By Greg Phipps
For the second year in a row, the Peabody girls’ hockey team is heading to the postseason tournament. The Tanners clinched a playoff spot last Saturday with a 3-0 shutout of Oakmont at the McVann-O’Keefe Rink.
Sammie Mirasolo set Peabody’s single-season scoring record by tallying once and assisting on another score. She stood at 21 goals and 11 assists (32 points) after Saturday’s Senior Night victory, which gave the Tanners a 9-5-2 record entering this week’s play. Mirasolo was also named the Northeastern Conference (NEC) Player of the Year on Monday.
“This is a huge accomplishment, a huge two points for us,” said Peabody head coach Michelle Roach after the Oakmont win. “The team has worked really hard to get here, and it’s very well deserved. We’ve been doing so much to try and progress this program, and this year we set the bar a little higher. Now we’re looking to play for [playoff] standing the rest of the way.”
Mirasolo opened the scoring in the first period off assists from Carolyn Garofoli and Paige Thibodeau to give the Tanners a 1-0 lead. It stayed that way through the second frame, as Oakmont goalie Bridgette Martin made several excellent saves to keep it a one-goal game.
Peabody finally got one past Martin when Jennifer Flynn connected for the first of her two third-period goals early in the stanza. Sammie and sister Cassie Mirasolo assisted on Flynn’s goals.
“She played well and she has a good glove hand,” Roach said of the Oakmont goaltender. “I think we pretty much dominated puck possession. We worked hard and we closed it out.”
Roach also cited Sarah Buckley and Thibodeau for “great offensive” efforts as well as praising the team’s other stalwarts. “Jen, Sammie and Cassie continue to produce for us and provide great leadership,” she said.
The game was chippy, as both teams distributed some physical hits, and one Oakmont player was ejected from the game after committing four penalties. Goalie Jeny Collins went the distance in net to earn the shutout for Peabody.
Senior players honored before last Saturday’s game were Alycia Gillen, Buckley, Cassie Mirasolo, Mae Norton and Kaydee Purcell. Along with Sammie Mirasolo, four other Tanner players made this year’s all-NEC team. They were goalie Abby Buckley, Norton, Purcell and Cassie Mirasolo.