For only the second time in 16 years, the Martha’s Vineyard boys’ hockey team won the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Tournament on Sunday with a thrilling 4-3 win over Weston at the MV Arena.
The biggest hero of the day was assistant captain Tyler Araujo, who scored two goals in the first period and the go-ahead goal in the third to secure the win and finish the game with a Hat Trick.
The Vineyarders advanced to the championship game against Weston with a close and hard-fought win over Lynnfield in the opening round of the tourney Saturday night.
In the championship game Sunday, the Vineyarders jumped out to an early 3-0 lead to the delight of the home crowd, who packed the stands despite a strong winter storm that left several inches of snow around the Island.
But the Wildcats stormed back, tying the game 3-3 in the second period. But it was too much Araujo in the end, as the junior stole the puck, rocketed down the ice and slipped one past the Weston goalie to give the home team the win.
The home crowd showered the ice with a number of baseball caps and winter hats to celebrate Araujo’s trifecta.
It looked like the game would be a more one-sided affair early, after the Vineyarders Brian Fraser scored a top-shelf goal 2:30 minutes into the game with assists from Sam Burke and Charlie Ashmun.
Later in the period, Araujo scored a rare short-handed goal on a breakaway play started by Shay Hill, who was credited with an assist. Araujo would increase the Vineyarders lead less than two minutes later when he redirected a shot by Fraser.
Sitting on a 3-0 lead after the first period, the Vineyarders may have been a little too relaxed to start the second period. Whatever the reason, the Wildcats quickly scored on a goal by James Sacco just two minutes into the period.
Later in the game the Wildcats’ Mark Debendictis scored to make it 3-2, and in the closing seconds of the second period Severino Tucci scored for the visitors to tie the game to the shock and dismay of the home crowd.
But the home crowd went home happy thanks to the spectacular game-winning goal by Araujo 4:44 in the last period. Araujo stole the puck in the Wildcats’ zone and raced the length of the ice to beat Weston goalie Cam Chiotti for the win.
With the win the Vineyarders climbed to a record of 14-4-1 on the season; they have already qualified for a berth in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) tournament.