The Vineyarders girls varsity hockey team, rebounding from a winless 2018 campaign, shut out Fontbonne Academy/Latin Academy, 3-0, on Saturday at Northeastern University’s Matthews Arena on Saturday for their third win this season.
Coach John Fiorito continues to be buoyed by the team’s efforts to build success. “It’s great to see them getting better and believing in themselves,” he said. Fiorito said he couldn’t remember the last time his squad had pitched a shutout, but it “was likely at least three years ago,” he said. “Amelia [Simmons] deserved that one,” he said of the oft-deluged junior goaltender who had 14 saves on Saturday.
Senior Hailey Meader scored a pair and senior Meghan Sonia tallied once on Saturday. Sonia and Alex Rego had assists, along with Skyla Harthcock, who posted her first varsity point on Saturday.
While the Vineyarders have three wins (3-6) with 11 games left, Fiorito and his squad have no illusions.
“The game has changed since I started coaching nine years ago,” he said. “There are fewer and fewer figure skaters on rosters. You are playing against hockey players now. The game is a lot faster.
“The goal is to play better the second time we play a team. For example, we beat Fontbonne/Latin, 2-1, the first time, so Saturday was one of those improvement games. We have to play like that against teams we can match up with. But even with teams we don’t match up with, there’s improvement. For example, we lost, 7-0, to Stang but it wasn’t a blowout. They have one dominant player who scored five times. We’re playing Scituate on Saturday, another strong team. They beat us 2-0 the first time this year, so that game will be interesting.”
Fiorito likes the effort he’s getting from veterans and rookies. “Hard-working players like Sally Caron, not a goal scorer but you know when she’s on the ice, contributing every shift. And Skyla has made great strides for her first year playing the game. She picked it up quickly, and is getting significant ice time,” he said.
The Vineyarders host Scituate, Dover-Sherborn, and defending tourney champs Bourne-Mashpee-Wareham/Old Rochester Regional (BMWORR) in the 19th annual Nan Rheault Invitational Tournament this weekend at the MV Ice Arena. The Vineyarders skate against Scituate in the opener on Saturday night at 7 pm. The consolation game starts at 11 am on Sunday, and the championship game follows at 1 pm.