ORLEANS – If the Nauset Warriors were expecting a high-scoring rout of the Monomoy-Mashpee Monarchs in their home opener Dec. 8, they weren't prepared for Monarchs goalie Jack Daigneault, who kept the Warriors to three goals in their 3-1 season-opening victory.
“He's the reason we keep a lot of games close,” said Monarchs head coach Chris Peterson. “He's a standout. I mean, 40 shots on net? He keeps a lot of the games close and that keeps the kids on the bench excited about continuing to play.”
As fans packed the bleachers, both teams burst onto the ice sheet ready for action, but it was the Warriors that struck first when senior captain Myles Walther fired a shot past Daigneault unassisted at just over six minutes into the first period.
C.J. Still scored the second goal near the end of the period when both teams were down a player due to penalties. The Monarchs received nine penalties from officials, with Nauset incurring seven in the outing.
At 2:50 in the second period, John Purcell netted Nauset's final goal of the game on an assist from Ben Winslow, who also had the assist on Still's goal in the first. From there the Warriors found themselves in a battle to get the puck past the Monarch defense, with both teams outlasting numerous man-down situations without allowing a score.
Then, in the game's final moments, Mashpee's Tommy Dubie saw an opening and took it, scoring the lone goal for the Monarchs and preventing a shutout by the Warriors. In spite of the outcome, Peterson was pleased with his team's inaugural performance.
“It's a tough game to start the season off with, but there are two theories behind it: it could be a tough game to start the season off with, or it's a good game to see what level we're going to play at,” he said. “There are definitely some things we need to work on, but there was a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm on the bench. They kept their feet moving and never backed down. We outplayed [Nauset] physically throughout the entire game. That's what kept us in the game.”
Along with Daigneault, Peterson gave kudos to Cole Currie, Nolan McGovern, and Max Abboud for their efforts throughout the game, noting that Currie and McGovern both stepped up to the benefit of the team, while Abboud played solidly on defense and offense.
Peterson said he's looking forward to the remainder of the season, which includes a home game against Wareham this Saturday (Dec. 15) beginning at 5:30 p.m.
“I'm excited,” Peterson said. “I think Nauset's going to be the toughest team we play this season, so I'm excited for us to move on to the next teams and really show our muscle a little bit and our speed and excitement, and hopefully we'll score some more goals.”
The Monarchs will also face the D-Y Dolphins, Cape Tech, Upper Cape Tech, Martha's Vineyard, East Bridgewater, and Nantucket this season. Following the Wareham match, the Monarchs host D-Y on Dec. 19 with a 5 p.m. start.