It was an entertaining Saturday afternoon at Vito Capizzo Stadium. The Plymouth South Panthers visited Nantucket, and the Whalers were looking to avenge last year’s 10-9 overtime defeat to the Panthers last April.
There was plenty of anticipation for this game after last year's thriller, and neither team disappointed. Plymouth South walked away with the 12-9 victory, but Nantucket gave the Panthers everything they could handle.
"They came out pressing us hard on defense and we knew they would," head coach Sam Aloisi said. "I thought our guys did fine in the first half. We gave up a bad goal with 10 seconds left in the first half and then 15 seconds into the second half, then a terrible man down goal at the end because of a blown assignment. Other than that it was an even, back and forth game."
Cole Chambers got the scoring going about three minutes in, but the Panthers would answer on their next possession.
The back and forth was the theme of Saturday’s matinee matchup. The score was 6-6 at halftime, and neither team had a two goal lead at any point in the first half.
The goal 10-15 seconds into the second half that Aloisi referred to by the Panthers made it 7-6, but Whaler junior attacker Colby O’Keefe answered one minute later to tie it 7-7. The Panthers made it 8-7 with 8:43 to go in third quarter but unfortunately for Nantucket, it was the first of three unanswered Panther’s goals.
The Whalers trailed 10-7 entering the final quarter and while they cut the deficit to two goals on multiple occasions, some quality Panther goaltending and two more Panther goals proved to be too much to complete the comeback.
"We had a lot of real good looks that didn't go, some bounces that just didn't go our way, but overall I really thought it was a great effort," Aloisi said.
Aloisi said he felt Pat Carroll, Michael Culkins, and Canton Jenkinson had strong games - with Jenkinson and Culkins handling face-off duties. He added that the defense, which is led by Griffin Starr, Hunter Strojny, and Luke Stringer, held their own and played great - especially in the first quarter when the Panthers had possession for almost the entire 12 minute period.
He said freshman goalie Jeremy Jenkinson looked good and felt his team left him out to dry on several occasions.
The Whalers, now 3-1, are traveling to take on Sandwich (5-1) on Tuesday, April 25 at 4 p.m. in their next game.
"That should be another tough one," Aloisi said. "It doesn't get much easier with Sandwich, Falmouth, and then the Vineyard here on Saturday."
Scoring from Saturday’s game below:
Colby O’Keefe: 3 goals and 1 assist
Patty Carroll: 2 goals
Jack Halik: 2 goals
Cole Chambers: 1 goal
Arann Hanlon: 1 goal and 1 assist.
Michael Culkins: 1 assist
Griffin Starr: 1 assist