Editor's Note: We'll be running features on members of the Wilmington boys hockey team daily in advance of Sunday afternoon's Division 2 state championship game between the Wildcats and Franklin at TD Garden. Puck drops at 3:30 p.m.
Win or lose, Sunday will be the final game of the season for the Wilmington boys hockey team.
And when the team skates off of the TD Garden ice after the final horn, it also marks the final high school game for nine Wildcat seniors.
According to , it’s been a learning experience playing with the older players on this year’s team.
“They show us the right way to act,” said Owens. “You can have fun while also being respectful. It’s a great group of kids. They helped me out, and I’m sure they helped everyone else out too.”
Leading the charge among the group is senior captain Dalton Rolli. The forward has many memorable goals, including a last year against Masconomet and a this year in the .
“I love playing with each and every one of these seniors,” said Rolli. “We’ve gotten to know each other more, and this year we have all come together as one. It’s like having another brother with all of them.”
The following is what Wilmington head coach Steve Scanlon had to say about each of his seniors who will play their final varsity game on Sunday.
John Mulrenan – "He’s like a fifth defenseman who spent three years in the JV program. He’s kind of converted himself to a forward spot to get some more playing time. We had some instances where defensemen were sick and missed games, and he had to step in and do the job. He did a good job, and we’re really satisfied with what he’s given us."
Trevor Foley – "He’s a pretty big kid. He can pack a wallop when he throws a hit. If he catches you, you’ll feel it. He also has good stick skills for a big guy. I thought that line gave us a big lift. He’s been an unsung hero on the team. He’s a bit of a leader. Being an older kid he helps out in that way."
Joe Russell – "He has good tools. He’s a good skater and a good shooter. He got a huge goal for us in the Burlington game that tied the score. It was the lone goal of his career, but a big one."
Dalton Rolli – "He’s a real good player. He has offensive ability, great speed, and brings the physical game. He’s a complete package up front. He usually produces in big games as we saw the other night. He’s had a knack for that kind of thing. He’s been a good leader by example and is one of our big time players."
Adam Siegel – "He’s had a real good year. He was never going to be a goal scorer. His line is a real energy line, and that’s the kind of player Adam is. He’s an energy player. He gives the line a real lift. He’s real dedicated and works real hard in practice."
Frank Cerbone – "He’s been a real pleasant surprise. He spent years at JV, then in a back up role without seeing much time. He stepped right into his role and has been super steady. You’re not getting a lot of flash, but you don’t get dramatic mistakes. He’s a steady, stay home defenseman."
Dan Creedon – "Dan was in a tough situation after breaking his femur a year ago. He went through tons of rehab and that can be a lonely thing when you’re trying to get back like that. He did a tremendous job getting back. I’m most impressed with Dan because he’s a great member of the team. Whether he’s playing or not, he’s at every practice. He works hard and waits for his chance. I admire a guy like that because he puts the team before himself."
Jimmy O’Neill – "He’s another real energy player. What he doesn’t have in stature he makes up for in work. He’s a real hustler and is quick. He can be disruptive and we’ve used the line to light fire under other lines. He got cut as a sophomore, but worked himself up. He’s a success story that way, a real test of perseverance. He wanted to play on the varsity in the worst way, kept plugging and finally he made it."
RJ Townsend, Team manager – "He’s been around a long time. He started off when Chip was coaching the JV team. As those kids came along, he traveled with them and came up to varsity just like the players. All the kids love him and he keeps the locker room loose. He’s very observant about things. He’s a huge hockey fan. We talk a lot about the Bruins. He likes to know how we’re doing shooting the puck and stuff."