Newburyport, MA – MassNZ figured it’s a beautiful day for a hockey game, why not watch two? We stuck around Graf Arena following the first matchup to watch the Clippers of Newburyport host the Pioneers of Lynnfield. This matchup features two of the top teams in their respective divisions. Coming in, Newburyport was ranked 5th in D2 and Lynnfield was ranked 7th in D3, all according to the MIAA Power Rankings. This promised to be an intriguing matchup of two of the heavyweights on the North Shore. We warmed back up in the car pre-game and headed back in to catch the action. The Newburyport students showed up in a big way early and the theme was beanies and reflective ski goggles: very specific, very memorable.
In the first period, the action was a bit different from what we saw earlier. Both teams were working hard and skating fast but ultimately missing connections. The team that showed composure under fire would be the team that would take advantage first. There were posts hit and juicy rebounds at both ends but ultimately only one goal was scored. Senior Newburyport forward Tristan Joyce threw a puck on net up high and it trickled over the goalie’s shoulder and into the back of the cage for 1-0 lead for the Clippers. The play throughout this period was split 50/50. Both teams had long stretches with possession, both teams put roughly the same number of shots on goal. With that in mind, Newburyport was pleased with the lead headed into the room.
In the middle frame, it was more of the same as both teams looked to gain footing and create consistency in their breakout. Both teams looked to activate their defensemen from the back end to rush the puck up and they were able to bust through the neutral zone with speed to create those plays. Four minutes into the period Lynnfield would strike to tie it up. Sophomore defender Nick Kelter would find senior forward Jack Carpenter at the netfront for a nice finish to tie us at 1-1. Not to be deterred, Newburyport would get that goal right back. One minute 45 seconds later the Clippers senior forward Will Palermino would cruise up the middle and fire one home to untie the game at 2-1. That would be our score after two as we awaited the third to see what might transpire.
In the third period, once again both teams looked for the upper hand but neither was able to seize the momentum. Ultimately it was a scrappy affair and both teams clawed for rebound pucks and looked to throw pucks to the crease from all angles. Just two minutes in, Lynnfield would tie the game on the power play as junior Owen Considine would throw the puck on net from the point and the shot was tipped home by senior forward Jarrett Scoppettuolo. That goal would be a welcome boost for the Pioneers who would put on a great deal of pressure as the period wore on, looking for the game winner. Newburyport denied them at every turn and we were headed to OT.
In 4×4 OT, there was more ice to be had and more chances off the rush. Both teams generated strong transition, but it would be Palermino who called game. With two minutes left, he stole a puck on the forecheck and snapped it past the goalie at close range to give the Clippers the 3-2 win. That would be our final after a back and forth game this afternoon.
- F Will Palermino, Newburyport
- F Jarrett Scoppettuolo, Lynnfield
- F Tristan Joyce, Newburyport