Martha’s Vineyard icemen fall to Bishop Feehan, 7-2

MV goals by Hunter Ponte and Tristan Araujo were countered by a Shamrocks barrage that included a Kyle Browne hat trick.

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The Vineyard hockey team was bested by Bishop Feehan 7-2 on Wednesday afternoon at a crowded MV Arena. Bishop Feehan co-captain Kyle Browne led the Shamrocks’ charge, notching three goals and two assists. It was the Eastern Athletic Conference (EAC) opener for both teams.

With the loss, the Vineyard icemen stand at 2-3-1 overall and 0-1 in the EAC.

The Shamrocks (4-3, 1-0 EAC) showed why they are defending conference champions, playing a disciplined, fundamentally sound game from the opening face-off to the final buzzer.

Feehan took the lead 6:22 into the game on a power-play goal by Connor O’Brien. The Shamrocks added another goal four minutes later, after Tim D’Ambrosia nudged the puck over the goal line through a maze of players stationed in front of Vineyard goalie Cathal Robinson.

The first period ended with Feehan up 2-0.

The Vineyarders got on the board just seven seconds into the second period. Hunter Ponte burst into the Shamrock zone untouched after the opening face-off, and zipped the puck inside the right post before sliding into the net himself.

The goal brought the crowd to life and energized the Vineyarders, who played the next ten minutes with a noticeable spring in their skates — until Kyle Brown scored his first goal of the game with 2:25 left in the period to restore Bishop Feehan’s two-goal cushion. Hunter Ponte and Colby Zarba, in particular, applied solid pressure in the Feehan end.

Down 3-1, the Vineyarders went on the power play 51 seconds into the third period, following a Feehan roughing penalty. MV played well with the man advantage, keeping the puck in the Shamrocks’ zone for most of the 90 seconds, but couldn’t capitalize. As the penalty expired, Ian Ganley lit the lamp at the other end, giving Bishop Feehan a 4-1 lead, and clearly deflating the Vineyarders.

Feehan’s Kyle Browne scored twice in three minutes to complete his hat trick, and Connor O’Brien tallied his second of the game 15 ticks later to make it 7-1.

Vineyarder Tristan Araujo got a highlight-reel goal for the Vineyarders with 6:34 left on the clock, after he took the puck from the boards near the left circle, snaked his way through three Feehan players, and deftly slid a backhander inside the left post past Shamrocks netminder Derek Dattero.

The Vineyarders skate again Saturday, on home ice, against EAC foe Bishop Stang. The puck drops at 1 pm.