The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys’ hockey team fought to the bitter end against the Nauset Warriors in Orleans on Wednesday but gave up a goal in the final minutes to lose 2-1, in a battle of two teams battling for position in the division 2 south sectionals.
Both the Vineyarders and the Warriors have already earned berths in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament, and both are headed for the south sectionals. Accordingly, Wednesday’s matchup on the road had the earmarks of post-season hockey, with solid goal tending by the Warriors’ Zach Cowing and the Vineyard’s Mike Capen in a game with only four penalties.
The two teams remained deadlocked at 1-1 well into the third period until a goal by the Warrior’s Logan Brown with less than four minutes to play.
Darren Gazaille scored on a breakaway goal in the opening period to give the Vineyarders an early 1-0 lead, which was washed away in the second frame with a goal from the Warrior’s Dean Niezgoda. The score would remain knotted for the rest of the second period and much of the third, setting the stage for Brown’s late game heroics.
Cowing was brilliant between the pipes for the Warriors with 24 saves, but Capen was equally spectacular, making 24 saves of his own in the loss.
With the loss the Vineyard’s record fell to 10-4-3 on the season.
Hockey and Basketball Tournaments
The Vineyard will host the 12th Annual Fairleigh Dickinson Jr. Invitational hockey tournament this weekend at the Martha’s Vineyard Arena. The tournament kicks off with a game against North Reading and Lynnfield at 5 p.m., followed by a matchup between the hometown Vineyarders and Hanover at 7 p.m.
The consolation game faces-off Sunday at 1 p.m. while the championship game begins at 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Island Invitational basketball tournament will take place across the street at the Sancy Pachico gymnasium, as the Harwich girls’ team faces Nantucket in the opener at 3 p.m., followed by a matchup between the Pembroke boys and Nantucket at 4:30 p.m.
The Vineyard girls’ team plays Sabis International Charter School of Springfield at 6 p.m., followed by a matchup between the Vineyard boys and Easthampton at 7:30 p.m.
The girls’ consolation game is at 11 a.m. on Monday (Presidents’ Day) and the boys’ consolation game is at 12:30 p.m. The championship games are at 2 p.m. on Monday for the girls and 3:30 p.m. for the boys. Start times are subject to change depending on the duration of the games played earlier in the day.
Vineyard Quarterback Honored
Michael McCarthy, the Vineyard quarterback who set records for passing and touchdowns in a season this past year, has been selected to play in the Shriners All-Star Football Classic. The game is on June 19 at Bentley College.