The Vineyarder boys varsity hockey team won the eighth annual Heuchling and Swift Memorial Hockey Classic last weekend at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.
The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) squad took the trophy on Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 win over Trumbull, Conn. The Purple opened play on Friday in the six-team tourney with a 5-1 win against York, Maine and advanced to the championship round on Saturday night with a 4-2 victory over Oyster River (Durham, N.H.). The three wins put MVRHS at 5-1-1 in the young season.
The Vineyarders have participated in the tournament in each of its eight years. “We’ve made it to the finals four times, but this is the first time we won the championship,” MVRHS coach Matt Mincone said.
The Vineyarders came back from a 1-0 deficit in all three games. Against York in the opener,
Pete Gillis got the equalizer, Aiden Marek put MVRHS ahead in the second period, and goals by Hunter Meader, Colby Zarba and Hoffie Hearn sealed the deal. The Gillis/Marek/Marek line got players of the game. Soph keeper Graham Stearns had 15 saves.
In the second game, Jackson Pachico tied it at 1-1 early in the first period, quickly followed by a Colby Zarba goal, Jake Scott and a second Zarba goal salted it away. Defenseman Kenny Hatt’s work in front of Stearns earned him player of the game. Stearns had 24 saves.
Stearns would win player of the championship game for the Vineyarders with 27 saves, giving him 66 for the tourney. Trumbull led 1-0 after one period. Meader and Zarba scored in the second period and the goals held up in a nailbiter through the third period. Zarba had four goals in the tournament.
Oyster River High School is the host team for the tournament, named after former Oyster River players Todd Heuchling and Brian Swift, who each died at a young age, Swift in 1995 after an illness, Heuchling in 2003 while a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
The Vineyarders varsity rests up until Cape & Island League play begins Jan. 8 at Dennis-Yarmouth.