Hopkinton reached the Division 3 state final last season before falling to Wachusett at the Garden. Before that, the Hillers’ last regular-season defeat was a 5-2 setback to Norwood last Feb. 13 at Bajko Rink in Hyde Park.
Who knows if the details of that particular loss still were on the minds of the Hillers as they returned Wednesday night to Bajko to face their Tri-Valley League rivals in a battle of unbeaten teams. But suffice to say, Hopkinton coach Chris MacPherson said his team wanted to make “a statement.”
Hopkinton, the top-ranked team in the HNIB News Eastern Mass. Division 3 rankings, cruised to an 8-1 victory. Seniors Sean Walsh, Kyle Rogers and Tommy Hamblet had a pair of goals apiece, as did freshman Pavit Mehra. Walsh also dished out four assists in the victory, Rogers added three and Hamblet had a pair.
“We looked at this as a statement game coming in,” said MacPherson, whose team improved to 8-0-0 overall. “Obviously (Norwood is) the Hockey Night in Boston No. 4 team … in Division 2, and us at the top in the East in Division 3.”
Hamblet sandwiched a pair of goals around Mehra’s first tally to give Hopkinton a 3-0 lead after one. Rogers struck twice 26 seconds apart in the second period, and Mehra’s second goal on a breakaway made it 6-0 after two.
Walsh put the game away in the third period before Norwood finally got on the board on a 5-on-3 power play goal by freshman Conor Lydon with 2:42 left.
The teams meet again Feb. 8 at the New England Sports Center in Marlboro.