Sandwich senior co-captain Kileigh Holt had just received the puck from linemate Lily Tobin when she saw the opportunity to strike.
The Knights girls’ hockey team were in the middle of a short-handed situation during the third period of a scoreless game. Holt unleashed a rising wrist-shot from the high slot that beat Old Rochester/Bourne-Mashpee-Upper Cape-Apponequet goalie Meg Nolan high stick-side, ringing the crossbar before settling in net.
Holt jumped for joy with the rest of her teammates as the short-handed goal stood up in the sixth annual Lady Canal Cup and Sandwich retained ownership of the hardware for another season following its 1-0 win on Saturday, February 1, at Gallo Ice Arena.
“I’m just really happy for these girls,” Sandwich head coach Steve Noll said after the game. “That was a great game they just played. We played like we have all year—and that’s three-line hockey.”
The game was otherwise evenly played as this was the second time these two teams squared off this season. Sandwich took the opening round of the Judy Gormley Cup against the Bulldogs, 3-2, on December 27.
Old Rochester, which is currently in a four-game losing streak, nearly took an early lead in the second period. During a scrum in front of the Knights’ goal, the Bulldogs threw their hands up in celebration thinking they had pushed across the game’s first goal, but the referees conferred and waved the goal off.
With new life, Sandwich did not disappoint, putting together the game-winning goal on assists from Tobin and senior co-captain Anna Goodwin.
“I’ve got no complaints about it, I thought our girls played hard and it was just an unlucky bounce that went against us in the end,” Old Rochester head coach Ted Drew said. “The way it was playing it out, I thought it was going to be a one-goal game either way.”
While Holt took home MVP honors, sophomore goaltender Sophia Visceglio put forth a valuable effort between the pipes for Sandwich. The netminder stopped all 20 shots she faced, recording her third-straight shutout and fourth on the season.
“Sophia, you know, has done a heck of a job for us overall,” Noll said. “This is her third-straight shutout and I think she’s lowered for goals against average down to 1.12 per game and has a save percentage right around 95. When we’re averaging a little more than two goals per game and get that type of goaltending, we’re going to win a lot of games.”
Nolan was named team MVP for the Bulldogs stopping 43 of 44 shots faced in defeat. Trailing 1-0 late in the third period and about to go on the power play with a face-off in Sandwich’s zone, Drew called time out to draw up a potential game-tying play.
“She’s stellar back there, that’s why she was the MVP,” Drew said of Nolan before moving on to that timeout. “We set up a play to try and snipe one in real quick off the faceoff. It was a good two-way game.”
It was the first year being involved in the Canal Cup rivalry for Drew, who seemed happy to oblige the team’s request to change their new red and white sweaters for their old purple and white Canalmen uniforms. Even the head coach got in the festive spirit, wearing a purple shirt and tie combination underneath his red Bulldogs’ pullover.
“The girls came us to and asked to wear the jerseys with the rich history of this game. It means a lot to the Town of Bourne and the Bourne players we have. It’s great atmosphere. I thought it was a great thing,” Drew said.
The Knights hold a 4-2 all-time series lead in the young Lady Canal Cup rivalry, and though Noll was excited for his team, he already had his sights set forward.
“I know this game means a lot to the players, but I’m also reminding them that this isn’t it,” Noll said. “We’ve still got things left to accomplish.”
Dennis-Yarmouth 2, Sandwich 1
The visiting Dolphins jumped out in front in the first period on Sunday, February 3—less than 24 hours after the Knights had just won a hard-fought Lady Canal Cup, 1-0.
The one-goal lead for D-Y stood through two periods of play and into the third until Paige Hawkins knotted the game at one apiece with nine minutes left in the game. The Dolphins, who had previously beaten the Knights at Tony Kent Arena, netted the game-winning goal later in the third.
Sandwich 8, Bishop Stang 2
A well-rested Knights’ team was ready to play a non-league matinee at Gallo Ice Arena on Wednesday, February 5.
Caroline Barrett wasted little time in getting her team on the scoreboard, scoring on an assist from senior co-captain Lauren MacPherson. Barrett later set up the Knights’ second goal, from Holt to take a 2-0 first-period lead.
The scoring didn’t stop there as Maura McIver and MacPherson added goals while Holt finished with the hat trick and Hawkins had a pair.
Sandwich (14-4, 6-2 C&I) hosts Martha’s Vineyard on Sunday, February 9 at Gallo Ice Arena at 5:40 PM.