Intense home opener for boys’ hockey
On an evening that an NHL production crew was shooting footage of the game, and the stands at the MV Ice Arena were packed, the stage was set for an exciting opening night matchup between the Vineyarders and the Whitman-Hanson Panthers on Saturday. And it didn’t take the Vineyarders long to really get the crowd going.
Less than two minutes into the first period, after some passing of the puck around the Whitman-Hanson goal, sophomore forward Hunter Johnson drew first blood for the Vineyarders, assisted by fellow sophomore forward Frankie Paciello. The crowd erupted, and the night was off to a great start. Five minutes later, the Vineyarders were on a power play and had a chance to extend their lead, but the Panther defense prevented MVRHS from getting any quality shots off. Then, with 20 seconds left in the first period, the Panthers tied it.
The start of the second period was largely a messy stalemate, leading to a four-player collision up against the glass with eight minutes to go. Play continued down the side of the rink, but MVRHS junior forward Liam Conley emerged from the action woozy, and eventually fell to the ice right in front of the student section. The arena went quiet, and the athletic trainer was brought out to attend to Conley. After a while, it became apparent that something was seriously wrong, and those in attendance began to whisper to one another, wondering if he would be OK. Both teams went to the locker rooms, and EMTs were called. It was apparent he had suffered a head injury in the fight for the puck, and eventually had to be carried out on a stretcher (after the game, Coach Matt Mincone reported that Liam was released from the hospital that night, but will be taking the next few weeks off).
As Liam and the EMTs exited the ice, the silence was broken when applause began to ring out from the crowd, starting in the student section and proliferating outward. As play resumed, the energy inside the arena only rose when Liam’s twin brother Aiden avenged him, forcefully and illegally checking a Whitman-Hanson Panther to the ground. The student section cheered, and the Vineyard power play was negated. Whitman-Hanson took advantage of the penalty, taking a 2-1 lead soon after. Perhaps angry at themselves for giving up a 1-0 lead, or provoked by an opposing player, things proceeded to get uglier a couple of minutes after, when a few Vineyarders exchanged punches and “pleasantries” with the Panthers.
Coming out of the second rest period, both teams had cooled their heads, and went back to business. On a shot from distance, senior forward Nick BenDavid nutmegged the goalie, tying the game up at 2-2. But as the period continued, the Panthers built a two-goal lead and took a two-man advantage. The Vineyarders had a goal controversially overturned, and then conceded an empty-netter right after, to ultimately lose 5-2. Coach Mincone commented, “If we kept our discipline and played five-on-five, the outcome could’ve been different … For multiple reasons the kids allowed the game to be bigger than them. It’s only a complete loss when there’s no lesson learned, [but] I’m sure the team learned a lesson.”
The team’s next game will be away versus Barnstable on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 5. With four scrimmages and one game under their belt, Coach Mincone said that he sees “where some things have solidified themselves, and others need to be shaken up a bit.”
Smooth sailing for girls hockey
On Thursday, Dec. 8, the Vineyarders had their home opener against Old Rochester Regional. Starting off strong in the first period, the Vineyarders built a comfortable lead, and never looked back.
Five minutes into the game, sophomore Audrey Heidt scored first for MVRHS on a breakaway goal. Eagerly chasing a loose puck in the attacking zone, Audrey almost overskated it at first. But like the adept puck handler she is, Audrey managed to corral it, skate past a couple of defenders, and beat the goalie. A few minutes later, junior Marin Gillis added on another fantastic solo goal of her own, weaving past several ORR Bulldogs en route to the net. Finally, senior Lily Moran would get a third off a turnover in the ORR zone, which was where the first period was largely played.
In the second period, Audrey and ORR’s No. 9 would get into it following an illegal check and some words, leading to a penalty for both sides (ORR received a major). With two minutes left in the period, freshman Reese Malowski took advantage of the opportunity and made her mark, scoring a fourth and final MVRHS goal. The Vineyarders would go on to win 4-2.
Girls’ hockey was scheduled to play Nantucket away on Saturday, but the game was postponed due to the death of a Nantucket High School student. The Vineyarders’ next game will be Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 4:30 pm versus Sandwich, away.
Despite being outnumbered, Vineyard swimmers excel at C&I relay carnival
In Sandwich on Saturday, Coach Jen Passifume’s squad was the second-smallest among seven teams. This meant that the Vineyarders would be against the odds; unable to compete in every event, and still being pushed to exhaustion. Remarkably, the Vineyarders were still able to finish fourth overall, and made team history along the way.
In the 200-yard medley relay, Emmett Silva (backstroke), Simon Hammarlund (breaststroke), Andy Carr (butterfly), and captain Christian Flanders (freestyle) placed third with a time of 2:01.35. According to Coach Passafiume, this relay team was less than a second away from breaking the school record for this event.
Later on in the meet, the Vineyarders were then able to clinch first for an event at the Relay Carnival for the first time in school history. In the boys’ 200-yard freestyle relay, co-captain Nathan Cuthbert, Kaua DeAssis, Emmett Silva, and Andy Carr beat out the second-place finishers by a whopping seven seconds. In addition, DeAssis, Silva, and Carr achieved personal records en route to the gold.
Claus Smith, girls’ captain Olympia Hall, Sylvia Carroll, Leah Debettencourt, and Nora Motahari also competed for the Vineyarders. Carroll, Smith, and Hall helped MVRHS take second in the 200-yard breaststroke relay, alongside Hammarlund.
The Vineyarders’ next meet will be a dual meet against rivals Nantucket at the Martha’s Vineyard YMCA on Saturday, Dec. 17, at noon.
Led by a few key performances, boys’ basketball handles Falmouth
On Tuesday evening, the Vineyarders hosted the Clippers for their home opener. The game started off fairly evenly, but with the help of a 20-4 run late in the first quarter, the Vineyarders built a 10-point lead before the second quarter had even started. With the help of consistent offensive output, the Vineyarders continued to expand the scoring gap, winning 58-31.
Senior captain and starting center Matheus Rodrigues led the way for MVRHS with some highly efficient play in the paint, going 10 for 17 overall. He ended his night with eight rebounds and 22 points. Starting point guard Nate Story and starting forward Josh Lake also excelled for the Vineyarders; Nate shot 50 percent from deep on eight attempts, and Josh achieved a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.
On his team’s performance, Coach Mike Joyce said, “I thought we had good energy and communication on defense … [On offense] Nate did a great job handling the ball all game, though we missed some opportunities.” On the large turnout, Coach Joyce added, “I thought the crowd was great too; good to get people in the gym again.”
The Vineyarders play their next game at home as well, versus Sturgis West on Friday, Dec. 16, at 4:30 pm.
Girls’ basketball faces tough first loss
In their season opener in Falmouth on Tuesday, the Vineyarders lost big, 51-12. The Vineyarders went into halftime losing a close game 17-6, but continued to struggle offensively in the second half, while the Clippers cruised.
Senior guard Josie Welch had six points, and senior C.J. Walsh did great getting rebounds. Coach Melissa Braillard said that the Vineyarders were just really unlucky getting their shots to fall, which negated their great ball movement and ability to create scoring chances for themselves. “The score didn’t depict the actual number of shots we took,” she explained. Furthermore, the Clippers were unusually lights out from beyond the arc.