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Wilmington boys’ hockey embracing move up to Division 1

Wilmington High’s Domenic Malatesta fights to gain control of the puck in Saturday’s hard-fought 3-3 tie with Burlington. The teams are 2-2-2 in their last six matchups, with most games close.
Wilmington High’s Domenic Malatesta fights to gain control of the puck in Saturday’s hard-fought 3-3 tie with Burlington. The teams are 2-2-2 in their last six matchups, with most games close. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

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Taking on Burlington High, the two-time defending Division 1 state hockey champion, is not new for Wilmington.

The matchups between the Middlesex League heavyweights always are played at a fever pitch, with a playoff-like atmosphere. Saturday night’s meeting, which ended in a 3-3 draw at Ristuccia Arena, was no different.

But this season, there is a new wrinkle, because for the first time, the two programs could meet in the Division 1 North tournament. After repeating as Division 2 state champions last March, Wilmington has been moved up to Division 1 for tournament play by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

And the Wildcats appear up for the challenge.

Wilmington (7-2-6 this season) have split its six matchups against Burlington (8-1-6) the past three seasons, going 2-2-2.

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