This time last season the Staples-Weston co-op boys hockey team was 1-4. However this year, with a more experienced team and with the addition of Shelton to the co-op, Staples has started the season off much stronger. At their first away game on Dec. 28 the Wreckers rolled over Immaculate-New Fairfield to raise their record to 5-0.

Staples defeated INF 8-2 in part because of strong performances by Shelton senior captain goalie Mark Blake-Lobb, junior captain Kyle Wehmhoff, and Weston junior Forrest Savage, who scored a hat trick.

"Mark played in the net played really well, although [Immaculate-New Fairfield] had a lot of shots on goal, Mark played well and the score could have been a lot closer if he did not play the way he did," head coach Ralph Unker said.

The Wreckers were led offensively by Savage, Wehmhoff, Shelton senior captain Danny Guerrera, sophomore Zach Speed and senior alternate captain Ben Brancucci who all added tallies to the scoreboard for the Wreckers.

Guerrera's goal was his first of the season and he achieved this tally after connecting with Wehmhoff and sophomore Wyatt Fern on the play.

Although Staples was ultimately successful, it started off the game in a 2-0 hole coming out "sluggish and a little sloppy" according to Unker. About five minutes into the second period is when the Wreckers started to play closer to their full potential.

Unker cites that part of the slow start must be attributed to being forced to play without two of his captains, senior Tali Lafier and junior Aaron Liu who both could not attend the game. Yet starting off slow has been a perpetual problem for the team.

"One thing were really missing is coming out strong from start and playing up to our capability. We're far from where we need to be," said Unker.

The Wreckers will host INF tomorrow and Unker hopes they will be able play to the high level he knows they are capable of, and possibly maintain a shutout, which the team has not yet been able to do.

In last Tuesday's game INF's first goal was scored early in the first period. Blake-Lobb was screened and an INF forward took a hard shot about 10 feet inside the blue line, which found the back of the net. The Wrecker's opponent capitalized again in the first period when the team experienced a defensive breakdown.

"We need to come out and play to our full capabilities for the whole game. If we do this shutouts and future victories are achievable," said Unker.

The Wreckers are more than halfway towards achieving its goal of qualifying for the state tournament, which they need eight wins towards accomplishing this mission. Staples hopes to continue its success this week and after its rematch against I-NF, it travels towards the Massachusetts border on Saturday for a game against the Windsor Locks-Granby-Suffield co-op team at the Enfield Twin Rinks.