Vineyard hockey eyes big upcoming games

Girls and boys teams hope to climb league ladder as regular season concludes.

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The Vineyarders hockey teams are progressing toward the end of their regular seasons, with some triumphs and defeats against league rivals teaching players valuable lessons out on the ice. 

The boys hockey coach, Matt Mincone, told The Times that last week, the boys team played Hopkinton on Feb. 15 at home, and after some intense up-and-down play, came out on top with a 2-1 win. “It was kind of as I expected,” Mincone said. “They’ve always been a tough team, but we are playing at a pretty strong level right now.”

During that game, one line accounted for all the teams’ scoring. MV scored in the first minute with a goal by Finn Lewis and assists by Will Bruguiere and Nick Ben David — a quick start to get the Purple pride flowing. “That line has been jelling pretty good lately,” Mincone mentioned. The second and winning goal of that game was scored by Bruguiere, with assists by Charlie Lakis and John Coogan.

The following day, the 16th, the team traveled to Nantucket in good spirits. If they beat the other Island, they would have shared the league title, and also scratched out their previous loss. 

The Vineyarders emerged victorious, 3-1. Mincone said it was a good up-and-down game, with a strong effort by goalie Graham Stearns.

“Nantucket is a disciplined team for the most part, and played a pretty solid game. It seems like in the past few years we go over there and beat them, and they come here and beat us,” Mincone said. 

Currently, the worst the MV team can do is tie Dennis-Yarmouth in the league. They have an upcoming game against the team, which will determine whether they exceed Dennis-Yarmouth wins or tie them in the league. Earlier in the season, MV beat Dennis-Yarmouth 2-1 in overtime in a real nail biter. “If we win or tie Dennis-Yarmouth, then we outright win the title,” Mincone said. 

The Vineyard boys team plays Dennis-Yarmouth away on Wednesday, Feb. 23, as The Times goes to print. 

Mincone said performance during the Fairleigh Dickinson Tournament is always a “whole different click on the dial,” with Plymouth North besting the MV team, 2-1. The team learned a lot during the first period of the game, Mincone said, but ended up being overwhelmed.

The team has already qualified for the state tournament, and will soon find out about pairings and brackets. Following Wednesday’s game against Dennis-Yarmouth, Barnstable hockey will be on the Vineyard for Senior Night, where the MV players’ skills will be tested. 

“These guys have done a great job. I know we just lost the past two games, but from a coaching perspective, you have to learn how to lose in a good way,” Mincone said. “I am looking forward to getting these next two games under our belt, hopefully getting back into the winning column before we go into the state tournament, and then making some noise there.”

Girls hockey coach Geoghan Coogan told The Times in an email that the team fell short against Latin Academy on Friday, Feb. 18, which was Senior Night for lone senior Lila Mikos. The players started a bit slow in the first period, Coogan said, and battled hard until the end, but couldn’t score enough to get the win. On Monday, Feb. 21, the MV girls played a tough Norwood team — a top 10 team in the division. As the girls have done all season, Coogan said, they didn’t quit, and will continue that mentality with their final regular-season game Thursday, Feb. 24, at their home rink against rival Nantucket. 

While we hoped to get a few more wins at the end of the season, we have taken a number of super-positive steps forward as a program, and hope to continue that with a strong finish,” Coogan said.