Peabody, MA – MassNZ made the trip to McVann/O’Keefe Rink in Peabody for a noon time puck drop featuring the home team the Pioneers of Lynnfield and the visiting Sailors of Scituate. This was Senior Day as Lynnfield celebrated 12 seniors in an early pre-game ceremony. This was a big one as Bruins anthem singer Todd Angilly was in the house to sing the Star Spangled Banner: it featured a matchup of the second (Sailors) and fifth-ranked teams (Pioneers) in the bi-weekly MIAA Power Rankings. This game would have major implications on tournament seeding for March.
In the first period, both teams came out of the gate with energy and passion. The stands were packed on both sides and you could just see from the effort Lynnfield put out there on each shift how important this game was for the senior class. In the early going it was a bit of a stalemate as Scituate was unable to get many second chances and Lynnfield was unable to use their speed up ice. Both defenses were stout but both teams attempted different attacks. Scituate preferred the dump and chase whereas Lynnfield sought to gain the blue line with possession. The game remained scoreless until late in the period when an odd-man rush broke the tie. Twelve minutes in, senior captain James Sullivan made a beautiful pass through sticks right on the tape of junior forward Luke Ryan to give the Sailors a 1-0 lead. That score would hold heading into the room and it was a big 15 upcoming for Lynnfield.
In the middle frame, once again it was a low-scoring affair. Both teams picked up the physicality and there were more than a few extracurricular activities after the whistle. That led to a lot of power play chances for both sides. Early in this frame, Lynnfield had a 5-on-3 for a full two minutes, but credit to goaltender Thomas McMellen who was able to shut the door. Play continued with both teams trading chances through the balance of the period. About 10 minutes in, Lynnfield called it’s timeout as Scituate was given an abbreviated 5-on-3 but sophomore goaltender Michael Marenghi kept the puck out of the net. On we went and it appeared that it would be the same score entering the third period. That is, until senior Jackson Belsan found senior forward Johnny Donahue at the right faceoff dot and he buried it for the 2-0 Sailors lead. The Sailors were flying high heading into the locker room and Lynnfield would need a strong effort in the third to break through.
In the final stanza, as expected, Lynnfield came out aggressive and it did not take long for them to cut the lead in half. McMellen was under fire earlier and made a save at the near post that took him away from the crease. Junior forward Will Norton threw the puck into traffic and senior forward Jarrett Scoppettuolo fired the loose puck home: 2-1 in favor of Scituate. The Pioneers were amped up following that goal and they had an extra spring in their step as they looked for the tying goal. They peppered the attacking zone with quickness and quality shots on net but the Scituate defense tightened up and did not allow second looks off those initial shots. As the period wore on, the Sailors were able to level the ice and even tilt it in their favor at times. Still, the Pioneers had more of the high-quality chances. They continued to look for the tying goal late and pulled the goalie with 1:20 left to go and Scituate immediately took advantage. Seventeen seconds later Sullivan found a loose puck in the slot and slipped it through sticks to Donahue who buried his second of the game into the empty net: 3-1 Scituate. That would be our final score as the Sailors notched an important win on the road.
- F Johnny Donahue, Scituate
- G Thomas McMellen, Scituate
- F James Sullivan, Scituate