Traffic at the holidays can be such a pain, but for the Mashpee/Monomoy boys’ ice hockey team a logjam was just what they needed.

The Monarchs spent much of their pre-Christmas contest with visiting Upper Cape Tech trying to generate as much traffic in front of Upper Cape Tech goaltender Will Hanly, and that congestion in front of the painted ice led to the team’s first two goals, helping the squad deliver just what Head Coach Christ Peterson had asked for this holiday season.

“I told them that was the present I wanted,” Peterson said. “All I wanted for Christmas was a win.”

With Brant Butcher scoring twice to lead the charge, the Monarchs unwrapped a 4-2 win for their coach, and themselves, on Monday, December 23, at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center’s Butler Rink.

The Monarchs played a solid three period game and rebounded from back-to-back losses in their previous two games. The team is now 1-2-1 for the season.

Perhaps the biggest positive sign for M/M throughout the game was the way that the Monarchs responded when Upper Cape Tech made noise. Brant Butcher netted his first goal of the game for the Monarchs just 2:28 into the festivities, redirecting a shot from high in the zone from between the hashes. UCT evened things up just four minutes later, though, drawing even on a power play goal by Matt Paling.

The game was tied for about six minutes before M/M grabbed the lead for good at the 12:32 mark. Jack Stone set the play up, carrying deep into the zone, circling around the net and then sent the puck to the right point, where Lucas Tambolleo was covering for the charging defenseman. Tambolleo unleashed a hard slapper that Charlie Southworth was able to deflect past Hanly for a 2-1 Monarchs lead.

“They brought it back close and we decided, instead of, as we have in the past, kind of folding, to step it back up and finished it up,” coach Peterson said. “That was nice to see, especially for this team. It’s our first win, and they’re young, so to see them step up and see where they need to be is good.”

Mashpee/Monomoy held the lead from that point forward, though things did get a tad hairy late in the game. Butcher’s second of the night, a rocket from the slot after a deflection settled at his feet, put the home team up by a 3-1 score at 4:43 of the second. UCT came back to make it a one-goal affair midway through the third, though, on a Kevin Flynn snap from the slot. UCT then enjoyed a power play with a chance to tie the score, but the Monarchs held the fort before puttin gthe game away.

Co-captain Jack Vinitsky scored his first goal in two years—after having missed his junior season with an injury—to put the game out of reach at 4-2. Vinitsky let one rip from a sharp angle, low in the left circle, that beat Hanly to give the Monarchs a cushion.

“We preach blue collar hockey. All of the goals are going to come from the dirty areas,” Peterson said.

The M/M defense did the rest, holding back the Rams over the final four minutes of the game. UCT had opportunities to get the goalie out for an extra attacker several times in the final two minutes, but did not rush Hanly to the bench until just 25 seconds remained. Mashpee/Monomoy protected their end and skated off with a much-needed win, putting the first of the year in the column.

Goalie Jonah Tambolleo earned his first varsity victory between the pipes for the Monarchs. He made all the saves he needed to in the game and stopped a couple of true testers to keep the Rams from drawing even when the game was a one-goal affair.

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