Azzato Angles Away

FHS freshman Meghan Azzato scored to give Falmouth a 3-2 lead in the third period against Barnstable. BHS tied it back up, but the Clippers won in overtime.

Typically, brothers Brian and Bill Ferreira talk on the regular. With Brian the head coach of the Falmouth girls’ hockey team and Bill an assistant on the Sandwich girls’ hockey team, the two have been known to share information on similar opposing teams.

But when the Clippers and Knights square off the two go radio silent.

“We haven’t really texted since [Falmouth] lost to the Furies I think,” Bill said following the Knights’ 3-0 win at Gallo Ice Arena on Thursday, February 13. “I sent him a text this morning just to make sure he knew the game was at 4 PM and all I got back was a ‘Yup’.”

After the game the two met at center ice in the customary post-game handshake line and briskly embraced before shuffling off to their respective corners of the arena.

Sandwich’s Ferreira played a key role in devising a game plan for the figuring out his brothers’ Clippers during their home-and-home series that was played over the course of 22 hours, according to Knights’ head coach Steve Noll. And though Brian’s bunch used a third-period comeback to steal a 4-3 win on Wednesday, February 12 at Falmouth Ice Arena, it was Bill who got the last laugh on the week.

“For these seniors, who have been playing with us since the 8th grade, this is only the second time they’ve beaten Falmouth,” Bill Ferreira said. “And I didn’t even have to tell [the team] that. They knew it going into the game.”

In a physically-played game on both sides, neither team was able to take hold of a lead in the first period. Freshman goaltender Sophia Visceglio, who went on to record her sixth shutout of the season for the Knights, withstood an early barrage of shots from the visitors, and killed off a Clippers’ power play to keep the game scoreless.

After Falmouth killed off a penalty to start the second period, the Knights were able to generate a few breakout opportunities. Sophomore Paige Hawkins scored the first of three goals on the night, finishing off passes from Maura McIver and Kileigh Holt, to take a 1-0 lead with 7:35 left in the second. Roughly five minutes later Hawkins struck again, flipping a back-handed shot high glove-side of Falmouth goaltender Lucy Armour, to double Sandwich’s lead, 2-0.

Hawkins capped off the hat trick with another breakout goal with 5:15 left in the third period to secure the win, despite Falmouth earning a power play with less than minute left.

Falmouth went 0-for-3 on power play opportunities while Sandwich was 0-for-2 with the extra skater.

The Clippers (9-5-4, 5-3-4 C&I) continues play in the Cape & Islands League Saturday, February 15 when they travel to Tony Kent Arena to meet Dennis-Yarmouth with a 4 PM puck.

Falmouth 4, Sandwich 3

Round one of a two-day back-to-back set between the Sandwich and Falmouth High girls went the way of the home team at the Falmouth Ice Arena on Wednesday, February 12. Rallying for two third-period goals, Falmouth topped the Lady Knights 4-3 to tighten up the league standings.

Falmouth moved to 9-3-4 overall, and 5-1-4 in the league. SHS fell to 14-5 and 6-3 in league play.

FHS got goals from Jamie Roth and Katie Shanahan in the third period to take the lead. Roth put away a Sam McKenzie rebound at 4:39 to tie the score up for the Clippers. SHS then had a great chance to gain the lead back with a 5-on-3 power play that was supposed to last for 1:48, but a penalty against SHS cost them a part of that advantage. As soon as Shanahan exited the sin bin she looked up to see a perfect stretch pass from Sam McKenzie headed her way.

Shanahan skated onto the puck and went in free against Sophia Viscelgio, beating the keeper to the near side to put Falmouth ahead, 6:34 left. It was Shanahan’s second goal of the game against a keeper she knows well.

“I play with their goalie, Sophia, on a (club) team, and I was like, ‘I’m going to go score on her,’” Shanahan said. “She’s a really good goalie, but I wanted to go score there for the team... I was on my backhand, but I opened up and got her to go down.”

From that point on Falmouth carried play and did not allow Sandwich to challenge goalie Lucy Armour until the final seconds of the game. With 10 seconds to play, and the goalie out for an extra attacker, Paige Hawkins skated in free against Armour looking to tie the score. The freshman goalie for FHS kicked aside the bid, preserving the win.

“It’s big. We haven’t been scoring a lot of goals, so that was good to see in the third period,” FHS coach Brian Ferreira said.

