The MVRHS girls hockey team gave a bigger, faster Falmouth team a run for their money at the Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena on Wednesday before falling, 3-0. The girls hung tough throughout, but were unable to generate consistent offensive pressure on the resilient Clipper defense.
For the most part, this was an evenly played game. The difference was that Falmouth was able to use their speed and size to maneuver in the offensive end to create scoring opportunities. The statistics tell the story: While Falmouth goalie Lucy Amour finished with 11 saves, Vineyard netminder Amelia Simmons faced 34 shots, turning away 31 of them. Both goalies excelled.
The first period featured end-to-end play, with Falmouth enjoying a slight edge. But it was the Vineyarders who had the best scoring opportunity. Late in the period, the hosts swarmed the Falmouth net, resulting in a penalty shot when a Clipper skater covered the puck. After Amour stymied Vineyard freshman Paige Anderson’s deke attempt, the period ended scoreless.
Early in the second period, the Vineyarders drew back-to-back penalties, and were down two skaters. In an impressive show of grit and teamwork, the short-handed hosts killed the penalties, allowing only one shot. Minutes later, however, the Clippers struck. At the 7:53 mark, freshman Ryann McDonald jammed the puck into the net from the right post. It was 1-0 after two periods.
The Vineyarders rallied in the third period, and put seven shots on goal in the frame. But it was Clipper sophomore Samantha McKenzie who would step up and seal the win for Falmouth. Sam scored at 10:43 of the period on a breakaway, firing a high wrist shot off Amelia Simmons’ arm. Then, with 2:00 left to play, she gathered a loose puck 20 feet in front of the net and deposited it in the top left of the net.
Coach John Fiorito was justifiably pleased with his team’s effort. “It was a competitive game against a quality opponent,” he said, “and that is the way we need to play moving forward. Amelia Simmons was great. Lauren Boyd [senior captain] and Ruby Reimann were solid on defense. Our forwards played hard also, and created some quality scoring opportunities.”
The game was Falmouth’s season opener. The Vineyard girls, now 0-2 on the season, will host Dennis-Yarmouth on Saturday at 1 pm.