The Malden-Revere Hockey team huddled together mid-game. Photo from Blue and Gold Archives.
Last season, the Malden/Revere Boys ice hockey team ended the season with a record of 9-8-4, which ended up qualifying the team in the state tournament. Although the team was knocked out during the first round, they learned many things that they could improve on, as well as things that they executed really well. The team has a total of 22 players on the varsity team this season, with 11 of them being from Malden.
When asked about how the team performed last season and anything that may need improvement on, Head Coach Joe Ciccarello, who has just started his seventh season with the team, stated that “[he] feels like [they] should have went a little farther than losing first round,” and that “[he doesn't] think [they] played as a team last year.” Coach Ciccarello went on to say that “[they] had too many individuals going in their own direction and underperformed. Hopefully this year [they] can learn from that and get all together and hear one voice.”
Entering his seventh season as coach of the hockey team, coach Ciccarello said that “[he] loves coaching tough gritty kids that play the game with heart and guts,” and that “[he] feels like [they] are getting those kids from these 2 communities.”
With the team making it to states last season, there were some things that they did really well on, that they may want to keep up this season. Sophomore Jared Swanson, has played hockey for six years, but is entering his first season with the high school stated “making the state tournament” was really good for the team, mentioning “it proved to the players that they have what it takes to be a good hockey team.” Coach Ciccarello mentioned that “[they] did shoot and score well last season” and went on to say that “hopefully the kids put the work in during the off season to improve on that.”
With the team being made up of players from two different cities, it could spur some unwanted rivalry on the team. However, it seems like the team has been getting along really well, with coach Ciccarello stating that “[their] players and parents get along great” and that he “[could not] ask for a better relationships for a co-op team.” He also mentioned how he had heard “horror stories” in the past about co-op teams, but seems to be really happy about the relationship of the team this season. Swanson similarly said “the relationship on the team is great, everyone is welcoming and friendly, [he] feels that being associated with another city is actually a good thing because the players get to know each other better and the team builds up more chemistry around each other.”
The new season both brings new players to the team, but also the loss of seniors who graduated last year. Coach Ciccarello mentioned how they lost a bunch of their players, saying that “[They] graduated most of [their] goals.” He went on to comment that “that’s going to be hard to replace. However, [they] can replace individual stats with a great team effort,” but to any of the new players on the team, Coach Ciccarello mentioned that “you have two ears and one mouth for a reason….listen twice as much as you speak. Work hard always and drop ego at the door. Leave it at the dinner table.” Swanson gave the advice: “always try your hardest and give it 100% because you never know who’s watching.”
With hockey being such a physically demanding sport, there are bound to be a few injuries that could put players out, possibly even for the season. Though coach Ciccarello said that injuries did not impact the team last season, Swanson was injured earlier on in the season, commenting that “obviously having an injury is a bit of a setback, but [they] are hoping that [he] can bounce back even stronger and help out the team.” Swanson also mentioned how he has been participating in practices, and that he is going to have the cast off on the 21st, restoring him to full health again.
Overall, the team seems to be in a pretty good place this season. Making it to states last season seems to have really helped them understand their priorities this season, and show them what went well, as well as what could be worked on. Coach Ciccarello commented that “[he] looks forward to the challenge this year. If [they] all buy in, and the outside voices stay outside, it can be a fun year.”