Pictured following their championship game win in the Harrow Elite ’05 Invitational (left to right) are Westwood’s Max O’Brien, Ryan Pezzutto, Paul Dyson, Jake Quinn, Brendan Keaveney and Jack Crowley. Missing from the photo is John Quinn. Photos by Sean Quinn
It’s no secret that town hockey has taken a bit of a hit in recent years due to the massive increase of select and club hockey programs scattered all over the state of Massachusetts. In today’s hockey world, it is more common for a youth hockey team to be made up of players from multiple towns and areas than it is for teams to hold a collective group of players from one specific area or town.
On Memorial Day weekend, a group of Westwood kids who normally do not skate with one another came together and dominated the field of the Harrow ‘05 Elite Invitational, going 5-0 and winning the tournament by daylight.
The team was made up of skaters chosen from all over the Northeast including Connecticut, New York, and Western Massachusetts, but, by far and large, the most significant part of the team were local boys, as seven of the 15 players hailed from Westwood. Those players include Max O’Brien, Ryan Pezzutto, Paul Dyson, Jake Quinn, John Quinn, Brendan Keaveney and Jack Crowley, all of whom notched multiple points throughout the five-game tournament slate.
Joe Crowley and Dave O'Brien coached the team to victory.
The real story here, however, is that these boys decided to go back to the roots of growing up and playing hockey in New England: competing alongside the guys or girls that you ride the school bus with or sit next to in math class. So often today, youth hockey is a sport that does not see much of a homegrown atmosphere; it is not uncommon to see teams on which every single player is from a different town or area of the state. Much of this is because of the competitive nature of the sport, the cost of ice time, and the locations of various rinks.
However, these Westwood boys showed on Memorial Day weekend that playing alongside your local peers is what youth sports - and specifically youth hockey - is all about.
Congratulations to these Westwood boys on the title and for coming together as one.