,” he said. “And they have skill.”
The team has already secured its spot in the South Coast Conference tournament, and Labonte said it is currently gearing up for some of the heaviest competition of the season. Old Rochester/Fairhaven will travel to play Hanover, the number two team in Division III, on Saturday.
“We’ll get good practices in,” Labonte said. “We’ll be ready.