Wayland rode a mid-game three goal flurry, stingy defense, and some solid goaltending by Ben Boschetto to take a 3-1 win in the opening round of the Division 3 South hockey tournament and bring the Swampscott High season to an end Thursday night at Stoneham Arena.
Swampscott's lone goal came with 2:45 left in the game off the stick of Captain Gino Cresta, whose tally marked the conclusion of one of the finest careers in Big Blue hockey history. But Cresta's success came too late, as he and his mates were continuously frustrated throughout the night by a Wayland defense that hounded Cresta and any other Blue jersey that crossed the blue line.
The teams battled through a scoreless first period, but the floodgates opened — if only for a six-minute burst — at the 2:05 mark of the second period when Warrior center Alton Atamer's slapshot from the crease beat Swampscott goalie Patrick Sheehan to give Wayland a 1-0 lead. Just a tick over 2 minutes later, Shane Brody got past the Swampscott defense and slid a shot past Sheehan's right side to make it 2-0.
Swampscott pressed, but couldn't penetrate Boschetto, their best chance coming on a Nunzio Morretti bid when he took control of a loose puck near the blue line then picked his way through the defense and worked his way across Boschetto's crease, only to be steered off the puck before he could get off an authoritative shot.
Seconds later, Atamer scored his second goal to give Wayland a 3 goal lead that became insurmountable as their defense was content to bar the door and force Swampscott into ineffective puck-dumping.
For the Blue, it concludes a season of solid hockey that brought them into the playoffs, but with just not enough firepower to move on.