The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys hockey team beat rival Nantucket 3-0 Saturday afternoon in front of a packed home arena of Vineyard purple.

The Vineyarders (4-2-2) opened with a goal from freshman Cam Geary less than two minutes into the first period, assisted by Jackson Pachico. The Whalers came close to tying the game soon after when the Vineyarders were a man down during a two-minute penalty, but Vineyard goalie Mike Metcalf denied all shot attempts.

A game with rival Nantucket is always intense. — Mark Alan Lovewell

With about five minutes to go in the first period, senior Ian Trance took advantage of a Nantucket penalty and put the Vineyarders up 2-0 with a short strike close to the Nantucket net, assisted by Kenneth Hatt and Jackson Pachico.

The Whalers threatened to mount a comeback in the second period after a series of mistakes, including a trip and high-stick penalties. For two minutes the Vineyarders were down two players but the crowd cheered them on as Metcalf handled all the shots on goal that came his way.

The Vineyard kept up the momentum the entire third period and put the game out of reach with a goal from senior captain Hunter Ponte, assisted by Colby Zarba. At the final whistle, the entire team rushed the ice to embrace Metcalf who finished the game with 18 saves.

When the going gets tough, the fans keep the spirits up. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“It’s been a fight for him getting to this point and it’s been great to see his transformation,” coach Matt Mincone said after the game, adding that Metcalf was chosen as the game’s most valuable player.

Mr. Mincone said he felt the team improved as the game progressed and was particularly proud of how the defense won individual battles in their first of two matchups against Nantucket this year. He praised freshmen players for taking advantage of their time on the ice, particularly Cam Geary when the Vineyard was down two men. He said his focus in the coming weeks will be on finding a good balance between a strong defense and putting more pucks in the net, and beating Nantucket was a good way to start.

“It’s a matter of watching the video and keeping the team disciplined,” he said. “If there’s a book on this, then we’re on the right chapter.”

The Vineyarders next home game is set for Saturday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. against Bishop Stang.