Vineyard's garden victory
The Martha's Vineyard Youth Hockey Bantams got a taste of the big time last Thursday when they skated against Nantucket at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.
To a man, the Vineyard players will tell you that their exciting 6-5 win over the Noreasters was great, to be sure. But, it wasn't so much who scored when or how many times or how they did it. The important thing was that they all took part in an experience that will last a lifetime. Beating Nantucket to claim the second Frozen Ferry Cup (the Vineyard won the first at the then Fleet Center in 2004) was simply the crowning achievement of a great day.
"Skating in this stadium was a very good experience, very fun, and a lot different with the atmosphere of all the seats and the crowd around you," Vineyard center Colby Gouldrup said.
Right wing Thomas Wilkins added, "I looked up and saw all the banners and felt proud that I could play."
Head coach Dan Merry was a member of both MVRHS state championship squads who won at the Garden when it was known as the Fleet Center.
"I just wanted the kids to go out and have fun, that's what it's all about," Coach Merry said. "I never thought I would be coaching and playing on the same sheet of ice."
The teams got to play on the Boston Bruins home ice, thanks to the Future Bruins program, which allows youth hockey teams from all over Massachusetts to play at the Garden and view a Bruins game if they sell 100 B's tickets.
The players hit the ice promptly at 4 pm and played two 25-minute sessions.
The lights were bright, and the players were on camera and up on the Jumbotron.
Nantucket scored first, but M.V. answered with two scores, one by Brian Hurley, assisted by Tyson Araujo and the second by Tyson from Dakota Delviento and Charlie Ashmun.
The Vineyard led 4-2 by the half on goals from Delviento (assist to Hurley), and Colby Gouldrup (assisted by Charles Goldthwait and Bobby Perry.
The second session was just as competitive with Nantucket scoring three times to the Vineyard's two.
Colby Gouldrup made the score 5-3, assisted by Tyler Araujo, and Tony DeBettecourt got the game winner, set up by Thomas Wilkins and Nelson Dickson.
After hoisting the cup at center ice and facing the dozens of family members and friends along in the stands, the players were escorted back to the locker room for a question and answer session with Bruins forward P.J. Axelsson. The questions were often hard to elicit, but the delight on the players' faces was easy to detect, especially when the Bruins sprang a final surprise in the form of hall-of-famer Cam Neely. The Bruin legend addressed the teams for about five minutes and fielded a few questions of his own before the teams made their way upstairs for the evening's contest between the Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Chris Spano and the Bruins staff were stellar in providing a splendid time for all.
The B's would fall 3-2 in a shootout, following a tight, exciting game, but it hardly mattered to the Island players gazing down from above and below the numerous championship banners and retired numbers of Bruins and Celtics greats. For 50 minutes on one afternoon, they got to play on the same stage as their heroes.
Following their Boston success, M.V. won 4-3 over Norwood in Foxborough Saturday. Colby Gouldrup chalked up a hat trick and Tyler Araujo tallied once with three assists.
In other youth hockey action, the M.V. Cape and Islands Squirts lost at Y-D 2-1, Saturday.
Greg McCarron scored for M.V. Joshua Forend had the assist.
The M.V. Islander Peewees controlled the play in the final two periods, but lost 5-1 at Barnstable. Nicklas Kent potted the lone goal, assisted by Mike Mazza and Aaron Figueroa.
Wilmington top cats at Nan Rheault
Coming off their first win of the season last week against Latin Academy, The MVRHS girls varsity hockey team had reason to be optimistic heading into the 7th annual Nan Rheault Invitational Tournament.
They had already tied opening opponent Marshfield 2-2 in December, while Wilmington was looking for their first win and Cambridge Rindge & Latin was a beatable 4-3-1.
The Vineyarders were terrific in the opening period against Marshfield, skating and forechecking intensely.
