Coming off a pandemic-impacted hockey season last year when they finished with four wins in 13 games, the Saugus Sachems started on the right foot for 2021-22 by romping to an 8-2 victory on Monday over the Lynn Jets. The contest was played at the Essex Sports Center in Middleton, and the Sachems exploded for five goals in the first period and two more in the second frame to forge a hefty 7-0 lead entering the final stanza. The Jets managed to score twice in the final period to avoid the shutout. Saugus tacked on one last tally to account for the final score.
Chris Regnetta was the offensive leader with three goals, followed by Jason Monahan with two tallies, and Jason Caron, Massey Ventre and Mike Capone with a goal each. Goalie Matt Smith, an eighth grader, got the win.
Smith was called upon to make just five saves, as the Sachems carried the territorial edge. Anthony Poccio eventually replaced Smith in net and played out the later portion of the game, making three stops during his stint.
Head Coach Jeff Natalucci saw his squad go 4-8-1 in last year’s abbreviated campaign. He told the press this week that he is looking for steady improvement from his team this season and the goal is to contend for a playoff berth.
Some key players the Sachems will count on in 2021-22 are captains Ventre, Caron, Ryan Ragucci and Regnetta, along with Matthew Robbins, Dante Mauro and Mike Capone.
The Sachems initially had a Wednesday contest scheduled against Peabody at the McVann/O’Keefe Rink but it was canceled. Saugus is not set to see action again until next Wednesday, Dec. 22, when they travel to the Malden Valley Forum to take on Pentucket. The first home game at Kasabuski Arena isn’t scheduled till after the New Year (Jan. 12 against Swampscott). In the meantime, Saugus travels back to the Essex Sports Center to tangle with Essex Tech on Dec. 27, and then has a game at Winthrop on Dec. 29.