Before a capacity crowd of fans who brayed heavy snows to make the trip to the Lorig rink at Framingham, Norwood High’s hockey sextet racked up their sixth straight victory Saturday by shutting out Needham, 3-0, in a rough contest that got out of hand in the final stages. Two players from each side drew fighting penalties and will be barred from the next game.
The trouble had been brewing for some time. Needham, the most penalized team in the league, had been roughing up Norwood ace Richy Hebner, a target for every team faced this season. It all started with about four minutes left in the game when Hebner stickhandled into the Needham zone and was almost belted by three opposing players whom he got by. Hebner lost the puck behind the net and skated out front to see Needham goalie Jim Barton three feet out of his net. Richy bumped Barton who immediately grabbed Hebner. Three Needham players were about to get into the act when Norwood Captain Blaine Maus charged into the scramble. The referee called Hebner and Maus from Norwood and Barton and Roberts from Needham for fighting penalties even though not a punch was thrown. All four of these men will miss the next game. Needham tackles Framingham South Wednesday and Norwood plays Milton Saturday afternoon.
Of the 17 penalties called, Needham’s John Chambers, son of the Needham Coach, was the most frequent occupant of the jury box with four.
It was the sixth straight win for Norwood and the fifth consecutive shutout for Norwood goalie Tom Smelstor, who had 17 saves in the game to 20 for Needham goalie Jim Barton. The Norwood goals were scored by Bill Crowley, Blane Maus, and Richy Hebner. It was Hebner’s 15th goal of the year. In addition to his goal, Maus picked up one assist and now leads Hebner by one point for scoring honors Norwood defenseman Tim Twomey again played a hangup game as he was a bulwark on defense and stung the Needham players with hard checks. In the third period, both teams played the last 4 minutes with only three men as the penalty box was in constant use by both teams.
Norwood second-liner Bobby Donahue again played an outstanding game and his assist on Crowley’s goal was something to see.
The Wheeler men now have a 6 and 1 record and are in a tie for the league lead with Walpole. On Saturday, Norwood tangles with Milton in a 3:30 game minus Hebner and Maus.
Things started slowly, neither team getting any real opportunities. Hebner made a rush and fed Maus but the play just missed At 1:04 the first of 17 penalties were handed out to Needham’s Jack Chambers. Norwood second-liner Bobby Donahue made a neat rush into the Needham zone and was tripped as he was making a pass to Bill Conley. Just as he was reaching the ice, Bob slid the puck to Crowley and Billy hit the lower left corner at 2:58 and Norwood had a 1-0 lead. Just 35 seconds later, Norwood’s Captain Blaine Maus picked up a loose puck just inside the blue line and drilled it over Barton’s shoulder and the score was 2-0. The next four minutes saw no scoring as Needham’s Jack Wood had a golden chance but Tom Smelstor made a nice save and Bob Clifford cleared. Needham had another chance but big Tim Twomey froze the puck in front of the Norwood net. Hebner rushed in all alone on Barton but he saved in close. At 7:58 Chambers and Maus went to the brig for roughing. Donahue and Crowley combined at the last second but Bobby just missed the corner and the period ended with Norwood in command 2-0 Tom Smelstor had 3 saves in the Norwood net to 9 for Jim Barton of Needham.
The second period opened with Tim Twomey making a rush and feeding Captain Maus but Barton saved. Chambers had a nice shot but Smelstor kicked it out and Twomey cleared. Clifford blocked a shot by Sullivan and Wood picked it up and drove it into the Norwood end as Tom Smelstor again saved. A wild scramble developed and just as a Needham forward was about to bang a loose puck into the Norwood end Tim Twomey dove across the goalmouth and cleared in a great show of hustle. Things started to get a bit rough and Maus went off for tripping. Chambers then slashed Bobby Clifford and took his third journey to the penalty box. Another 10 seconds and it was Clifford in the brig. Howie Duvall made a bid but Smelstor gloved it.
With the penalty box cleared, Norwood put on the pressure. Hebner fed Maus and Blaine banged the puck in behind the Needham net. Paul Angelo hustled in and picked up the plug and fed it across the goalmouth to Hebner and Richy tipped it into the cage with 10 seconds left in the with 10 seconds left in the second frame for a 3-0 Norwood lead.
The third period saw no scoring. Tom Smelstor made 8 saves in the frame as Needham outshot the Locals 8-3. At 2 31 Hebner and Roberts had a little jostle and both went to the brig. Norwood mentor Don Wheeler put up an argument with Jack Garrity, the referee, but Garrity wouldn’t listen and skated off. Norwood’s Tim Twomey then decked Howie Duvall with what looked like a legal check but Tim was sent to the box.
Connie Schmidt had a great opportunity but Smelstor made his best save of the night. Then came the so-called fight and the rest of the game was played with 3 men on both side as Bobby Donahue and Paul Angelo sparkled for Norwood. The game ended with fans from both towns in an uproar.
By FRANK WALL
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