South Shore Ice Rivals Unite

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South Shore ice rivals unite

A group of teens from the South Shore will soon compete for a national title in Wisconsin that will give them national exposure, but they won’t stop beating each other up until the puck drops in Green Bay.

The team of under-16 boys from Weymouth, Braintree, Norwood, Milton and Attleboro grew up as youth hockey rivals. This handpicked group spent the summer playing as a team and beat every other team in their league for a shot at the USA Hockey title.

But the love of winning has not stopped the players from clinging to their old rivalries when their schools meet in regular-season play.

“I wanna beat them because they always give me crap, they always talk about games in the past where they beat me. It adds to the competition,” said goalie Jordan Davis of Norwood, who played Braintree recently and gave up three goals.

The team’s coach, Dave Flanagan, said he’s known many of the kids since they were 9 or 10 years old and playing in Weymouth Youth Hockey. The boys from other towns were picked in part because they had beaten his team.

“You see them year in, year out,” he said. “And we got to know all the really good players growing up. … I would know which players would make an impact.”

The South Shore team is a division of USA Hockey’s Midget Tier II Developmental League and played regional rivals such as the Boston Junior Bruins, Eastern Mass Senators and Cape Cod Whalers for a chance to represent Massachusetts in the nationals.

Flanagan said one reason for the success is the rivalry among the players.

“The bond between these kids is unbelievable,” he said. “They used to fight on the ice. They’d be chirping back and forth. They’d be on Facebook. … They’re all buddies now.”

Forward David Fasano of Braintree said after playing together all summer and winning a shot at the national championship, he does get along with everyone on the team, as long as they aren’t wearing a Weymouth sweater.

Of course, five of them were a couple weeks ago.

“When that puck dropped, we were enemies for that two hours,” he said. “We were going at each other. After that final buzzer, we shake hands.”

Flanagan said the team will head to Green Bay in March for the tournament and try to win six games in four days. The team is raising money now for the roughly $30,000 it will take to make the trip.

Donations can be sent to Weymouth Youth Hockey, P.O. Box 890253, Weymouth, MA 02189, or online at weymouthyouthhockey.com.

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