HYANNIS ─ Senior Night is always a memorable evening for student athletes, and for those on the Mashpee-Monomoy Monarchs boys varsity ice hockey team, Senior Night proved one they'll remember for a long while as the home team triumphed with a 5-2 victory against Cardinal Spellman.
Five different Monarchs players tallied in the outing, which saw the Blue and White skate with intensity throughout the game's three periods.
“It was a good game,” said Monarchs head coach Shawn Cicoine. “They played hard from start to finish.”
The Cardinals likely weren't expecting the Monarchs, 2-9-2 overall, to play as strongly as they did, but were put on notice at 2:52 in the first frame when Josh Vinitsky turned a pass from Tom Dubie into the game's first goal.
The home team struck again at 9:52 in the second during a power play, this time with Monomoy's Brian Butcher firing in a shot on an assist from teammate Ari Purdy to put the Monarchs up 2-0. Three minutes later, Monomoy senior Peter Lucarelli, with help from Nolan McGovern and Joe Mackie, charged the net for goal No. 3.
The Cardinals made it on the scoreboard in the third, with the Monarchs answering near the end of the period when Mackie scored his own goal at 1:45 on an assist from Lucarelli. Then, with seconds left in game play, the Cardinals netted their second. However, an open-net goal at the 11-second mark from Monomoy's Griffen Handler, assisted by Kyle Gabri, clinched the game.
Instrumental in the win was Monarchs goalie Jack Daigneault, who consistently stymied the Cardinals.
Chicoine was thrilled with the win and the fact that the Monarchs only posted four penalties to Cardinal Spellman's eight.
“They stayed out of the box, and they took a lot of shots,” Chicoine said. “It was our first real game where we played three solid periods. We've had some good periods here and there but this was the one solid one throughout.”
Chicoine said the team gained energy from their well-played game against Nauset on Jan. 25. Though a loss for the Monarchs, the head coach was pleased with the changes his team was making.
“They played physically and really kind of threw Nauset off,” he said.
In recent practices, Chicoine made further changes that were a key aspect in the team's win against the Cardinals.
“One of the focuses during the week of practices was shooting,” Chicoine said. “Just getting the puck on net. We've tried a lot of times to make that extra pass, that extra stride to get the perfect shot, and we're better off just getting it on net and seeing what happens. That's what they did tonight. I think that was a big shift in their mindset.”
“We needed something we could build momentum off of and finish the season strong,” said Monomoy senior Connor Tyldesley. “It's been a rough start to the year but this is a good turning point. We did everything we needed to: passing, breakout, held them in their zone, killed the few penalties we had, and didn't have too many, which is good.”
“It's awesome,” said Lucarelli. “We just found our heart. We found a drive to win, tapped into our energy and just killed it.”