Martha’s Vineyard girls put two wins on ice

Callie Jackson kept the puck on the backhand and skated away from a Mansfield/Oliver Ames defender. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The MVRHS girls varsity hockey team moved two steps closer to its first state tournament appearance with wins last week over Quincy/North Quincy and Mansfield/Oliver Ames.

The Vineyarders are 7-5 overall and need three more wins or six points from their final eight games to clinch a playoff spot. The girls can also qualify by finishing first in the Southeastern Mass. Girls Hockey League. M.V. is currently 5-1 in league play, with a rematch against league leaders Scituate looming on February 11. The Sailors defeated the Purple 2-1 during last month’s Nan Rheault tournament at the M.V. Arena.

On January 28 at the Arena, the Vineyarders rolled over Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 10-2. The hosts stuffed the opposing net with eight first-period goals, the final four of them scored in a span of 1:27.

Celia Mercier scored four goals and Kassidy Bettencourt netted a pair. Callie Jackson, Sydney Davies, Rilla Hammett, and Olivia Cimeno scored once each. Assists went to Emily Cimeno (2), Aubrey Ashmun (2), Callie Jackson, Lizzie Kelleher, Lily Gazaille, Olivia Cimeno, and Skylah Forend.

Vineyard netminder Katy Smith earned the win in her first varsity start. Coach John Fiorito lauded his goalie after the game. “I couldn’t be happier with the way Katy played,” he said.

Saturday’s win came on the heels of a 4-1 league victory January 25 over hosts Quincy/North Quincy.

The Vineyarders got goals from Emily Mercier, Emily Cimeno, Callie Jackson, and Lizzie Kelleher. Texe Craig was the winning goalie.

Coach Fiorito cited the effort as his team’s finest of the season. “It was our best game of the year by far, from start to finish,” he said. “We scored on the first shift. We had four different goal scorers and got contributions from lots of people. We played great defensively and held them to five shots on goal in the first two periods.”

Next up for M.V. is a home game Saturday at 1 pm against Whitman-Hanson/Pembroke.