Division 2 North state tournament pairings will be announced this weekend
By Joe Mitchell
(Advocate photos by Dave Sokol)
It was a perfect Senior Day for the Lynnfield High School hockey team last Saturday, Feb. 17, in Peabody. It was first an opportunity for coach Jon Gardner to recognize his six graduating seniors for their contributions to the program throughout the past four years. They included Cooper Marengi, Tyler Murphy, Joey Mack, Robbie Brandano, Zach Rothwell and Kyle Nekorski. The Pioneers then defeated the perennial state tournament team and South Shore powerhouse, Westwood, to the tune of 4-1.
The local sextet followed up that triumph with a frustrating loss to visiting Pentucket in a makeup game, 6-3, on Feb. 20. They are now 11-5-2 overall and 6-4-2 in the Cape Ann League with two games left on the regular season schedule. They took on host Gloucester on Feb. 21 (after press deadline) before facing Medfield on the road Friday afternoon.
“It was a good win for the program,” said Gardner of the game against Westwood, “but it was somewhat negated by our performance against Pentucket. It was all tied up at two with eight minutes to go in the game, when their extremely talented freshman line was able to score three quick goals on us.”
George Deroche paced the offensive attack against Westwood with a hat trick. Jaret Simpson was credited with the other score from Joey Mack and Marengi. Simpson and Mack set up one of Deroche’s goals, while another one was a solo effort. Danny Mack collected an assist on his empty net marker.
The Pioneers slightly outshot Westwood, 22-20, and once again junior goalie Aidan Kelly did his job to keep his teammates ahead on the scoreboard. “He played very well, especially against a team like that,” said Gardner of his star goalie.
Joey Mack, Deroche and Simpson scored for the locals against the Pentucket Sachems. “We had a lot of chances, probably 55 attempts, with at least 20 missing the net,” said Gardner, “but we still had 26 on net and only scored three times.”
After completing their final two regular season games this week against aforementioned Gloucester and Medfield, the Pioneers will await the announcement of the Division 2 North pairings this weekend. The Cape Ann League coaches will get together on Sunday to choose this year’s all-star team.