Published in the March 2, 2017 edition
By MAUREEN DOHERTY
PEABODY — The girls’ co-op hockey team competed in its first state tournament game in the history of the program on Wednesday, March 1.
The team, which is comprised of players from North Reading, Peabody and Lynnfield who compete as the Tanners – the mascot of Peabody Veterans Memorial High School – qualified for states by shutting out the Melrose Red Raiders 4-0 in the final game of the regular season last Wednesday night at Peabody.
The preliminary round game of the girls’ hockey MIAA Division 1 tournament paired 14th seeded Arlington (10-7-3) against 19th seeded Peabody/Lynnfield/North Reading (9-8-3) on Wednesday, March 1 at 6 p.m. at the Ed Burns Arena in Arlington (after press time).
The winner of this game advances to the first round of thtournament to compete against third-seeded Woburn (17-2-2) on Saturday, March 4 at O’Brien Rink Woburn at 6 p.m. Bracket updates for the tournament will be posted at www.MIAA.net.
In the MIAA tournament, girls’ hockey competes in either Division 1 or Division 2; it is not divided into North, South, Central and West sectionals as is common for other team sports. This year, there are 19 teams in Division 1 and 29 teams in Division 2.
Play role of spoilers
Both the Tanners and the Red Raiders entered the final game of the regular season needing just one point to qualify for post-season play. This meant that if the teams tied, both would earn one point and extend the season. Conversely, a victory by either team would end the playoff ambitions of their opponent.
After two scoreless periods, the Tanners went on an unanswered four-goal scoring spree to seal their fate.
“The score was 4-0 and the win qualified us for the state tournament. This is the first time in program history that we’ve qualified for the tournament,” said their elated head coach, Michelle Roach.
“We’ve worked hard all season; this was a huge win for us. Abby Buckley had an incredible night in net. Sammie Mirasolo and Erin Hunter sparked the offense,” she said.
Hat trick for Sammie Mirasolo
The scoring spree began with 11:35 remaining in regulation when Sammie Mirasolo scored unassisted.
Sammie Mirasolo struck again, with the assist earned by Erin Hunter, with 9:45 on the clock.
Sammie Mirasolo completed her hat trick off an assist from Erin Hunter and her sister, Cassie Mirasolo, at the 3:05 mark.
The final goal was scored by Elise Murphy, with the assist from Sammie Mirasolo with just 9.3 seconds remaining in the game.
“Melrose is a good squad and we knew we had to compete in all three zones. I’m very proud of the total team effort,” concluded Roach.