With six games to go in the regular season, the Pentucket hockey team still has a decent shot at making the state tournament, a destination the Sachems haven’t sniffed since 2006. Certainly skating nine seniors has helped get the Sachems there, but coach Bill Burns says his captain, Tom Pingree, is an even bigger part.
“He’s one of those kids when you talk to him for five minutes, you like him,” Burns said of his co-captain. “He’s easy-going off the ice and just the opposite on the ice.”
Pingree’s time with the Sachems (6-7-1 overall, 3-6-0 CAL) has been extensive, playing with the JV squad when he was in eighth grade and moving up to varsity when he was a freshman. But Burns says it was Pingree’s leadership off the ice that got him the “C” on his jersey.
“He was an easy choice or me,” Burns said of naming Pingree captain this year. “Everybody is on the same level (as Tom). Nobody’s looking down on anyone else. Everybody has got each other’s backs, and that has everything to do with Tom. From day one, he’s kind of stood out. He developed very quickly. He actually played on the third shift when he was a freshman. But as a sophomore, he stepped right up and became part of our regular first two lines. And he’s just gone on from there. He’s one of the best face-off men I’ve ever seen.”
With five goals and nine assists as a center, Pingree is matching the numbers he put up last season.
“It fits my skating style,” Pingree said of playing center. “I like to use my speed. And playing center, I can get going pretty quick and get a good pass. Defensively I’ve always liked playing in the middle too.”