Photography by David Creed
The Whaler boys hockey team faced a tough task to begin their season Saturday night, traveling to take on a deep, talented Nauset Warriors team that has aspirations for a deep state tournament run in March.
Nauset scored the games first six goals, and it appeared the game would end as a blowout. But Nantucket kept fighting back and responded well by scoring four of the games final five goals. All four goals were scored by freshman skaters. The Whalers lost the game 7-4.
The Warriors already had one game under their belt entering Saturday night after a 10-1 beat down of the St. John Paul II Lions earlier this week. For Nantucket, this was their first taste of game action since last March in the MIAA state tournament.
The Warriors looked faster and more crisp with their play in the first period while Nantucket looked like they were trying to get their skating legs under them.
After Nantucket found themselves trailing 4-0 after one period, two quick goals in the second period by Nauset made it a 6-0 game. The Whalers were in desperate need of a spark.
It was junior winger Colby O’Keefe who made the play Nantucket needed by finding freshman forward Jeremy Jenkinson in front of the Warrior’s net to make it a 6-1 game.
The Whalers continued to put pressure on Nauset and were rewarded for their effort. The forecheck led to chances around the Nauset net and a scramble in front of the net for the loose puck.
Eventually freshman forward Canton Jenkinson was the one to jump on the puck and shoot it past Warrior’s goalie Matthew Swanson to make it a 6-2 game entering the second intermission.
Nauset scored early in the third period to make it 7-2, but Nantucket freshman Ben Freeman answered with his first career varsity goal to make it 7-3 with 5:59 left in the game.
Nantucket found themselves on the power play about three minutes later when freshman defenseman Soren Edwardes jumped into the play and flicked a wrist shot on net that had eyes, making it a 7-4 game. That score stood as the final buzzer sounded.
Nauset held a moment of silence prior to the game for the NHS student who was tragically killed on Thursday, a classy gesture.
Next up: Nantucket will host the St. John Paul Lions on Wednesday at 5:15 p.m.