Losing streak halted; team eyes playoffs in home stretch

KATIE PERRY takes a shot for the Lady Raider hockey team, who are two wins away from playoff contention. (Donna Larsson photo)

KATIE PERRY takes a shot for the Lady Raider hockey team, who are two wins away from playoff contention. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE — A mid-season slump for the Melrose Lady Raider ice hockey team may have temporarily quelled momentum this season but the team earned back-to-back wins this week to keep playoff hopes alive. The team is 7-6-2 overall thanks to victories over Stoneham and Peabody/Lynnfield and remain 4-4-2 in the Middlesex Freedom League with a handful of games ahead that will determine playoff prospects.

Melrose has five games on the horizon at press time, with some heavy competition ahead (11-1 Reading and 11-3 Watertown) but fairly beatable ones in Wakefield (0-11) and Wilmington (2-7). Melrose will need to secure just two wins (4 points) to get into tournament and the easiest way to do that would be to secure Freedom League wins against teams like Wilmington, Wakefield and Burlington, two teams they’ve beaten this season and one tied.

It’s down to the wire for coach Samantha Tetreau’s Lady Raiders, who helped their case on Friday, Jan. 30 when they took a 1-0 victory over Peabody/Lynnfield at McCann/O’Keefe Rink in Peabody.

After a scoreless contest freshman Sam Kroon found the net for Melrose, in what her coach describes as a diving, “Bobby Orr” quality goal. “It was a hard fought goal that demonstrates Sam’s work ethic and tenacity on the nice,” says coach Tetreau.

Melrose followed that victory up with a 2-1 win over Stoneham on Saturday, Jan. 31 at the Stoneham Arena. Melrose’s Alyssa Gorman proved instrumental with a power play goal (assisted by Jill Mercer) to lift Melrose 1-0. Rachel DiFraia added to that with a goal (assisted by Sam Kroon and Saoirse Connolly) that gave Melrose the winning edge. “Although we had to kill an unusual high amount of penalties, we kept our composure and prevailed with the win,” says their coach.

Melrose will look to keep that winning streak alive when it travels to the Burlington Ice Palace for a Saturday night battle with the Red Devils at 8 p.m. Melrose previously beat Burlington, 3-0, on Jan. 9.

Remaining schedule

Wed. Feb. 4  vs. Wilmington Flynn Rink, Medford, 7:10

Sat, Feb. 7 vs. Burlington @ Burlington Ice Palace, 8

Mon. Feb. 9 vs. Reading @Flynn Rink. 4:50

Wed. Feb. 11 vs. Wakefield @Flynn Rink, 6

Sat. Feb. 14  vs. Watertown/Belmont, @ Flynn Rink, noon