State Championship preview: Old Rochester/Fairhaven versus Shrewsbury
Boston — The Old Rochester/Fairhaven hockey team’s historic season will come to an end one way or another on Sunday. The team faces off against Shrewsbury on Sunday at 1 p.m. at TD Garden in the Division 3 State Championship.
If you’re attending the game, here’s what you need to know about the Bulldogs’ opponent:
- This isn’t the Shrewsbury Colonials first rodeo. The team has three state tiles to its name, with the wins coming in 1999, 2009 and 2014.
- The Colonials blanked Westfield 5-0 in the semi-finals to advance.
- This season hasn’t only been record-breaking for the Bulldogs. The Colonials became the first team in program history to finish a season without a loss. Shrewsbury went 19-0-1 in the regular season – the best record in school history.
- The Bulldogs and Colonials faced off on Dec. 18 in the finals for the Bulldog Cross State Challenge tournament. Shrewsbury won 4-2.
Bulldogs coach Eric Labonte said in order to win the championship, his team would have to play its own game.
“We’re not going to out physical them,” he said. “They’ve got three lines…they’re big…”
And despite injuries to the Bulldogs, Labonte thinks the team has the resolve to win.
“It’s a tall order, but this team scrapped all year,” he said. “We’ll have a little bit of a game plan, and hopefully we’ll work it to a T and come out with a championship.”
Captain Sam Henrie said the team knows what went wrong the first time they played Shrewsbury, and is confident they’ll be better prepared this time.
“We want to not give up as many breakaways. Breakaways were huge last time,” he said. “They had a ton of odd man rushes.”
Henrie also echoed Labonte, and emphasized the Bulldogs needed to do what they do best to win.
“We definitely want to bring out speed,” he said. “We want to not play the physical aspect as much. When we hit we get tired quickly. We want to keep our legs. We know what we’re up against so we know the animal we’re playing. And we can bring it.”