Lady Tanners hockey tourney bound
After 11 years of existence, the Peabody girls’ hockey program is getting its first taste of the playoffs.
It came down to final game of the 2016-17 season, as Peabody broke a scoreless tie by erupting for four unanswered goals in the third period to coast to a 4-0 win over Melrose and earn a Div. I playoff spot Wednesday, February 22, at McVann-O’Keefe Arena. The Tanners needed at least a tie in the regular season finale to qualify for the tournament.
Sammy Mirasolo tallied three times for the hat trick and goalie Abigail Buckley collected her second consecutive shutout (by identical 4-0 scores), as Peabody finished the regular season at 9-8-3.
The Tanners went 5-2-2 and earned 12 of a possible 18 points in their last nine regular season contests.
“These kids are ecstatic. Some of them have been here for five years,” Tanners head coach Michelle Roach told the press after the win over Melrose, “We said in our first meeting that this was where we wanted to be but we knew we’d have to work really hard to get here. I’m so proud of them right now.”
Elise Murphy netted Peabody’s final goal while Cassie Mirasolo and Erin Hunter collected assists. Buckley stopped all 26 shots against her. Meanwhile, Peabody made the most of its chances by tallying four times on 19 shots.
The Tanners proved to be a strong late-game team as they scored seven third-period goals over their final two games.
“We knew it would come down to who worked harder. We came to work,” said Roach, who credited Buckley’s effort. “Abby played incredibly. I’m not sure where some of those saves came from. She looked like she had an extra limb on a couple of those.”
The Tanners managed to avoid a potential letdown last Wednesday after capturing the annual Carlin Cup with a shutout victory against Bishop Fenwick just two days earlier.
Peabody was seeded 19th in the Div. 1 tournament and played at 14th-seeded Arlington Wednesday.
By Greg Phipps
PHS Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Senior Night