Martha’s Vineyard Peewees beat Nantucket to win league title

The Vineyard Peewees, 2013 Cape and Island champs. Front l to r: Layla Buckley, Hunter Meader, Joe Kershaw, Hunter Ponte (partially hidden), Jack Murray, Mike Metcalf, Ian Trance; Middle l to r: Cabot Thurber, Zach Vukota; Back l to r: Coach Brandon Willett, Willson Slayton, Coach Bobby Sprague, Hailey Meader, Meghan Sonia, William Hermann, David Krauthamer, Colby Zarba and Head Coach Tim Bettencourt. — Photo courtesy of Lara O'Brien

The Martha’s Vineyard Peewees scored two goals in the third period to break open a 3-3 tie and stun the previously unbeaten Nantucket Nor’easters, 5-3, in the Cape and Islands hockey championship game Saturday at the Charles Moore Arena in Orleans.

Vineyard captain Jack Murray inspired his team with a pre-game speech in the locker room, according to a description of the game emailed to The Times.

“Please give it your all, leave everything you have out on the ice,” Jack told the team. “Winning a championship is exciting, but beating Nantucket and handing them their first loss of the season makes winning the championship that much sweeter.”

His words paid off. The Vineyard struck twice early in the first period and again late to take a 3-0 lead into the first intermission.

The Nor’easters stormed back on the power play to tie the game at 3-3 heading into the final period. Cheered on by their fans, the Vineyard rebounded and fought off tired legs to net the upset win.

Hunter Ponte led the Vineyard offense with two goals. Layla Buckley, Colby Zarba, and Jack Murray netted a goal apiece. Murray, Zarba, Hailey Meader, and Hunter Meader all had assists.

Vineyard defensemen David Krauthamer, Hailey Meader, Willson Slayton, Zach Vukota, Cabot Thurber, and Ian Trance held the Nor’easters at bay. Joe Kershaw and Mike Metcalf were the winning goalies. Meghan Sonia and William Hermann also came up with big plays when it mattered most.

The Peewees are coached by Tim Bettencourt and assistants Nelson Dickson, Brandon Willett, and Bobby Sprague.

M.V. Peewees skate in Lake Placid

The Vineyard Peewees prepared for their showdown with Nantucket by playing in Lake Placid, N.Y., March 21-24, in the Can/Am Tournament. The Vineyard skated against elite teams from Vermont, Ottawa (Canada), and Philadelphia.