When you’re trying to step up to the next level, one of the things that is a necessity is playing at a high competition level each time out. Coming off their biggest win of the year over the weekend, a 2-1 comeback win against Nauset, the Mashpee/Monomoy boys’ ice hockey team learned that lesson the hard way as they had a major letdown against Dennis-Yarmouth on Wednesday, January 15.
The final score is misleading about how close the game actually was. D-Y secured a 5-1 win, but scored three goals in the last four minutes to blow it open.
M/M was in it the whole way, but the effort was lacking.
“You could feel it in the rink. Everything was just flat and we didn’t win the battles. We didn’t fight for it, we didn’t skate. It was like we had cinder blocks on our feet,” coach Chris Peterson said. “We didn’t show up. Before the game even started, I could tell that we weren’t focused.”
That lack of focus showed up in the biggest ways when the Monarchs enjoyed power plays. The first two goals that Dennis-Yarmouth scored were both shorthanded. D-Y got the first one at the 9:36 mark of the first period on a snap near the net by Tyler McFarland. They added a second at 2:07 of the second period when Mashpee goalie Dom Tsoukalas attempted to clear a dangerous puck away from the net, but slid it right between the hash marks where Jack Hanscom finished it off with a snap shot.
Despite trailing by two, and not playing well, M/M entered the third period very much with a chance to come back. That comeback hope gained steam when the Monarchs collected their own shorthanded goal midway through the period to cut the D-Y lead in half.
Exiting the defensive zone, Brant Butcher flew the left wing and fired a shot on goal from along the way that ran up Mason Sheehan’s arm. Lucas Tambolleo put away the rebound on the far post to make it a 2-1 game.
Unfortunately for the Monarchs, D-Y had an immediate answer. Tommy Julian snapped one past Tsoukalas from a tough angle, at the bottom of the left wing circle, to make it 3-1 just 64 seconds after M/M had scored. The floodgates opened up from that point as D-Y tacked on two more before the final horn to win by a 5-1 score.
Mashpee/Monomoy 2, Nauset 1
Last year, as an 8th grader, Mashpee/Monomoy forward Wyatt Archibald showed in spurts that he had the makings of being a top-line forward. As a freshman that progression has continued, and on Saturday, January 11, the youngster had one of his best moments yet.
Archibald scored two goals in a span of 81 seconds to rally the Monarchs to a big victory over Cape rivals Nauset. Trailing by just a 1-0 score entering the third period, Mashpee/Monomoy needed a spark in the third and got it from the freshman.
Archibald tied the score at 5:23 mark. He then potted the go-ahead, and eventual game-winner, at the 6:44 mark to provide the Monarchs with their first-ever win against Nauset since the M/M program’s inception.
M/M was cited for a tripping call shortly after taking the lead. The penalty-killing unit came up big, keeping the Warriors from getting the equalizer. Goalie Dom Tsoukalas scored then in the net for the Monarchs and was helped by some strong defense, with Jack Vinitsky and Jack Stone helping lead that charge.
The victory kept the Monarchs on track to qualify for the MIAA state tournament. Following a tough 4-2 loss earlier in the week to a good Nantucket squad, the Monarchs’ win improved their record to 3-3-2 overall for the season.