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Sports

January 30, 2014

Desperation time for the Vikings

Goalie switch sparks Triton in win over Lynnfield

Feeling his team’s season slipping away last night, Triton hockey coach Drew Wile called for a goalie change.

With the Vikings trailing Lynnfield 2-0 at 2:06 in the second period, senior goaltender Spencer Norton skated off, and senior Devon Shuman skated on. Triton (4-8-2) outscored Lynnfield 5-1 the rest of the way, keeping its hopes for a state-tournament berth alive.

“I didn’t like either goal,” Wile said. “Spencer’s better than that. Our season is on the line. There’s no holding back at this point. It’s something you’ve got to do to shake things up. Every coach has done it; I’m no pioneer.”

Triton must earn 11 points in its final seven games to earn a spot in the state tournament for the fourth year in a row. A Triton team coached by Wile has never fallen short of the tournament.

If this year’s team falls short, it will be because they struggled to put the puck in the net all season. Last night’s five-goal output accounted for 20 percent of the team’s scoring output through the team’s first 13 games.

Part of it has been a lack of luck. For instance, the Vikings have hit the post 16 times this season, without a single one crossing the goal line.

Another part of the scoring drought has been a lack of scoring production from Triton’s top forward lines. Last night, that wasn’t a problem as Jack Norton netted three goals and added an assist. Kyle Hillick scored a goal. Josh Brown had a goal and two assists. Shea Capolupo had two assists. Joe Schickling and Andrew Sheerin also had assists.

“(Norton) had four points, Hillick’s on the board, and (Brown) is on the board,” Wile said. “Those are the guys who should be on the board. They got it done on three (second-period) power plays in a row.”

Triton has yet to win two games in a row this season. The Vikings will face the top team in the Cape Ann League, North Reading (9-1-1), Saturday at Burbank Rink.

“I’m anxious to see if we can be consistent,” Wile said. “We still hold our own fate, so that’s important. Consistency has been the big word all year.”

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