Martha’s Vineyard icemen rally to win 3-2 in home opener

Brian Fraser leads a Vineyard rush into the Lowell Catholic zone early in the first period. The senior-co captain scored a hat trick in the 3-2 win. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Brian Fraser scored two goals 18 seconds apart in the final 2:07 of regulation to complete a hat trick, as the Martha’s Vineyard boys varsity hockey team rallied for a 3-2 win over Lowell Catholic Saturday night in front of a packed house at the M.V. Arena.

Trailing 2-1 entering the third period, the Vineyarders dominated the final 15 minutes, outshooting the Crusaders 14-3. Nick Kent was a key substitution in the final period, providing stellar play and the necessary spark as the Vineyarders shook off a sluggish start. Fraser tied the game by slapping in a rebound at close range and scored the winning goal on a sizzling wrister from the top of the left circle.

Following the dramatic win, assistant coach Max Sherman said that the Vineyarders’ spirited turnaround wasn’t due to any memorable locker room speech, as much as it was the players themselves who raised the level of their play from the first period to the third.

“There’s only so much you can do, it comes down to them,” Mr. Sherman said. “Actually, we executed what we needed to. We didn’t really change much in terms of lines. We inserted one kid who is new to the varsity, who stepped up, Nick Kent, and gave us what we needed, we needed grinders to work hard and that’s what he did. We tried to chalk the first period up to nerves, the second one up to a little less nerves, and the third period they just played like we know they can play, They were patient, they were grinding in the corners, working hard. It’s not the prettiest goals but it’s the people who work really hard that get the puck out front to the guys that finish it out. To have seniors like Tyson [Araujo] and Brian [Fraser] that have been doing it for the past few years, it’s a testament to them, what they mean to the team.”

Tyson Araujo finished with three assists. Sam Burke, Tristan Araujo, and Alexander Vukota each had one. Wyatt Jenkinson had a solid game between the pipes and made a huge save in the final five minutes to keep the Crusaders from taking a 3-1 lead.

Prior to the season-opening faceoff, the West Tisbury Police honor guard came onto the ice, as Joanne Cassidy wowed the crowd with a stirring rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner.

Once the puck was dropped, Lowell Catholic came out smoking and took a 1-0 lead just 3:18 into the game. The Vineyarders outshot the Crusaders 7-4 in the opening 15 minutes but were well below par. The second period was better, but the Vineyarders were penalty prone. Brian Fraser got his first goal of the night 38 seconds into the second stanza on a slow roller through the five-hole. The Crusaders regained the lead on a power play goal with 3:39 left before the second intermission.

The Vineyarders are back in action at the M.V. Arena on Saturday, December 21 at 6 pm against Bridgewater-Raynham.