Wednesday is one of the games hockey fans in the area look forward to all season long.
Tewksbury travels to Wilmington's Ristuccia Arena for the annual version of a heated rivalry. Puck drops at 8 p.m. between the heavyweight programs, and Patch will be there providing updates throughout the game. Be sure to following Wilmington Patch and sports editor Matt Schooley on Twitter throughout the game.
In the meantime, here are some facts you need to know heading into the tilt.
Championship caliber. The game consists of the last two Division 2 state champions. Two years ago Tewksbury toppled Franklin at TD Garden with a 2-1 overtime victory. Then last year, it was the Wildcats beating Franklin, 3-1, behind Cam Owens' hat trick. Based on this year's performance, it's possible either team could get back to the title tilt again.
Redmen looking for revenge. The Redmen have plenty to make up for after the last two versions of the rivalry game. Wilmington thumped Tewksbury two years ago in a 6-0 home victory. Last season the game was a little tighter, but the Redmen were still no match for the Wildcats in their 3-1 setback.
Heavyweigh battle. Wilmington and Tewksbury may be rivals, but they've got something in common. They're both second to none in their respective division. Tewksbury racked up a 9-2 record overall, 8-2 in Merrimack Valley/Dual County play this year. The Wildcats, meanwhile, cruised to a Middlesex League Freedom Division regular season title with a 14-3-2 record, 12-2-1 in league play.
Expecting a big crowd. When Wilmington took on Reading over the weekend, nearly every seat at Ristuccia Arena was filled. Wildcat head coach Steve Scanlon expects to see the same against Tewksbury. "We always draw a real big crowd for the Redmen," said Scanlon. "And they have a real good team. So we'll be looking forward to that."
So what's your prediction for the game? Wilmington snags another win? Tewksbury bounces back against the defending champs? Let us know in the comments section below.
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