With the girls playing Belmont at 10 a.m. and setting the table for the boys’ game at 12:30 p.m., the Newburyport boys expect their largest crowd of the year when they face off with Watertown.
“Obviously, it gives any team a big advantage to have a huge crowd there for you cheering you on,” says boys’ left wing Connor Glynn. “Especially because we didn’t get to have the big crowd for the ALS Cup game. Only having one night game the whole year, we really haven’t gotten to feel that big-crowd atmosphere. I think we finally got to see what it was like on Tuesday (in the quarterfinals). I think we played very well, and everyone stepped up for the challenge with the night game and having a big crowd there.”
Another plus from the scheduling change is that both teams have been able to take advantage of the extended break to get some rest and extra practice.
“It’s actually been nice to get our legs back,” says Bleau. “I think we would have been ready, regardless. But at this point in the season, the kids are pretty fit. They’re used to playing every day. Our team is, I think, kind of ready for this tournament because we played five games in eight days early on in the season and it went pretty well. We won (four) games in those eight days. So starting out like that kind of prepared us for how the tournament is.”
“We’re all excited, we all know that we really can make a run at this,” agrees Glynn. “We’re in the semifinals now, and we know that we can definitely make a run to the North finals. And that kind of attitude is flowing through the team right now, and everyone wants to get there.”