Updated March 3
The 12th-seeded Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) boys hockey team dropped a 7-1 verdict to No. 4 seed Dartmouth High School on Sunday night, ending the Vineyarder season (12-8-2) in the quarterfinals of the Division 3 South Sectional state hockey tourney.
The gritty Purple advanced to the quarterfinals after they refused to lose on Friday night, beating fifth seed Somerset Berkley Regional High School, 3-2, in a double-overtime first round Division 3 South Sectional marathon to open their state championship tourney at Gallo Ice Arena in Bourne.
The Indians jumped out early on Sunday night, holding a 4-0 lead until Cam Geary scored an unassisted goal in the second period. That was as close as the Vineyarders would get. Dartmouth scored again in the second period, and twice more in the third, to seal the deal.
On Friday, freshman Liam Marek scored the game winner with just over three minutes to play in the second overtime to win it, on assists by Cam Geary and Hoffie Hearn.
The Vineyarders got to overtime when junior Hunter Meader tied the contest in the third period off a feed from junior Aiden Marek. Senior Colby Zarba got the Purple on the board first, with a first-period goal with assists from Aiden Marek and Hoffie Hearn. The Raiders tied it and scored again early in the third period, for a 2-1 advantage before Meader put one in for the tie, leading to overtime.
The first overtime period in high school hockey is played with four rather than five players up front, but neither team could solve the other. The second overtime was a three-on-three player period, and the Vineyarders took advantage of open ice with Liam Marek’s heroics.
The pairing of the Marek brothers with sharpshooter Meader has been a chemistry Coach Matt Mincone has been searching for. The trio, along with Cam Geary and Pete Gillis, have brightened the Vineyarder scoring fortunes over the last third of the season.
The Vineyarders have been unpredictable this season, but they clearly brought their A-game to Gallo for the Friday faceoff, then struggled to keep up with the speedy Big Green on Sunday. “We worked as hard as they did, just not as fast. Their speed got us off our game. For the first seven or so minutes, it was good, then they got three goals to end the first period. Cam got us closer in the second on the power play, but honestly, on Sunday the better team won,” Coach Mincone told the Times this week.
He was referring to Bishop Stang (No. 9 seed), which stunned the sectional faithful on Sunday by ousting No. 1 seed Hopkinton, last year’s state champ finalist. Stang beat the eighth-seeded Nantucket 5-2 on Friday, then followed up, trimming Hopkinton 5-2 on Sunday. Stang will next face Dartmouth in the sectional semifinals.
Assessing the season, Mincone said his squad achieved their goals, and “I saw positive growth by every kid. This season made them better young men. The six [senior] men we are losing are ready for the next step in their lives, whether that includes hockey or not,” he said.
“Actually, the future was also brightened this season as we played four rather than three lines, a rarity in Vineyarder hockey. That allowed a half-dozen underclassmen to become veterans,” he said.
Updated to add details from loss to Dartmouth. — Ed.