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Shaver Stands Tall in Net for Hopedale Hockey
The final game of Matt Shaver's high school hockey career, an overtime loss in the district tournament, was the quintessential Shaver effort, according to his head coach Greg LaBossiere. The Milford High senior stopped 48 shots and, as the old hockey cliche goes, "stood on his head" to keep his team in the game.
Shaver capped off his career by helping the Hopedale co-op earn a spot in the district tournament.
"I feel like this was our most successful season," he said. "They started off incredibly well and we just kept building and grinding."
Shaver, 18, started playing hockey in middle school. Initially he was a defenseman, but a buddy of his suggested he give goaltending a shot and Shaver took to the position.
"It kind of feels like the spotlight is on you sometimes," he said. "I like that."
An admirer of the Boston Bruin's Tuukka Rask, Shaver said he developed an aggressive style in net, often coming
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out to challenge opposing skater and force them to make a decision about what to do next.
Shaver has been the starting goaltender since Milford athletes joined the Hopedale program three years ago, before his sophomore season. He said the co-op has been an incredible experience.
"I love it, meeting new people from four other towns, some of my best friends are on this team and they are not even from Milford," Shaver said. "It's all through hockey."
The bond has extended beyond the ice, Shaver said. The group has gone to a few Boston Bruins' games together and gathered for numerous pasta dinners.
"The atmosphere around this team, even off the ice, has been great," Shaver said. "We have made some great memories off the ice."
On the ice, Shaver said the postseason game was the peak for him, calling it the "best the program has ever played." Hopedale went toe-to-toe with Lunenburg, one of the top teams in the district and pushed the squad to overtime before falling 5-4.
With winter turning to spring, Shaver will trade in
his goalie pads for a glove and play middle infield again for Milford High as well as the Milford Legion team. He plans to play baseball next year at Framingham State, but he left the door open to a return to the ice at some point. "I think I could probably play club hockey, I would need to see how it times out," Shaver said. "But it's a possibility."




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