It was bound to happen eventually for the Pentucket boys hockey team. Up until this point, the Panthers had played some solid games worthy of picking up a couple of points, but they haven’t been able to close the deal.
That is, until Monday evening.
Thanks to a pair of goals from sophomore forward Chase Pelletier, Pentucket was able to hold on for its first win of the season, 4-3, over visiting Beverly. It was a 3-1 game heading into the third period, but senior captain Cam Dewar led a stout defensive effort, and goalie Josh Yoon survived a late flurry to help the home team hold on in a “battle of the Panthers.”
Aaron Wirwicz also scored a goal for Pentucket (1-7-0), which is certainly not out of the Division 4 playoff race yet at No 42 in the latest rankings. The Panthers will look to make it two in a row when they travel to play Saugus on Wednesday for a 7:40 p.m. puck drop.
CLIPPERS FALL TO DEFENDING CHAMP CANTON IN OT
It was a heck of a rematch down on the Cape on Monday afternoon.
Last winter, the Newburyport boys hockey team had to travel down to state powerhouse Canton for a Division 2 Quarterfinal matchup. The Clippers gave it a run, but would eventually fall, 2-0, to a Bulldogs’ squad that would go on to win the state championship.
Long two of the better programs in the state, the duo have developed quite the little rivalry over the past 15 years.
And on Monday, they delivered another epic.
With 1:07 left in the third period and goalie Damien Lamb (27 saves) already pulled, Newburyport’s prayers were answered when Jackson DeVivo delivered an equalizing goal off feeds from Graham Luskin and Will Palermino. That sent the game into overtime, where — unfortunately for the visitors — a great individual effort from Canton’s Travis Thomas resulted in a shorthanded goal, leading the Bulldogs to a dramatic, 3-2, win over the Clippers.
So the highly-anticipated rematch ended with the same result.
But who’s to say these two teams won’t meet again this winter down the road?
Freshman Luke MacIsaac opened the scoring with a second-period goal for Newburyport (6-3-1), but Canton would take a 2-1 lead late into the third off tallies from Ryan Elrick and Cullen O’Brien. The Clippers came in ranked No. 5 in the latest Division 2 rankings released on Tuesday morning, while the defending champion Bulldogs (9-0-1) are at No. 2.
MARENGI (37 SAVES) BRILLIANT FOR TRITON
It’s always an advantage to have an elite goalie to lean on.
All winter long, Gavin Marengi has bailed Triton out during a lot of sticky situations. The junior netminder entered Monday’s game with a pair of shutouts and a 2.70 Goals Against Average, and both of those statistics improved after the final buzzer went off. Marengi was a brick wall with 37 saves, leading the Vikings to a 1-0 shutout of Billerica on the road. As it turned out, a second-period goal from Mason Colby — assisted by Alex Pasquini — was the only offense the Vikings would need. Defensemen Jack Lindholm and Michael Taylor put together their usual strong performances, but it helps when you have a goalie standing on his head for the full 45 minutes.
The Vikings (7-4-4), who are ranked No. 3 in Division 3, get a little break before traveling to play Lynnfield on Saturday (noon).
ANOTHER BLOWOUT WIN FOR NEWBURYPORT BOYS HOOP
The Newburyport boys basketball team is dominating its way through the CAL.
Monday afternoon, the Clippers welcomed in an improved Rockport team, but still cruised to another 20-plus-point victory, 87-63. In now seven league games for the Clippers (8-2, 7-0 CAL), they’ve won by an average of 33.0 ppg, with their “closest” game being an 18-point win over North Reading.
Sophomore Cal Atherton led the way on Monday with 23 points, and Finn Brennan was right behind with 19. Carson Gretz hit a pair of 3s and had 16 points, and Connor Spinney hit three triples and added 9.
Newburyport will now host Pentucket on Friday.
PENTUCKET GIRLS STIFLE GEORGETOWN
The patented Pentucket girls basketball defense was on full display Monday.
The Panthers jumped out to a 21-10 halftime lead over Georgetown, and would cruise to an eventual 40-26 victory. Amelia Crowe continued her strong play with 14 points on a pair of 3s for the Panthers (9-1), and Gabby Bellacqua added 9.
For the Royals (4-5), Neiylah Marcelin led the way with 11 points and Katie Davies chipped in 6.
DUBE STILL DELIVERING FOR AMESBURY
The Amesbury boys basketball team played well and broke its five-game losing streak on Monday, getting a well-earned win over North Reading, 56-43.
Leading the way for the Redhawks (3-6) was sophomore Justin Dube, who hit a 3 and had a team-high 13 points. Both Chase Linsey and Parker DeLong added 10 points for the winners, Robbie Dalton had 9 and Othmane Missaoui chipped in 8.
Amesbury will try to make it two in a row when it travels to play Manchester-Essex on Friday.
TRITON GIRLS MAKE IT THREE IN A ROW!
The Triton girls basketball team is in a groove.
Monday afternoon, the Vikings made it three straight wins with a 40-33 victory over visiting Manchester-Essex. Kendall Liebert was back leading the charge with 20 points, and Margaret Welch hit a pair of 3s and finished with 10 points herself. The Vikings (5-3) will try to make it four in a row when they host Gloucester on Wednesday.