Eight teams gather every Monday night at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center for the facility’s annual high school summer league. It’s there where teams hope to gain continuity and experience while staying in game shape instead of sitting on the couch or lying on the beach.
Using school similar school mascots, the teams are divided by the Black Warriors (Nauset), Purple Canalmen (Bourne), Blue Knights (Sandwich), Maroon Monarchs (Mashpee/Monomoy), Red Raiders (Barnstable), Green Dolphins (Dennis-Yarmouth), White Seahawks (Cape Cod Academy/Cape Tech) and Gold Lions (St. John Paul II).
Although teams aren’t solely made up of players from one specific school, student-athletes from off-Cape schools who spend summers in Cape towns can play for those specific teams.
Each team battles it out in an seven-game regular season beginning on July 1 and ending on August 12, with all the games being played Hyannis Youth & Community Center’s Butler and Kennedy Rinks.
There’s a championship game played between the top-ranked teams after the seven-game regular season, while the rest of the teams play in one final game. Each period is 20 minutes of running time with a 20-second break between periods. Neither team changes offensive ends and there are no stoppages for ice cleaning between periods.
More than just a boys’ high school varsity league, the HYCC also hosts a girls’ high school varsity division, squirt and junior high divisions. Below is a recap of the final week of the summer hockey season, including the league championship against the Purple Canalmen and Gold Lions.
Lions 4, Canalmen 1
Playing a man down will take its toll, especially if it’s occurring over the majority of the game.
That was the case for the Purple Canalmen as penalties spoiled what was a championship-worthy performance from rising senior goalie Kyle McGuire. The Canalmen netminder withstood an offensive onslaught from the Lions, stopping nearly all of them.
But defensive breakdowns and slow legs didn’t do McGuire any favors on Monday, August 19 at the HYCC’s Butler Rink. The Lions quickly took a 1-0 lead in the opening minutes of the first period and opened up the lead with three unanswered goals to win the summer league title, 4-1.
After the Canalmen killed off a 5-on-3 penalty, the team in purple went man down again after a cross-check call. But it didn’t deter the Canalmen offense. Rising junior Owen Lapworth fought through traffic in the neutral zone and advanced the puck along the right circle before centering it to Mike Bonito. The rising senior beat the Lions’ goalie through his five-hole to tie the game, 1-1, in a short-handed situation with 3:15 left in the first period.
Soon after, Bonito nearly capped a breakaway with the go-ahead goal, but was stonewalled at the net. He stuck with the play, however, and sent his rebound behind the goalie, but it glided in front of the goal line.
Though the penalty kill unit stood tall in the first period, spending so much time in the sin bin eventually wore on the Canalmen. In a four-on-four situation with 5:54 left in the second, the Lions beat McGuire on his far side as he was just a split-second too late ranging back to his right. Two minutes later the Lions went up 3-1. Both goals were scored by St. John Paul II rising senior Ben Baxter.
The score remained at 3-1 until 1:30 was left in the third. The Canalmen pulled McGuire and the Lions won the face-off in their defensive zone before working an empty-net goal to give the game its final score of 4-1.
Both teams met last Monday, August 12, in the final game of the regular season. The game ended in a 3-3 tie. The Canalmen finished the summer league season with a record of 5-2-1 while the Lions were unbeaten with a record of 5-0-3.
Blue Knights 5, Maroon Monarchs 2
The Sandwich team scored four unanswered goals between the tail end of the second period and into the third to close the summer league season with a win.
Playing the Monarchs, comprised of players from the Mashpee/Monomoy co-op, on Monday, August 19 at the HYCC’s Kennedy Rink, the Knights overcame the one-goal deficit to keep their opposition winless in the summer.
Rising senior Carson Schemenaur played well in net to start the game before eventually giving back to his Sandwich back-up, Nico Currey. Schemenaur was staked to a 1-0 lead with 5:25 left in the first. The Blue Knights showed its toughness when they corralled the puck in the corner and fought off two defenders before finding an alley towards the goal for the 1-0 lead.
The Monarchs answered back quickly, however, converting a shot found the net through the nine-hole to tie the game at one apiece. Sandwich had three great opportunities late in the first, two coming with 10 seconds left, but struck the goalie’s chest every time.
The team in maroon took the lead in the second period, holding a 2-1 advantage until three minutes left before the Knights made their move.
The Knights finish the season 3-5 while the Monarchs went 0-6-2 during the summer stretch. The Red Raiders (4-2-2) placed third while the Black Warriors (4-4) took fourth and the White Seahawks were fifth (3-4-1).