By Mike Stoller
Celebrate good times, come on!
That refrain to a 1980’s hit song would have been an appropriate backdrop to Somerville’s huge 4-1 win over host Medford last week as the Highlanders captured the Greater Boston League hockey title for the first time in, well, about a quarter of a decade.
And so it was that Camara (we’ll get to that) and the gang who were the cool ones on a night that decided which king would be crowned. Both Somerville and Medford entered the contest with 4-0-1 league records.
“It was great for the kids, especially the seniors, who hadn’t beat Medford,” Somerville head coach Chuck Allen said. “They finally get to do it. I’m proud of the kids and happy for them to be able to celebrate like that.”
Nothing was remotely decided after a scoreless first period. But, the Highlanders, led by Dan Camara, who had a goal and two assists, took a 2-0 lead in the second stanza, and finished nicely in the third.
“I’m happy with the effort, the focus, and the little things that win or lose games,” Allen said. “We try to explain to the kids that in a college or pro game, what do coaches say when they lose? They say, ‘We didn’t do the little things, get the puck in deep, stay under control.’ But that stuff, they really did. I’m proud of them that they played three great periods, and that’s all you can ask for. “
Somerville had more scoring chances in a back-and-forth first period, but the Mustangs held tight to keep the game even.
It wasn’t until the middle of the second period that the Highlanders broke loose, when Camara scored on a breakaway. Camara took a nice lead pass up ice from Troy Martini, and deked the goalie low to the far side for a 1-0 lead.
Then, with three minutes left in the frame, C.J. Albanese went top shelf off a scramble in front for a 2-0 advantage. Camara was credited with an assist on the play.
The Highlanders put the game away in the third period. First, Martini tucked home a feed from Camara just two minutes in.
The Mustangs made it 3-1 late in the third, before Albanese sealed the victory for Somerville with an open net goal in the waning moments.
Sophomore goalie Sergey Markelov proved strong in net with 20 saves for the Highlanders.
Somerville, which improved its record to 8-4-3 overall, is slated to visit non-league foe Boston Latin Academy tonight.