The second period saw rat-a-tat-tat action between the clubs, including three goals exchanged in a matter of just 48 seconds of play.

Sandwich doubled its 1-0 lead at the 4:03 mark of the second when Maura McIver popped a rebound of a Paige Hawkins shot over Lucy Armour’s glove to make it 2-0.

Falmouth got that one back just 23 seconds later and then added another 25 seconds after that. Meghan Azzato dug in front of the net to push home a loose puck after a shot by Sam McKenzie to make it 2-1 at the 4:26 mark of the period to shave the lead in half. Taytum Cox also assisted on that one. Then, just a moment later, Katie Shanahan one-timed a feed from Ryann McDonald, right between the hashes, to knot the count at 2-2.

The score stood at two aside until the 12:34 mark of the period when a great move from Hawkins behind the Falmouth net put her team up, 3-2. Right from Gretzky’s office, the sophomore head-faked to her left and then wrapped the puck around the opposite side.

Falmouth nearly tied the score with six seconds left in the frame, but Visceglio made one of the best saves of the day, denying McKenzie on a breakaway. The FHS sniper came right up the middle and tried to shoot low to the glove side, but Visceglio got to the spot with her right leg pad to keep her team ahead.

Falmouth 4, Barnstable 3 (OT)

The McKenzie household may have a battle of “anything you can do, I can do better” happening right now.

Just two hours after her older brother, Jake, had scored two goals—including the game-winner—against rival Barnstable to guarantee that the FHS boys would be included in the MIAA state tournament, Samantha McKenzie potted two goals, including the overtime game-winner, to beat the Barnstable girls, 4-3.

McKenzie’s 21st goal of the season, just 30 seconds into overtime, finished off a crazy back-and-forth hockey game in which each team held the lead at one juncture and enjoyed a momentum swing of two quick goals.

Like her older brother’s, Samantha’s goal also carried with it a bit of redemption. She was called for a major boarding penalty midway through the second period—one that drew the ire of head coach Brian Ferreira because he believed that neither referee saw the actual hit and instead were penalizing based on the end result and not the action. With McKenzie serving a five-minute locked penalty, Barnstable erased a 1-0 Falmouth lead to score twice and take the lead with goals just 99 seconds apart.

Also like the boys’ game, the end result locked up Falmouth’s spot in the MIAA tournament. Officially the game goes into the record books as a 3-3 draw, but overtime will be used to break league standing ties, should they come up. Both games with BHS this year for the Clippers resulted in ties. FHS improved to 8-3-4 on the year, giving them 20 points with five games left to go.

Both goals came on deflections that goalie Lucy Armour (22 saves) had no chance to stop. Claire Hazard tipped a shot in front to tie the game at the 7:43 mark and then at 9:22 a shot from the perimeter, by Kate Brewster, hit off a Clipper in front of the net and changed its trajectory dramatically.

Falmouth fired back in the third period with some outstanding play to take the lead, albeit briefly. McKenzie deposited her own rebound at the 10:51 mark, charging hard to the goal and staying with the play, sliding it past Liisa Aalto to knot the score at 2-2. Then, with the Red Raiders still in disarray, Meghan Azzato blew past the defense up the right wing and snapped in a shot to give FHS a 3-2 lead at 10:59, just eight seconds later.

Coach Ferreira said he should have taken that line off the ice after giving the team the lead. “They had too much adrenaline,” he said. “That’s my fault.”

The adrenaline led to a defensive breakdown, and Barnstable scored the equalizer just 33 seconds later. As Molly Hudson found herself unmarked on the weak side and snapped in a rebound of an Ally McEneaney wrist shot, from the left circle, to tie the score at 3-3.

That goal set up an overtime period, one that did not last very long. Earlier in the game, just 30 seconds into the contest, Falmouth took the lead when Ryann McDonald flipped the puck to the front of the net, from below the goal line, and had it carom behind Aalto for a 1-0 Falmouth lead.

Exactly 45 minutes of game time later, just 30 seconds into the overtime, McKenzie scored her second of the night to net the OT victory for FHS. The forward corralled a loose puck in front of the Barnstable bench and then began a circuitous route to the BHS net, speeding to the far side of the ice and then baring down on the left wing. Her wrist shot hit low on Aalto’s glove and ran up and over into the back of the net to finish things off for FHS.

—RICH MACLONE

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