The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Girls varsity hockey team lost a thrilling 2-1 game to a very accomplished Sandwich High School team on Saturday afternoon at the MV Ice Arena in Oak Bluffs.
The Blue Knights struck first, with 1:37 left in the first period, after the young Vineyarders had dominated play for much of the frame. Sandwich goaltender Maci White (14 saves) turned away several quality chances.
Ms. White had no chance 1:19 into the second period when Vineyarder sophomore Veronica Wendt buried a 10-footer, scoring just the way coaches draw it up on the whiteboard, to tie the score, 1-1.
On the play, junior Meghan Sonia kept the puck in the offensive end and filtered it down the left boards, where freshman Ava Ben-David dug in the corner, terriered the puck away from a Sandwich defender and centered a pass to a closing Ms. Wendt.
The teams battled up and down the ice for most of the period until a lazy Sandwich floater from the point somehow made its way through the crowd into the net to give Sandwich a 2-1 lead with 7:45 left.
The teams battled through a scoreless third period. The Blue Knights had the better of play in the final 10 minutes, though the leg-weary Vineyarders knocked on the door several times with chances in the last two minutes, courtesy of their fourth power-play opportunity of the contest.
Sophomore goaltender Amelia Simmons was stunning in the Vineyarder net, facing 31 Sandwich shots, in a game that might have been a watershed moment for the team. Though they are 0-4 on the season, the Vineyarders have lost a pair of one-goal contests, Coach John Fiorito has worked freshmen and sophomore players, now playing with confidence, into his system.
After the holiday break, the veterans like senior Saige Araujo and, juniors Hailey Meader, Meghan Sonia, and Sally Caron and sophomore Lauren Boyd, may see more offensive help from the newbies.
The Vineyarders next take on perennial powerhouse Fontbonne Academy on Dec. 29 at 1:30 pm at the legendary Matthews Arena at Northeastern University in Boston.