HYANNIS ─ The start of the 2017-2018 season has been a toughie for the Monomoy-Mashpee Monarchs boys varsity ice hockey team, but if their Twitter feed is any indication of their spirit, this is one determined team.
After losses to Abington and Nauset, a post appeared on the social media site praising the team's perseverance and will as the Monarchs continue working toward that first victory.
The season kicked off against Abington in Hyannis on Dec. 13, with the Monarchs skating hard against a team that recently defeated one of the top boys hockey teams in the state. While the Green Wave prevailed 4-1, the Monarchs celebrated the first goal of the season for Cam Archibald, who found the net at 5:38 in the first on an assist from Cam Coomber.
Abington responded to the opening goal minutes later with their first, and though three more got past Monarchs goalie Jack Daigneault, head coach Chris Peterson was thrilled with his overall performance.
“Jack stood on his head tonight,” Peterson said. “He was fantastic.”
Peterson acknowledged that his team was a bit sluggish until the final period, but added that the loss of two key defensemen, Jack Vinitsky and Nolan McGovern, was a blow to the squad.
“Only having four D out there and having to drop a forward back to play D was hard,” he said. “That put us shorthanded from the get-co. Then we started running two lines, so they were definitely tired.”
Peterson also gave kudos to Cole Currie for his ability to drop from forward to defense, with strong play following the move.
The loss, Peterson said, was disappointing.
“The game was kind of what we expected in terms of the physical part, but the outcome was not what we were hoping for,” he said.
Next up for the team was the St. John Paul II Face-Off Tournament in which the Monarchs were pitted against St. John Paul II on the Friday night (Dec. 15), a 1-0 loss, and the second against Nauset on Saturday (Dec. 16), a 4-0 loss.
Daigneault was once again a formidable netminder against the Lions, shunning 14 shots on goal in the first period alone, and 34 overall, while against Nauset he recorded 47 saves.
The Monarchs next face South Shore Voke at Rockland on Dec. 23, with their next home game set for Dec. 27 against Wareham in Hyannis beginning at 5 p.m.
“We still have a lot of work to do,” said Peterson. “We've just got to work on the simple things.”