Second time's a charm for Old Rochester/Fairhaven hockey

By Douglas McCulloch | Jan 29, 2018
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Tayber Labonte with control of the puck.

New Bedford — The Old Rochester/Fairhaven ice hockey team is getting better with every game, and nothing shows that more than a rematch of the team’s season opener on January 29 with a very different outcome.

The Bulldogs picked up a 5-1 win over rival Dartmouth High in that match-up, a very different story from the team’s previous 2-0 loss to open its season on December 16.

It was a challenging first period, as both teams ended the period scoreless. But the scoring deficit was soon ended by Tayber Labonte early into the second period, as he put the Bulldogs’ first goal of the night with 11:29 left in the period. It’s a moment Head Coach Eric Labonte was waiting for.

“I told them there’s second opportunities there and we have to be harder going to the net and just cashing in on those things,” Labonte said. “When you have individual effort like Tayber did on his first goal… what can you say about that, he went around five people and scored so that was really the impetus for us to cash in on that period. The kids were feeling good.”

By the end of the second period, Sam Austin, Jack Barrows, and Labonte had picked up three more goals. Late into the third period Evan Stanley scored the Bulldogs’ final goal of the night.

“For us really our last two games we’ve played pretty much as best this team can play,” Labonte said. “I’m real happy with the effort and execution from this team.”

Another area the Bulldogs are different from: experience. The team lacks one or two breakout stars, which is what helped the Bulldogs advance to the state tournament last year.

“Last year we could play a bad game and win nine nothing,” Labonte said. “This year if we don’t come to play we’re going to lose.”

Instead, he relies on his team to really work hard for its goals, something that teammates have been getting better at after each game.

With the team on the eve of tournament qualification - one more win will put it over the ten-win threshold - Labonte hopes this is the beginning of a successful run.

“Hopefully we’re going to end up going in the right direction, because we put together these two games back to back,” Labonte said, referencing a weekend win over Plymouth North.

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