In the second period, the Rams caught a break when captain Shannon Driscoll poked in a goal that appeared to be covered in the crease by goalie Jamie Forend. No whistle came and Marshfield gained a mental edge they never relinquished in a 4-0 win. The Rams piled up a 32-12 shot advantage as Forend kept it closer than it might have been.
"We had momentum going and I was hoping for a better outcome," Head Coach Sam Sherman said. "We just keep repeating old mistakes."
In the second varsity contest, Cambridge took on Wilmington, struggling in their inaugural division one season, but poised for success against a division two field.
The Cats (2-6-3) prevailed 7-4 and did one better by shutting out Marshfield (3-9-1) 3-0 on Sunday to win the championship.
M.V. faced-off against Cambridge in the varsity consolation game and went out in style, notching their second victory of the season, 6-2.
Cristina Wiley racked up a hat trick and added two assists. Alexa Fisher had two goals and an assist and Nica Sylvia scored her first goal of the year, firing in a laser from 30 feet out. Bre Russell, Prudence Fisher, and Gillian O' Callaghan each had assists. Laura Jernegan was the winning goalie.
In the jayvee bracket, M.V. started their tournament with a timid opening period against Needham, but improved by leaps and bounds over the final 30 minutes in securing a 3-2 victory.
Nicole Mercier got the hat trick and an assist to boot, scoring two early goals in period two and adding another quick strike in the third. Diana Nash set up two goals, while Jessica Seidman and Sarah Kadison each had an assist. Anna Sylvia was superb in net.
The second jayvee game was over after one period as Marshfield amassed a 6-0 lead on Newton North and played keep away from the Tigers the rest of the way. The Rams arrived on the Island with several varsity subs augmenting a talented jayvee lineup.
In the championship game Sunday morning, the Purple stayed close for a while, but fell hard, 9-0, in a testy game filled with penalties. Marshfield actually did much of the damage on the Vineyard power play, putting up three shorthanded goals.
Needham won the consolation game over Newton North, 4-1.
Vineyard boys close in on state tourney
Joel Rebello scored with 37 seconds remaining to rescue a point as the Vineyard tied Dennis-Yarmouth 1-1 Monday at the Tony Kent Arena in South Dennis.
Colin Hurd set up Rebello for the tying marker as the visitors stand at 8-1-3 for the season, one point shy of a berth in the MIAA state tournament.
Head Coach Matt Mincone was less than pleased with his team’s effort, however. "It was our worst game of the season, we didn’t derserve the tie," he said.
Friday night, M.V. completed a season sweep over Hanover with a 5-3 victory at MV Arena.
The Vineyarders jumped on top in the opening minute, skated relentlessly, but racked up nine penalties on the night, allowing a young and determined Hanover squad to stay within striking distance and control long stretches of play.
Tad Gold had two goals and assist, Henry Smith, Mitch Pachico, and Joel Rebello also scored. Darren Gazaille, Trey Rasmussen, Truman French, and Rebello earned assists.
On Wed. Jan.16, the Purple overwhelmed visiting Old Rochester 8-2.
The Vineyarders ripped open the game in the second period, potting five goals in four mintues.
Nick Billingham and Joel Rebello had two goals apiece, Matt Flynn put up a goal and two assists, while Henry Smith and Mitch Pachico had one of each. Scott Cleary scored the final goal. Darren Gazaille, Truman French, David Flanders, and Ted Kram all had assists on the night.
The jayvee squad baptized Old Rochester's fledgling goalie for 7 goals, last Wednesday. The Bulldogs got only two past winning goalie Alex Dorr.
Cody Pachico and Brian Grzesiuk tallied twice apiece. Ben Ferry, Conner Johnson, and Curtis Maciel also scored for M.V.
Monday, the jayvees outshot D-Y by an enormous margin, holding the Dolphins to 0 shots on goal in the third period, yet still lost 1-0. It just wasn't their night to score. Louis Jacobs-Walsh was in goal for the Vineyard.