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Assabet Rematch for Grafton/BVT in Hockey Tourney

The last time Grafton/Blackstone Valley Tech's ice hockey co-op squared off against Assabet Valley it was December and the two teams were only a few games into their respective seasons, so Grafton/BVT head coach Mike Binkoski does not see that result — a 4-0 win for his team — having much of an impact when the two meet Saturday in the Division #A Central Mass. quarterfinal.
"It's been over two months, they have gotten better as a team and I think we have too," Binkoski said. "They are very well coached and when you look at their scores, they are in every hockey game they play. It's going to be a tight game, a battle, we need to swing some of those bounces our way."
The Indians finished the regular season 13-3-4 overall and posted a 4-1-3 record in conference. Binkoski said his team played well down the stretch, but still doesn't feel they have peaked.
"It starts with a great start, a great first period, being ready to go right from the puck drop," he said. "Especially come playoff time. We are still working hard but I don't think we have played our best hockey. But it's a new season, it's playoff time."
BVT senior forward Trevor Thomas, a co-captain, is among the team's top offensive threats and has produced eight points through the regular season. Griffin DiAntonio, a Valley Tech senior, is another "tremendous forward," his coach said, adding, "those guys work hard every day and bring it."
Binkoski said DiAntonio is due to score a big goal in the tournament. "I think he is playing the best hockey of his career," the coach said. "The hockey gods have to pay him off sooner or later."
Junior Cam Bern has 10 points this year, one of five Grafton/BVT players who finished in double digits in goals and assists.
The Indians head into the playoffs with a number of players on the roster who have significant playoff experience, including winning a state title.
"We can draw in our experience," Binkoski said. "If we go down a goal, we know not to panic, it's a long game and we have to fight our way back. Every team is good, they are all playoff teams for a reason, so we have to bring our game."




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