Monomoy-Mashpee Hockey Makes Comebacks But Falls Short Against Bishop Stang

by Brad Joyal

SOUTH DENNIS – Although the youthful Monomoy-Mashpee boys hockey team has made strides during the first two months of the season, the Sharks are still searching to play a consistent and complete 45 minutes of hockey.

The co-op team’s growth and competitiveness was on display Saturday night when it overcame three- and two-goal deficits to tie Bishop Stang in the third period of a non-league matchup at Tony Kent Arena.

Despite the Sharks’ triumphant comebacks, the visiting Spartans left the Cape with a 6-5 victory after netting the game-winning goal with 5:43 remaining.

“We need to play 45 minutes of consistent hockey,” Monomoy-Mashpee coach Chris Peterson said. “I told them they should be proud of themselves after going down quick and coming back. We won the second period and won the third period, we just couldn’t put a consistent three-period game together.”

After the two teams skated to a 1-1 tie on Jan. 15 in New Bedford, Stang went into the locker room with a 2-0 goal lead at the first intermission of Saturday’s rematch. Sixteen seconds into the second period, Aidan Cousineau scored his second goal of the game to extend the visitors’ lead to 3-0.

Then the Sharks woke up.

Three Monomoy-Mashpee players found the back of the net in the next 5:05 of action, as Monomoy sophomore Luke Raftery, Monomoy freshman Nick Garneau and Monomoy junior Casey Huse each tallied a goal to help the Sharks storm back and tie the game 3-3 with 8:54 remaining in the middle frame.

The lead was short lived, however, as Nate Moniz lit the lamp to regain control for Stang, 4-3, with 7:19 left in the period. Kyle Cousineau added an insurance goal to extend the Spartans’ lead to 5-3, though Monomoy freshman Owen Cloney scored for Monomoy-Mashpee with 1:28 to play, cutting the Sharks’ deficit to one goal before the start of the third period.

Although Monomoy freshman Max Cronen netted the equalizer with an acrobatic goal from his backside as he slid across the end line and crashed into the boards with 8:34 remaining in the game, Stang escaped with 6-5 a win after Moniz bested Monomoy sophomore goaltender Dominic Silvester for the game-winning goal with 5:43 remaining.

Even in defeat, Peterson was pleased with the effort his players gave.

“I’ve always talked about battling adversity with these guys and they are starting to figure out now what it takes to go down by a goal or go down by two goals and play in that position and the mental strain that it puts on you,” Peterson said. “They are doing a great job with that, especially with how young we are.”

The coach also felt Saturday was a good showcase of the team’s identity. Although the Sharks are comprised of mostly underclassmen, Peterson said they have demonstrated a work ethic and competitiveness that has been matched by few of their opponents.

“This week we also talked about an identity for the team,” Peterson said. “They talked about the other teams that we’ve played and what their identities are and I kind of told them, ‘We have one. It’s when we’re working really hard and our compete level is high, that’s our identity. Teams can’t match up with us when we’re doing that because we work so hard. It’s not pretty, it’s not fancy, it’s just hard work and simple hockey.’”

As much as the loss stung for Monomoy-Mashpee (1-10-1), Peterson said it was great to see so many players contribute during the two comebacks.

“Five different goal scorers,” he said. “It’s huge. It’s great to see some of the younger kids scoring goals, too. It’s huge to have it come from all around.”