Volkert Kleeman scored a hat trick, Yossi Monahan added a pair of goals, and Maks Pachico turned in a stellar performance in net, leading the Martha’s Vineyard Mariners Norris Division PeeWees (23-2-2) to a 7-3 win over the Newport (R.I.) Whalers (10-15-4) in a quarterfinal playoff game at the MV Ice Arena on Sunday morning.
The win advances the top-seeded Mariners to the Southern New England Hockey Conference (SNEHC) semifinals in a game to be announced.
Later on Sunday, the Martha’s Vineyard Mariner Squirts Wales East squad (20-8) fell 5-2 to the Northern Rhode Island Vikings (20-6-2) in a SNEHC semifinals contest, ending the season for the divisional champs.
Goaltending was a major factor in both games. With starting PeeWee goaltender Sarah Hartenstine reportedly stalled off-Island by weekend weather that canceled Steamship service to the Island, Maks Pachico stepped between the pipes and shut down the Whalers (23 saves) until the verdict was long settled.
In the Squirts game, a pair of Viking goalkeepers stood on their heads to keep the Mariners in check with a series of web-highlight stops in a game much closer than the 5-2 final indicated.
In the opener, Luke Silvia got the Mariners on the board early on a nice finishing move in front, 2:45 into the game off an Olive MacPhail feed. Yossi Monahan earned his first goal by digging industriously in front of the Whaler net, freeing the puck and slamming it home with 3:56 remaining in the first period.
Volkie got going on his hat trick with 22 ticks remaining, picking up a Clara Mikos feed at center ice, deking past a defenseman and drawing the goaltender right before flipping a wrister into the left-hand corner for a 3-0 bulge at the break.
Yossi increased the lead to 4-0 eight seconds into the second period on a nice combo play, slapping home a centering feed from Luke Silvia. Volkie finished off his trick with a second-period pair, the first on an Orr-like weaving rush midway through the period, and earned his lid with a tough angle score with 4:40 left and a 7-0 lead.
The Whalers picked up their game, potting a pair in the last five minutes of the second period, then scoring in the final minute of the third period for a 7-3 final.
The nightcap looked like more of the same early on. After Michael Perry made a snappy stop in the first 10 seconds to keep the Vikings off the board, the Mariners took control of the offensive end, with Izzy Blake scoring on a nice give-and-go from Abby Geary at the 4:30 minute mark, The Mariners would not score again until Izzy scored an unassisted goal with 33 seconds left in the contest.
In the meantime, the Vikings’ goaltending duo of Devlin Mansolf and Albert Boisvert turned aside 17 shots, many bristling attempts off frustrated Mariner sticks. In the Vineyard goal, Michael fell victim to a bustling Viking effort, who scored three goals on second and third unimpeded efforts in close.
The Vikings added a pair in the second period and a pair in the third for the 5-2 margin.
The Mariners and Vikings generally play close ones, and this was closer than the score indicates, with plenty of up-and-down action. Both were aggressive and sacrificed defense at times, particularly in the Vineyard end.
The Vikings had a tighter passing game, and only the relentless fore- and back-checking by Mariners, including Emily and Jane Coogan, Max Metell, and Audrey Heidt, denied the Vikings additional offensive opportunities.