The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys hockey team opened up its playoff season with newly bleached locks and an impressive 7-0 win Thursday over Mashpee/Monomoy.
After going 13-3-1 in the regular season, with many of those games coming down to one goal and five of them going to overtime, the Vineyarders made this one a no-doubter in the third period.
“I wouldn’t say it came as a surprise. The first time we got them we were a different team,” Assistant Coach Jack McGroarty told The Times after the game at MV Ice Arena. “We like to see them start better. That’s an area where we’ve struggled throughout the season.”
Defenseman Charlie Lakis, a senior, got the scoring started with a wrister from the slot in the first period. And it was Nick Rego, a junior defenseman, who set up the second goal by freshman Hunter Johnson with a nice end-to-end rush.
Because it’s school vacation week, the MV Ice Arena was not as crowded as you’d expect for a rare home game in the postseason. But the crowd that was there was enthusiastic, particularly after the team pulled off their helmets for the National Anthem and displayed their new-look bleached blond hair.
“The boys wanted to show they’re a team for the playoffs,” McGroarty said. “They did it after practice the other day. Good little team activity.”
At a key point in the second period, Mashpee/Monomoy went on a 5-on-3 power play. With MVRHS ahead only 2-0, it took a solid effort by Graham Stearns between the pipes to keep the game at 2-0.
In the third period, the Vineyarders broke it wide open, with senior Jake Scott scoring twice within one minute on the same shift. “In open space, there’s nobody faster than Jake,” McGroarty said.
Goals were added by senior Finn Lewis and freshman Nick Averill.
Closing out the scoring was Charlie Lakis, which yielded him player-of-the-game honors. “From the first shift, he was just ready to play playoff hockey,” McGroarty said. “He certainly stood out.”
Meanwhile, the coach had strong praise for his goaltender, as well. “Graham Stearns was incredible, especially on the 5-on-3,” he said. “They had some good scoring opportunities, and at that point it was only 2-0. It was a key moment to keep momentum on our side.”
Martha’s Vineyard advances to play another familiar opponent. The Vineyarders will take on Nantucket on Sunday at 12:45 pm at the MV Ice Arena.
“Hopefully people will be back from school vacation, and we can fill the barn,” McGroarty said.
Written by George Brennan and reported by Geoff Currier.