IT’S NICE to be back in red. The Melrose High girls’ hockey team has kicked off their 2022 campaign. (courtesy photo)


Melrose still looking to hit their stride



MELROSE—Four games into their 2022 season, the Melrose High girls’ hockey team is still searching for wins after embarking on their inaugural season as a solo Melrose team. The Red Raiders faced some tough competition coming out of the gate against the likes of Woburn, Reading and Belmont but look forward to more equitable competition as they approach midseason.

For Melrose head coach Frank Sorrenti, measured expectations and a focus on the basics is what will serve as this teams’ hallmark this year. “These are great athletes with terrific attitudes, and they hold their own out there, as real competitors against tough teams,” he says.

For Melrose, it may not be a long string of victories to celebrate in 2022 but small moments of progress from a team still coming into its own. Says Sorrenti, “For instance, one of our players, brand new to the game, enjoyed her first varsity shift, got out there, blocked a shot and cleared the zone and you should have heard the bench erupt.”

Another small milestone occurred during Melrose’s 8-1 loss to Reading on Dec. 22. “Our first varsity goal this season was scored by sophomore Lucy Clark. And you would have thought we won the Stanley Cup,” says the coach. Joining in the scoring just a week later during Melrose’s 8-1 loss to Stoneham on Jan. 1 was eighth-grader Ella Daniels, who scored Melrose’s only goal. “That was her varsity goal and we celebrated that one too,” notes the coach.

Offensively, Melrose is getting there as they create systems and find cohesion on a team that is largely made up of underclassmen, including middle-schoolers. “We can take more shots than we are and create movement, so that’s something we are working on,” he says.

Defensively, Melrose has seen solid work from senior Bridget Price and underclass defenders Teagan Altman, Addison Savidge and Keira Twomey. “What they’re up against can be intimidating,” admits Sorrenti. “There are no nights off.”

It’s defense that will be an area of focus in the coming weeks. “Because we’re not scoring a lot of goals, it’s important for us to protect the house, really keep it simple,” says the coach. “We want to tighten up our defensive zone and reduce the number of goals against us.” He points to the hard work of goalie Ruby Hansen at the net. “Despite our challenges, she’s got a great attitude.”

It’s a long season ahead and Melrose has the perfect chance to pick up a Freedom League win when they host Wakefield on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. at Flynn Rink. “We’re improving each practice and are staying healthy,” notes the coach. “The more games and practices we can get in, the better for us. They still have great spirits. There is no beating this team down.”