Big win in final seconds

Girls hockey beats Nantucket, but suffers two losses.


The MVRHS girls hockey team lost two games — one to Nauset and another to Barnstable — and then had an exciting win in the final seconds against Nantucket to keep their postseason hopes alive. 

In a game last Wednesday, Coach Geoghan Coogan said his team lost a hard fought battle, 3-1 (one an empty-netter), against a very good Nauset team. “They’re a co-op team that’s having a very strong year,” he said. The team has a strong defense, a good goalie, and has an impressive 13-2 record.

“That’s a good team,” Coogan said. “We played really hard against them.”

On Saturday, the Vineyarders played Barnstable in a game they’d like to forget. “That’s one of those games where nothing went right,” Coach Coogan said. “I think I was still fixing somebody’s skate when the puck dropped and they scored on us. OK, downhill from there. Took it on the chin. Nothing worked — coaching right on down.”

On Sunday, the team was looking to rebound against Nantucket. “We had a crazy one with them,” he said. “Gotta give it to Nantucket. They struggled this year, but they put so many people in that rink. It’s loud. I think it rattled the girls for a little bit in that game. There were a bunch of penalties. They were holding the sticks too tight through two periods.” It was 3-2 going early in the third period. “We knew we were going to have to play as a team. That’s the only way we were going to pull it off.”

In that period, the Vineyarders immediately got a penalty. “They scored and I was like, uh-oh, big crowd. They were very, very loud. We kept pushing and Alana Nevin had a great play, kind of intercepted a breakout play, pulled in, made a nice move on the goalie to tie it up.”

With 40 seconds to play, the Vineyarders called a time out. “We had an offensive faceoff and we had a nice break there, too. Nice passing and Caroline Kelleher put it in with 16 seconds left and did a nice drive by to the Nantucket stands and let them know to quiet down,” Coach Coogan said. “It was fun.”

The team went into that game hoping for a win, but Nantucket played hard.

A game against Nantucket scheduled for this Thursday has been moved to next Thursday because of the weather forecast. “We could potentially be playing them for our chance to get into the tournament, so that’s definitely going to be a big game,” he said.

The team needs two wins in the final three to assure themselves a tourney berth. The team plays Latin Academy on Friday night  — a team they beat by one goal earlier in the year. Then they face a tough matchup against Norwood, a top three team in the state, on Monday. 

“We have to pull off two of them,” Coach Coogan said. “If we can get three of them, that’s great.”

After some early problems, the team has competed well in recent weeks in Coach Coogan’s first year at the helm.

“Any change is not going to happen overnight,” he said. “I read this great thing on Twitter. It’s a great quote. You think about a movie or a book. It takes two years to write and produce and create a movie. Then you watch the movie and you can criticize it in five minutes, so how do you think you’re going to adapt to a new culture in a month? It takes time, especially in a sport where things are evolving.”

The Nantucket game is proof that they can be down, but not out. “They looked at that third period and said, we’ve gotta win,” he said. “And they did it together. That was pretty cool.”