The Vineyard boys’ ice hockey team has hosted the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Tourmanent for 16 years, but have won it only once, in 2009. That may change Sunday as the team hits the ice in the tournament’s championship game at 3 p.m.
In a well-played team effort on Saturday night, the Vineyarders defeated visiting Lynnfield, last year’s tourney champs, 3-2. The Vineyard now takes on Weston, who defeated Westwood 3-2 in the opening game of the tournament. Lynnfield will play Westwood in the consolation game earlier in the day.
“We made it harder than it should have been,” head coach Matt Mincone said after the Saturday match. The first period was a back-and-forth affair, which ended in a 1-1 tie. Junior Sam Burke scored for the Vineyard a minute into the game on assists from junior Brian Fraser and senior Brian Hurley, but Lynnfield quickly evened the score.
Coach Mincone noted that the team had seemed a little off in the first, but “came out of the locker room motivated” for the second.
The sharpened passing game and team defense was quickly evident, as senior Kyp Cooperrider and sophomore Emerson Mahoney set up junior Tyson Araujo for the go-ahead goal three minutes into the second period.
Lynnfield took a crosscheck penalty midway through the second, and the Vineyard capitalized immediately, as Araujo and Cooperrider connected with Fraser for the score just 15 seconds after the power play began.
Penalties continued into the third period, and Lynnfield scored on a 4-and-4 play with a minute and a half left in the game. The Pioneers pulled their goalie just afterward, but freshman goalie Wyatt Jenkinson and the defense were able to withstand the additional offense to preserve the win.
Earlier in the day, the girls’ hockey team picked up their tenth win of the season, snapping a two-game loss streak as they defeated visiting Marshfield 4-3.
In the teams’ previous meeting this season, Marshfield beat the Vineyard 3-2. Head coach John Fiorito said that every year the two teams have played in the same league, they’ve split their games. And every year, the games are down-to-the-wire affairs, decided by one point.
“I don’t know what it is about that team,” he said after the game.
With the win, the Vineyarders move to a 10-6-2 record. The girls travel to Northeastern Monday to take on Latin Academy, and return home for Senior Day on Wednesday, when they will play Westwood.
"The season’s flying by," Coach Fiorito said.