Girls hockey edges Norwood at home, 3-2

Strong goaltending, timely offense are keys.

Senior Meghan Sonia, No. 12, celebrates one of her goals with her teammates. — John Zarba

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) girls hockey team outlasted the Mustangs of Norwood in a closely matched contest on Monday at the MV Ice Arena. After taking a two-goal lead in the second period, the hosts allowed a late goal before nailing down the win.

After a relatively quiet, evenly played first period, things opened up in the middle frame. The early minutes were dominated by the visitors, who generated a flurry of scoring chances, all of them turned away by junior netminder Amelia Simmons.

The tide turned moments later when Vineyard freshman Lila Mikos netted a 15-foot wrist shot to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Then, with two Vineyarders in the penalty box, the visitors’ Marissa Cataldo tied the game at 1-1 with a 10-foot wrister of her own.

The action continued with both teams getting good shots, and both teams spending time in the penalty box (10 penalties would be called in the game). Vineyard senior and captain Meghan Sonia broke the tie on a rare and exciting penalty shot. Hauled down on a breakaway, Sonia was awarded a free shot on goal, which she confidently deposited in the upper right-hand corner, making it a 2-1 game. When senior Hailey Meader ricocheted one in from behind the Mustang net with two minutes left in the period, the hosts had a two-goal lead.

The final period saw close, end-to-end play with excellent penalty-killing and continued solid goaltending. With 1:55 left in the game, Norwood pulled their goalie for an extra skater. Shortly after, Mustang Marissa Cataldo struck again to make it a one-goal game. With the visitors pressing for the tying goal, a cluster of Vineyard players managed to tie the puck up along the end boards as the seconds ticked away, giving the girls their well-earned win.

Amelia Simmons, who registered 30 saves, had strong support from junior defenseman Lauren Boyd, among others. The Mustangs’ Jenna Mazzola finished with 25 saves.

“It was a big win for us,” said Vineyard Coach John Fiorito. “We’re not as deep as many teams, so our goal is to be better each game. We gave Bourne a battle on Saturday before losing 3-1, and beat a pretty good team today.” After a pause he added, “We’re 4 and 14 on the season … that’s four more wins than last year.”

The Vineyarders wrap up their season with home games against Dennis-Yarmouth on Wednesday, Feb. 20, and Dover-Sherborn the following day.