The season did not end for the Mashpee/Monomoy boys’ ice hockey team on Monday, February 10, but the squad’s chances of extending it into the postseason did. A couple of costly turnovers led directly to goals and the Monarchs’ offense struggled to find any cohesion in a 2-1 loss to Cardinal Spellman at Zapustas Arena in Randolph on Monday, February 10.
The loss guaranteed that the Monarchs cannot reach the MIAA qualifying standard of a .500 or better record for the season as they dropped to 3-9-3 for the season.
“It was all turnovers in the neutral zone that cost us the game, and then a lot of penalties, and some that not necessarily should have been penalties,” Coach Chris Peterson said. “We showed up here almost two hours before the game time and I kind of knew that they were going to start off a little lackadaisical. It wasn’t that we didn’t control the puck and stuff, we just couldn’t make passes and we kept turning it over, especially in the neutral zone, and it cost us the game.”
Mashpee/Monomoy had defeated Cardinal Spellman handily on the Cape just a few weeks back, dominating a 6-0 game. This time around, on a rough sheet of ice at a less-than-stellar rink, the puck did not want to settle at all. M/M had a difficult time controlling the puck and moving it. At times it seemed like they were moving in slow motion, with no real urgency. That was especially the case early in the game as the team had a hard time getting set up in the offensive zone.
“The kids were saying (the surface) was real soft and bouncy, but at the same time it’s the same thing for the other team,” Peterson said. “(Cardinal Spellman) was doing a good job of taking up the shooting lanes, so when we did get a shot they were in the way of it.”
The Monarchs had themselves a perfect opportunity to tie the game in the third period. With just over five minutes to go Spellman was assessed for a pair of penalties just 21 seconds apart, giving M/M a five-on-three power play for 99 seconds. The team did not get a shot on goal during that time as Spellman was able to clear it out and then deny the Monarchs a clean exit from their zone thanks to a strong forecheck that stymied any forward movement.
M/M pulled the keeper in the final minute for an extra attacker, but again did not establish a strong push. The puck was moved into the offensive zone but none of the Monarchs shots reached the goal.
Spellman took a 1-0 lead in the game at 7:16 of the first when Trevor Phillips took the puck away from the Monarchs inside the zone and walked in to snap a shot past Jonah Tambolleo from point blank range.
Despite not having many chances, the Monarchs drew even in the second period. At the 6:24 mark Lucas Tambollleo dug the puck out of a scramble and pushed it behind Spellman netminder Zachary Richards to knot the game at 1-1. Charlie Southworth and Max Abboud were credited with assists on the play.
Unfortunately, the tie did not last long. Just a minute later the Monarchs committed a bad giveaway at their own blue line that allowed Jay O’Hearn to walk in and snap a shot into the back of the net to put Spellman ahead 2-1. Neither team added to their totals after that.
With the playoffs now unattainable, Coach Peterson said that his young team needs to rally together in order to finish the season off strongly.
“It’s going to have to come from the seniors, finishing off the season the way that they want to have it finish. That’s what’s most important, and the leadership on the team. It’s been a tough stretch for us the last three weeks, which has been a little demoralizing for them,” Peterson said. “If they can get their heads up and start playing some hockey we can be competitive with any team that we play. We’ve just got to start scoring goals.”
On Wednesday the Monarchs were back in action, and did play a much better game on the road at Martha’s Vineyard. The Vineyarders scored a 4-3 home win, with a third period goal, but M/M had one of its best showings in some time.
In the early going it looked like M/M would be destroyed by the home squad as they allowed three goals in just over four minutes of play, with MV scoring 20 seconds in, then at 1:05 and 4:06.
Mashpee/Monomoy battled back to answer with three first period goals of its own to tie the score. Captain Jack Vinitsky got the first one, at 5:25 and then Lucas Tombolleo struck at 10:10 and Casey Fitzgerald tied it up two minutes after that.
From that point on the game went back and forth and was dead even. MV broke through with the game-winner at 4:07 of the third, but M/M pushed to the final horn.
“I was proud of the way that they played. The first period was a roller coaster. We settled down after that and it was a really physical game. We had MV on their heels,” Coach Chris Peterson said.
The Monarchs, now 3-10-3, are on the road at Gallo on tomorrow Saturday, February 15, at 8 PM to take on Upper Cape Tech.