Athlete Of The Week: Colin Ward

by Brad Joyal
Nauset junior forward Colin Ward. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO Nauset junior forward Colin Ward. BRAD JOYAL PHOTO

BOURNE – Going into the state quarterfinals against Pembroke, Nauset boys hockey coach Connor Brickley preached the importance of getting off to a quick start and playing explosive hockey to his players.

Junior forward Colin Ward took Brickley’s message to heart.

Ward opened the scoring with a rebound goal just 50 seconds into the game, setting the tone and helping top-seeded Nauset skate to a 4-1 victory over eighth-seeded Pembroke. Three days later, Ward netted another goal in a lopsided 6-0 win over No. 12 Somerset Berkley in the Division 3 semifinals to propel Nauset to the program’s first state championship appearance in two decades.

“It felt really good to get in there on the forecheck and get the puck in,” said Ward, a Chatham resident. “We had to come out early and we just got right on them.”

Ward has been a key addition to this year’s Warriors squad after his family moved to Chatham from Dedham over the summer.

“He’s a leader,” Brickley said. “He’s a leader on the ice and he really shapes our team identity. Everyone feeds off his work ethic, everyone really notices it, and everyone really wants to replicate the same thing. He’s a great asset for our team.”

Brickley said Ward plays a relentless style that is built for the postseason.

“That’s how you win playoff hockey games — wearing teams down and working pucks below the top of the circle,” the coach said.

Ward and the Warriors will look to cap off their season with a Division 3 state title against No. 6 Marblehead at 3 p.m. Sunday at TD Garden in Boston.