“It shows the character of the team and how they respond to adversity when they are down,” said Kuchar. “And being a young team, they definitely showed character. Travis Motsis, who is a junior, stepped up and got two goals. He really put the time in during the off-season and it really shows. He (also) had to lead a line with two other kids who never played varsity before. So that also shows character.”
The Vikings themselves are in the same situation, sporting only four seniors who are seeing regular ice time.
“We are green, there’s no question about it,” said Wile. “We have guys who, this was their first taste of something like that. It’s just unfortunate that it comes down to a man advantage.”
Amesbury has spent the last two seasons building from the net out, but with goalie Evan King and Jeff Bucyk no longer Indians, Kuchar may have to count on sophomore net minder Jake Harlow to lead them to the state tournament.
“I thought he was our best penalty killer tonight as a goalie should be,” Kuchar said of Harlow. “So for a sophomore to be thrown into the fire along with all the other kids, I thought he responded well. At the same time, it’s basically Day 14 or 15 of the season and we have a lot of things we have to work on.”
Now a Division 1 tournament team, the Vikings will need to turn up their intensity level as the season goes along to match.
“If you know anything about hockey, it’s not as big as people make it out to be,” Wile said of the divisional bump. “In two more games, we play a Division 1 opponent in Medford. We play a Super 8 contender in Beverly. I’m not worried about what tournament we go into because we’ve proven that we can play with our scrimmages.”