Last year the Vineyard boys' hockey squad won their home ice tournament, but history would not repeat itself as the 17th Annual Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Tournament kicked off over the holiday weekend.
The team fell 5-3 to Lynnfield on Saturday and drew with a chippy Dennis-Yarmouth squad 4-4 during Sunday's consolation game. Westwood defeated Lynnfield 4-1 in the championship game to walk away tournament victors.
During Saturday's game, the Vineyard went up 3-1 against Lynnfield on goals by seniors Brian Fraser and Tyson Araujo and junior Andrew Wiley. The Pioneers made the most of an early third period power play to tie the game, and took the lead on another power play with four minutes remaining.
On Sunday, Dennis-Yarmouth took a 3-1 lead before a goal by senior Andrew Carroll brought the Vineyard within striking distance. Back-to-back power plays kept the team's hopes alive: Fraser tied the game on a textbook setup from Araujo and Alexander Vukota, and a long wrist shot from Vukota to Wiley put the Vineyard ahead 4-3 with nine minutes left in the game. The Vineyard offense outshot D-Y 15-4 in the third period, but after a set of Vineyard penalties, D-Y took advantage of the 5-on-3 imbalance to rush the goal and tie the game. A late offensive surge by the Vineyard was not enough to seal the match.
The Purple and White instead wore shades of green and brown throughout the tournament in honor of Military Appreciation Weekend. The special camouflage jerseys were also sported by many in the crowd, as well as by the squad of Mites that scrimmaged between the first and second periods on Saturday night. The Vineyard's opening match was preceded by a color guard ceremony by the United States Coast Guard, after which the team announced that it had exceeded its fundraising goal for the Wounded Warriors Fund, raising a total of $6,025 for the organization.
The team is now 12-4-2 on the season, and takes on Bishop Feehan on Wednesday in an away game. Their final home game is on Friday against Nauset.
In picture, Tyson Araujo, Brian Fraser, Aksel Cooperrider, Greg McCarron and Alexander Vukota celebrate a Vineyard goal.