Published in the February 15, 2017 edition


HAVERHILL — The Lynnfield High School boys’ hockey team played the role of spoiler on Pentucket’s Senior Night as the Pioneers beat the host Sachems, 4-2, last Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Rink in Haverhill. With that victory, the Pioneers’ record improved to 8-7-1 overall and 4-6-1 in the Cape Ann League.

“It was our most complete effort of the season,” said Pioneers head coach Jon Gardner. “We played good team defense.”

Early in the first period, Will Rinaldi scored, assisted by junior captain Cooper Marengi. With 6:30 remaining in the second, George Deroche made it 2-0. Joe Mack assisted on that tally.

The Sachems cut the lead in half, scoring a shorthanded goal with 1:17 left in the second.

Early in the third, John Percoskie scored on a breakaway to give the locals a two-goal advantage again.

Pentucket answered with a goal with just under four minutes left and then they pulled their goalie with a little over a minute remaining in the game.

However, Marengi closed the door with an empty-net goal with six seconds left.

Lynnfield outshot the Sachems on goal, 28-13, as Pioneer goalie Aidan Kelly made 11 stops to go to 2-1 in net.

The teams ended up splitting the season series as Pentucket won, 5-2 on Jan. 21.

Lynnfield, with the win, needs at least three points in its final four games in order to qualify for the Div. 2 state tournament.

Chieftains best Pioneers

On Feb. 8, Lynnfield was shut out, 5-0, by guest Masconomet at McVann-O’Keefe Rink in Peabody.

The two teams split the season series, as well, as the Pioneers won the first game, 2-1, on Jan. 14 at the Valley Forum in Haverhill.

Gardner benched nine players for the first period for breaking team rules and the Chieftains scored twice in the first period. They then scored twice more in the second stanza and once more in the third.

The Chieftains outshot the Pioneers on net, 25-16, as Kelly made 20 saves.

“Aidan was hung out to dry,” stated Gardner, as Kelly was replacing regular goalie David Langone, who developed the stomach bug.

Martha’s Vineyard tournament

This weekend, the Pioneers will participate in the Fairleigh Dickinson Tournament down in Martha’s Vineyard. On Saturday night at 6, they take on Martha’s Vineyard at 7 p.m.

Lynnfield with then play either Westwood or Weston in the consolation or title game the next day. The consolation game begins at 11 a.m. followed by the title game at 1:30 p.m.

Both games will be played at the Martha’s Vineyard Arena.