ORLEANS ─ Fresh off their first win of the season, the Cape Cod Furies had an uphill battle against the Marshfield Rams on Jan. 6, falling 6-0 in spite of a solid effort.
After being held off by the Monomoy/Nauset/Cape Tech host team's defense for much for the opening period, a power play allowed Marshfield to send one past Furies goaltender Molly McKenna, giving the Rams a 1-0 edge en route to victory.
The visitors would go on to score twice more in the second period before adding another three in the third.
“I think we had a really great first period,” said Furies head coach Addie Weeks. “I think we came out flying and kept it at 3-0 for a while, but we got exhausted.”
Weeks said Marshfield, in contrast to the Furies, has strong numbers and many experienced players.
“They had a couple girls that were just shooting, shooting, shooting,” she said. “We got exhausted and then we kind of folded.”
In spite of the challenges, the Furies worked to keep pace with their off-Cape opponents, with Weeks giving praise to Nikki Awalt, Kira Ridley, Maura Blute, and McKenna, who made 53 saves in net.
“Nikki skated her butt off,” Weeks said. “She's so tough, the smallest player on the ice. She took a beating in front of the net, and Kira Ridley was a notable player out of both teams. I thought she was just going for it. Maura Blute had a really strong game, as well.”
Weeks was pleased to see some of her newest players showing spunk in the game, including Sydney Nickerson.
“It was good to see the younger kids step up,” Weeks said. “It motivates the other kids.”
Weeks added that the absence of Breanna Kender, and the mid-game loss of sister Leanne Kender due to injuries had an impact.
“Bree, she's kind of the heart and soul of our D,” said Weeks. “And then losing her sister was hard.”
The team fared much better against Whitman-Hanson/Silver Lake on Jan. 3, posting their first victory of the season with the 10-2 outing that included a hat trick from senior Lauren Monger.
Jodi Wahtola put the Furies on the scoreboard less than two minutes into game play on an assist from Nickerson. Leanne Kender added the second goal not even a minute later on a feed from Awalt before Olivia Boucher put the Furies ahead 3-0 with an unassisted goal with roughly seven minutes left in the period.
Enter Monger with the first goal of her hat trick, sent in at 5:06 in the period with an assist from Blute to give her team a 4-0 lead. Then Monger hopped on a pass from Cat Ready at the 4:38 mark for another score, setting fans cheering when she once again found the net with an unassisted shot at 3:53 to put the Furies well ahead at 6-0.
The team continued its domination in the second with another successful shot from Wahtola, with help from Nickerson and Margaret Dickson, with the home team adding three more goals to its tally in the final frame, starting with Blute sending one in at 1:27 on assists from Monger and Ready.
Awalt stepped up next and scored the ninth goal of the game for the Furies, with Nickerson and Ready on the assists. The Furies momentum was briefly interrupted when the Panthers finally got on the scoreboard, but the soaring Furies weren't quite finished. Ridley added the final goal at 6:55 with help from Awalt and Elsa Lalone, giving the home team something to celebrate.
Meanwhile in net Molly McKenna made 44 saves before Delanie Manner took over for the game's remainder.
“It's baby steps with this program,” said Weeks. “It's trying to change the culture of this whole team, and the mentality. But there are good moments, when they all want it and are all on that same page.”
Weeks said the Furies-Panthers game was filled with good moments.
“I think when we start out hard and go in and get a couple quick goals we're good,” she said. “I think that was a game they needed. [Once they scored] they were all wanting it for each other and were all passing the puck and moving it well.”
Weeks, a former assistant field hockey coach at Monomoy, is in her first year with the Furies and is enjoying her return to ice hockey.
“Hockey was my first sport, I didn't start playing field hockey until I was a junior, so coming back to ice hockey I feel more confident. I know it,” she said. “Hockey is quick. It forces you to make a choice and not really second guess it. It's fun to be back at the rink.”
She also appreciates the combined team and the uni que talent from each school.
“I love that it's three schools,” Weeks said. “In the locker room you would never know that it's three different schools with different feels, different vibes, from different parts of the Cape. It's just kind of like ride or die for each other. They're also easy to coach.”
Though this season has been a challenge, Weeks is confident that the future looks bright.
“It's one game at a time,” she said. “And it's going to take a couple of seasons.”