The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School girls hockey team came into the 13th annual Nan Rheault Invitational Ice Hockey Tournament with a 5-1-1 record, having a legitimate shot at winning the event for the first time.
First, Saturday night, the Vineyarders had to get past their archrivals, the Scituate Sailors. Six days ago, Scituate defeated M.V. 5-1. The Vineyarders did not play well. In the rematch, the Vineyarders played very well but ran into a hot goaltender. Scituate senior co-captain Hannah Clougherty has proven to be a formidable nemesis for the Vineyard offense over the past couple of years. She was again Saturday night, stopping 35 shots in a 3-1 Sailors win.
Only Aubrey Ashmun could solve her, scoring on a sneaky backhander inside the right post, assisted by Emily Hammett and Callie Jackson, just 16 seconds into the game. The lead held up until midway through the second period when Amanda Oar slapped a rebound into the yawning cage after Vineyard goalie Jackie Hegarty made the initial save. Ally Irish put the Sailors on top 2-1 at 5:26 of the third and Kori Garland whistled the insurance goal into the top right corner 2:25 later to ice the win.
In front of an enthusiastic crowd of more than 200 fans, the Vineyarders dominated for long stretches, outshot Scituate 36-15 in the game and fired 13 shots on goal in the final period. It was not enough.
“We played the best first period we could play, Vineyard coach John Fiorito said. “We needed to get that second goal. It obviously would have been a different game.”
Scituate advanced to play Medway Ashland Sunday afternoon in the championship game. The Mustangs defeated Peabody/Lynnfield 4-2 Saturday and sank the Sailors 5-0 to repeat as Nan Rheault champions.
The Vineyarders played Peabody/Lynnfield Sunday morning in an exciting, well played consolation game which ended in a 4-4 tie.
The Tanners scored seven seconds into the game on a breakaway goal by Alyce Murphy. Callie Jackson answered for the Vineyarders nine seconds later, assisted by Olivia Ogden and Katrina Lakis. Belle Dinning put the hosts in front with 1:59 left in the first period by snapping a wrister under the glove of Tanners goalie Jillian McCormick. Erin Hegarty and Megan Hurley earned assists.
Peabody/Lynnfield scored twice on the power play in the second period to lead 3-2 at the intermission. Alyce Murphy potted her second goal of the night and Courtney Smith followed up with the go-ahead goal 69 seconds later.
Murphy completed her hat trick 34 seconds into the third period, putting the Tanners up 4-2. The Vineyarders needed 14 seconds to respond. Sydney Davies jammed the puck into the net with help from Alex Clark and Aubrey Ashmun to make it 4-3. Kylie Hatt tied the game and salvaged a Vineyard point at 4:52 by scoring from the point on the power play.
“Obviously after a heartbreaking loss, we were worried about being up for this game,” coach Fiorito said. “I think we played six pretty good periods of hockey. We played well, we showed some resiliency, which is the biggest thing. We could have quit after the first goal, playing in the consolation game but we answered right back. We were down 4-2, we tied it up, so we’re happy.”
The Vineyarders (5-2-2) are back in action Wednesday afternoon in a big Southeast Mass. Girls Hockey League game at Dennis-Yarmouth. The teams skated to a 2-2 tie January 4 at the MV Arena in the first meeting this season.