Published January 2, 2019


PEABODY — Last Saturday afternoon, the Lynnfield High boys’ hockey team pulled away from Peabody, 5-1, at the McVann-O’Keefe Rink in a non-league game. Peabody was the designated home team for this game as McVann-O’Keefe is the home rink for both schools.

With the win, the Pioneers improved to 4-2-1 overall.

George DeRoche scored the first goal 2:53 into the opening period but the Tanners then tied it up at the 6:29 mark. John Simonetti scored the eventual game-winning goal with 4:19 left in the first assisted by Will Garofoli.

After a scoreless second period, Lynnfield pulled away with three goals as DeRoche, Simonetti and Sam Pifko all lit up the lamp. Simonetti’s tally was on the power play.

“We had a lot of chances but were not able to pull away until the final period,” said Lynnfield head coach Jon Gardner.

The Pioneers outshot the Tanners on net, 28-15, as goalie Aidan Kelly made 14 saves to go to 4-2-1 in net.

Edged by Boston Latin

In the title game of the Castle Island Championship on Dec. 27 the Pioneers were nipped by Boston Latin, 2-1, at Murphy Rink in South Boston.

AIDAN KELLY is off to another strong start in net this season for the Lynnfield boys’ hockey team. The senior got his fourth win of the campaign with a 14-save 5-1 win over Peabody on Saturday. Also pictured is senior Will Garofoli (21) who had an assist against Peabody and a goal against Watertown during the Pioneers’ 4-1 win in the Wolf Pack Tournament semifinals. (Dan Pawlowski File Photo)

“They played better than us,” acknowledged Gardner. “We got off to a slow start and that cost us.”

The Wolf Pack, who were the host team for this event, scored their first goal with 54 seconds left in the first period. They then made it 2-0 with 2:32 remaining in the second period.

With Kelly pulled for the extra skater, the Pioneers got on the scoreboard with 56 seconds left in the game as Garofoli lit the lamp assisted by Jaret Simpson and DeRoche.

Kelly was then pulled moments later after the ensuing face-off but the Wolf Pack were able to hold on.

Boston Latin outshot the Pioneers on goal, 27-17, as Kelly made 15 stops.

Cruise past Raiders

In the first game of the tournament on Dec. 26, the Pioneers defeated Watertown, 4-1.

Rich Casaletto got the locals on the scoreboard 5:10 into the first period assisted by Rob Tashjian. Less than a minute later, Chris Fiorentino scored a shorthanded goal to make it 2-0.

With 2:18 left in the second period, Fiorentino assisted on a tally by Jeff Floramo for the third goal.

The Raiders scored on a power play 5:13 into the third but Simpson answered with a power-play goal of his own with 8:20 left in the game assisted by DeRoche.

“It was a convincing win and our defense played well,” recalled Gardner.

Lynnfield outshot Watertown on net, 28-17, as Kelly made 16 saves.

Caruso to the rescue

Mike Caruso’s goal with 5:40 left gave Lynnfield a thrilling, 3-2 win over host Hamilton-Wenham at the Pingree School on Dec. 22. With that victory, the Pioneers headed into Christmas at 2-1-1 overall.

“I was really happy for Mike,” said Pioneers head coach Jon Gardner. “He is a quiet kid who leads by example and he made a nice move to score.”

Caruso caught the Generals during a line change and went coast-to-coast to score the game-winner.

Hamilton-Wenham scored the first goal just 1:47 into the opening period. The Pioneers tied it on the power play with a George DeRoche goal assisted by Jaret Simpson and Sam Pifko.

The Generals scored the lone tally of the second period with 2:16 remaining even-strength.

Lynnfield tied it again with 10:41 left in the third as Sean Robbins lit the lamp. He was assisted by Jeff Floramo on the play.

With a little over a minute left in the game, the Generals pulled their goalie for the extra attacker but the Pioneers were able to hold on.

“That is a tough rink so I was happy with that,” said Gardner. “But we have got to be able to finish a lot better because we had 42 shots on net.”

The Pioneers outshot the Generals on goal, 42-12, as Lynnfield goalie, Aidan Kelly made 10 saves.

 The next game for the Pioneers will be on Jan. 2nd as they host Masconomet at 8:15 pm at McVann-O’Keefe. Lynnfield then welcomes Amesbury on Saturday. Face-off for that game is at noon.