The Sachems posted a 9-0 win on Wednesday night.
ROCKLAND — Both teams could argue that this one was a long time coming.
Middleboro/Hull’s combined boys high school hockey team won the argument.
The Sachems, who had lost four straight after a solid 2-0-2 start, rebounded from Saturday’s disappointing 6-3 setback against Rockland in a big way on Wednesday night, scoring a 9-0 decision over Abington at Rockland Ice Rink.
Middleboro (3-4-2, 2-1-1 South Shore League), which had a 4-0 lead before nine minutes had been played, got the type of game it needed to win: Scoring was spread out when it mattered, and the Sachems had the puck so much, junior goalie Matt McNaughton didn’t have to work too hard to earn a shutout.
“We’re a team that has to have all three lines going hard for us to be successful, which I think happened tonight,” coach Scott Drevitch said. “We have to have good balance.”
In the end, the line of sophomore left wing Aiden Larson (three assists), senior center Ethan Matos (hat trick, one assist) and senior right wing Ian Yeskewicz (goal, two assists) led the way, but other lines scored three of the four first-period goals. Chris Cogan scored twice, and Jake Dagesse netted one, with help from Hull’s Neil Reilly.
The back end contributed, too: Matt Ruggiero had a pair of assists, while blue-liners Sam Taverna and Zack Smith, both from Hull, added a helper apiece.
Abington, which hadn’t played since Dec. 29 because of a cancellation on its schedule, simply couldn’t match all that depth. A slow start after a 10-day layoff may have been inevitable, but coach Brian Smith thought Wednesday night’s was a bit extreme.
“We’ve got to come out with a little bit more fire than that — be ready to play, more motivated,” the coach said. “That’s on me. I’ve got to get the team motivated.
“Right at the drop of the puck, in the first period, I thought we put some pressure on them, and then we just fell off at that point. We got down by a few goals, and then I think we got discouraged. They had to try to find their heart and get back in the game, and we just couldn’t.”
Down 2-0 after just 3:42, Abington (2-6-0, 0-3-0 South Shore League) saw senior captain Ryan Doherty’s threat off the rush stopped by McNaughton, and the Green Wave couldn’t do anything with the power play they got later in the shift. The Sachems jumped on that, getting goals from Ethan Matos and Yeskewicz (power-play tip-in, off the post, on Smith’s shot from the point) to make it 4-0 before the period ended.
The Matos-Yeskewicz-Larson line took it from there, adding five goals over the final two periods. Matos stole a pass and rifled a shot home from the point to complete his hat trick with 1:27 remaining.
“We’ve been talking a lot about how to rebound from the losses we’ve had,” Drevitch said. “We’ve had some good games that we lost, and the kids needed a win. They’ve been working hard.”
Abington has some hard work ahead of it.
“We’re eight games in; there’s a lot of season left,” said Smith, who got a strong game from the line of Doherty and sophomores John Demarco and John Polito, while junior defenseman Colin McDonald’s big shot from the point was a frequent threat. “Maybe we can turn it around and make a push. We’ll see.”