Melrose flies to 5-2-2  start of winter season


MELROSE—Don’t look now, but the 2014-15 Melrose Lady Raider hockey team has amassed a quiet campaign that has resulted in a winning record and a path that may once again bring the team back to playoffs.

At 5-2-2 they are undefeated in the MIddlesex League and have not lost a game since over a month, when they fell to Masco in a non league game on Dec. 15.

Head coach Samantha (Rush) Tetreau returns after a very successful debut season in 2014, when she brought the Lady Raiders to their first ever post season run as an independent team at Melrose High School. This year, Melrose hasn’t skipped a beat.

FRESHMAN SAM Kroon is among the top scorers for the Melrose Lady Raider hockey team, who are off to a fine start of the season. (Donna Larsson photo) 

FRESHMAN SAM Kroon is among the top scorers for the Melrose Lady Raider hockey team, who are off to a fine start of the season. (Donna Larsson photo)

“Last season we lost our leading scorer, Haley Gorman, so there was so pressure for our players, particularly our younger ones to generate offense.”

That happened on January 7 when Melrose earned a statement win against Burlington, shutting out the Red Devils out, 3-0 with Aveni at the net and scores from their younger squad. “We were able to string together 3 solid periods and work hard every shift. All the girls left everything they had on the ice,” says their coach.

Melrose also collected early wins against Stoneham, Peabody, Masconomet, and a tie against Wilmington.

On  the team flew past Wakefield with a 2-1 win, behind goals from Rachel DiFraia and Julia McLaughlin.  Their leading scorer this season is DiFraia, a freshman who has compiled 6 goals and 2 assists, who returns after a successful season with Melrose last year. “Rachel is an amazing player,” says Tetreau. “She has great speed and made a great switch to forward this year.” Her line mates, freshman Sam Kroon has 2 goals and 4 assists and sophomore Julia McLaughlin has 3 goals and 2 assists.

This year’s captain, junior Katy Perry, is a player who steps up to the plate for the team time and again. “Katy is always improving, and asking ways she can, she takes time to perfect her game,” reports her coach.

Her assistant captains are two experienced juniors, Alyssa Gorman and Jess D’Entremont, who both bring strong leadership to the team. “Alyssa is a great defensemen, a quiet leader who leads by example. The team listens to her. Jess is a tough girl, a hard worker on and off the ice who cares so much about this team.” D’Entremont, who is enlisted in the military, shows a devotion to the team that Tetreau credits.

Overall, this is a young team, with only one senior, forward Kayla Mattucci, who Tetreau credits for making a transition from defense to offense this season.  At the goal is eighth grader Hannah Aveni, who averages close to 20 saves a game, and has helped Melrose earn 12 points already this season towards playoffs. She will be assisted in the net by teammate Haley Walters. Also hitting the ice this season are: juniors Michelle Henry and Kellianne Kendall, sophomore Kelly Stanton, Meghan Feeney, Sam Shields, Devin Mullet, Emma Pinault, freshman Saoirse Connolly, Emma Sikora, Grace Sikora, and Jill Mercer. Eighth graders include Linnea Kelley and Darby Rich.

“We are lucky as coaches to have such a committed team. The girls not only practice but lift, do off ice shooting, and volunteer at the Melrose youth learn to skate,” says their coach.

While the Middlesex League can be notoriously tough, at press time Melrose is undefeated at 3-0-2, though they will have to face a very tough Watertown/Belmont squad twice this season.

Still, as they approach mid point of the season, this team is thinking playoffs. “Every year this team creates personal goals and team goals. This year, every girl decided that our team goal was to get to playoffs again. So as a coach, that’s mine too.”