HOCKEY STANDOUTS — Norwood Captain Jack Bayer (center) is flanked by Defenseman Tim Twomey (left) and Linemate Tom Clifford following the Norwood win over Wellesley Saturday in which the trio played starring roles. (Polaroid Photo)

The Norwood High School hockey team will be a big favorite when they square off against Framingham North on third ice (7 p.m.) at the Boston Arena Saturday night.

The Blue Blades are currently in a first-place tie for the Bay Slate leadership with Needham, both teams having 5-1-1 records. The locals will be at full strength for the cellar-dwellers who have a record of one win and six losses and have scored only seven goals as against 22 for Norwood.

North has the largest amount of goals by far scored against them as their opponents have put the red light on 41 times The Wheeler-coached team has only allowed nine goals so far this season. On paper it looks like an easy Norwood win, but in this tough Bay State League anything can happen. Framingham North will definitely end in the cellar and the season is a total failure unless they pin an upset on one of the top teams. Needless to say they will be giving their all in this contest.

The Blue Blades won a big one from Wellesley last week and should be flying high this week as they know they must win to stay on top of the Bay State League.

Tim Twomey, who was injured slightly in the Wellesley contest, will be ready to go full blast, and it’s hard to see a team such as North getting around Tim and Norwood’s other star defenseman, Richy Lovell. Captain Jack Bayer is playing his best hockey of the year and he should start scoring more often now that he got his first goal last week.

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The Norwood scoring figures show the Sophomore sensation Rich Hebner leading with five goals and five assists for 10 points. Paul O’Donnell also has five scores, picking up two assists, and Blane Maus has four red lights and three assists.

Probably the most underrated forward in the league is first-line center Tom Clifford, who even though not scoring has picked up four assists and has been a spark all year. With Walpole playing Needham, a Norwood win could mean sole possession of first place as Walpole is capable of beating the Rockets.

The Bay State League playoff positions are up for grabs with the playoffs only two weeks off. The only teams who are assured of berths in the top four are the Blue Blades and Needham. After this there are four teams who are only a game apart in the standings. Walpole has nine points but must play Needham Saturday and Natick the following week. Wellesley and Natick are tied with eight points so a Walpole loss and a win by Natick and Wellesley could drop Walpole down to fifth place. Natick has a soft touch in Milton Saturday then tangles with Walpole in the last regular, game. Wellesley has a little tougher schedule in Dedham and Framingham South. It looks rough for Dedham and Framingham South but they’re at present only three points behind Walpole and a twist of events could put one of these groups in the select group. These next two weeks promise to bring some fine hockey and in this league, anything can happen.


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