The 0-4 Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School hockey team found its reset button in chilly New Hampshire last weekend, winning two in a row at the Heuchling & Swift Memorial Classic at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.
The Vineyarders dropped the opening tourney game by a 6-1 count to Oyster River High School, the eventual tourney runner-up, then rolled to a 3-0 win over Portsmouth-Newmarket to preserve Vineyarder goaltender Michael Metcalf’s first career shutout.
The following day, the Vineyarders put 46 shots on the Spaulding (N.H.) net for a 5-1 win, to improve to 2-5 as they begin Eastern Athletic Conference league play this week against 5-2 Bishop Stang.
Coach Matt Mincone liked a lot of what he saw in frigid New Hampshire. “This team is still in the process of defining itself. Some of the younger kids don’t know yet how good they really are, but this is a group of kids who never stop working; they never quit,” he said this week.
“Three kids scored their first goals of the season: Aiden Marek [freshman], Logan Araujo [sophomore], and Jack Murray [senior]. Our preseason goal was to be tough to play against defensively, and we have some tightening up to do. But we’ve been able to play everybody this year, usually four lines and six or seven defensemen,” he said.
The Vineyarders experienced both the agony and the ecstasy in New Hampshire. “We were down 2-0 to Oyster River, then we had three penalties in two minutes in the second period, and they scored on all of them,” Coach Mincone said.
The Vineyarders returned the favor against Portsmouth-Newmarket, scoring twice in two minutes and nine seconds to put the game away. “And last year Spaulding beat us up pretty good. We controlled play this year. Not a pretty game, but we put 46 shots on them,” he said.
“So we got a little something going now to carry into league play. We have Stang, Coyle and Cassidy, and Stang again, back to back. We’ll need 45 minutes of effort in all of those games,” Mincone said.
The Vineyarders play at Bishop Stang on Wednesday at 4 pm in New Bedford at Hetland Memorial Rink.