Sports Roundup: Boys Hockey Avoids Disaster In Barnstable, Win Third Straight Game

David Creed •

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Jeremy Jenkinson's two goals sparked Nantucket's offense in their 5-4 victory over Barnstable. Photo by David Creed

The Whaler boys hockey team escaped Barnstable with a 5-4 victory Wednesday night despite a third period disaster that nearly led to an improbable Red Hawk comeback in the game's final 10 minutes.

Nantucket led 5-1 with 11:39 remaining in the game following a goal by senior center Ryan Davis, who finished the evening with three points. After a dominant second period where Nantucket controlled the play and outshot Barnstable 11-3, it appeared the Whalers had nothing left to do but run out the remainder of the third period after a largely dominant performance against a respectable Div. 1 program.

But Barnstable had other plans - scoring three consecutive goals from the 9:15 mark to the 4:27 mark of the third period, which forced Nantucket head coach Jack Moran to call a timeout to gather his team together and calm the situation down.

“So it became 5-2 and I’m like ‘Okay. Oh well.' But then they score the third goal and fourth goals close together and I am like what is going on here,” Moran said. “It was a total meltdown, total breakdown. They stopped doing everything they were supposed to be doing. They started letting penalties get into their heads. They started letting the referees get into their heads. They started letting the other team get into their heads. Total catastrophe all the way around. I had to tell them during that timeout to cool their jets, get their heads back into the game, and stop complaining about the refs.”

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Prior to that stretch, it was all Nantucket. Senior center Colby O’Keefe scored his fourth goal of the season and the first goal of the game five and a half minutes into the first period. After Barnstable scored one minute later to tie it 1-1, the Whalers went on the power play and sophomore winger Jeremy Jenkinson scored to make it a 2-1 game. That score stood heading into the first intermission with Nantucket outshooting Barnstable 12-9.

“That first period was one we weren’t very enthused about,” Moran said. “Granted we had the lead, but we went into the locker room and said ‘Guys you got to perform better than that.’ It was a little sloppy, let a lot of things go, weren’t as physical as they could have been. We told them they needed to come out in the second period and play hard, strong, play the body, control the puck and move the puck.”

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O'Keefe leads Nantucket with eight points (four goals and four assists) this season. Photo by David Creed

And the Whalers did just that. They dominated the entire middle stanza and after going 11 minutes without anything to show for their play, extended their lead to 3-1 with 3:52 remaining in the period thanks to a goal by sophomore forward Canton Jenkinson.

With 22.7 seconds remaining in the second, the Whalers were in the midst of another power play. Jeremy Jenkinson was able to bury his second goal of the game on the man advantage to make it 4-1 Nantucket just before both teams made their ways to the dressing rooms for second intermission.

The first 3:21 of the third period was similar to the second period, and after Davis scored to make it a 5-1 game it appeared this game was just about finished.

But with 11:39 left, Canton Jenkinson took a knee-on-knee hit that led to a power play. It also left Jenkinson very shaken up and unavailable until late in the third period - where he was clearly playing at less than 100 percent.

“Their kids threw some pretty cheap shots. That one they got Canton with was unnecessary,” Moran said. “Stuff like that bothers me.”

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After an unsuccessful power play, Barnstable began to show their desperation to get back into the game – striking at the 9:15, 4:51, and 4:27 marks of the third period, which prompted the timeout.

Nantucket's Braden Knapp, Ryan Davis, Nico Tedeschi line had a strong first shift after the timeout, which seemed to settle things down for Nantucket as they got back to playing like they did in the first couple of periods.

"We had a lot of good shots. We had a lot of good opportunities,” Moran said. “We missed a couple of really good opportunities but overall, their work in the second period of moving the puck down, everything they did to crash the net and move the puck right in front is positive. Our power plays were phenomenal. They did a great job on those. There's a lot of good to take away from it, but I'd rather have just good. I hate to have to compare good to bad. There shouldn't be any bad. Now we are going to get into some real meat and potatoes. We have some time to work with these kids.”

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Aside from a couple of late period chances, Barnstable didn't get many opportunities to score the equalizer thanks to much more composed play on the part of the Whalers following the timeout. Nantucket improved their record to 3-1 this season but as Moran said, valuable lessons were learned about letting their foot off of the gas pedal when earning a comfortable lead and the importance of playing a full 45 minutes.

Nantucket’s next game is at home on December 30 against another Div. 1 program – the Framingham Flyers – at 2 p.m.

Girls Hoops Loses On Road

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Photo by Chris Tran

The Nantucket girls basketball team was unable to win their second consecutive game after earning the first victory of their season on Tuesday. They lost to Wareham 44-18, which drops the Whaler's record to 1-5 this season.

Junior guard Maddie Lombardi, who missed the last game due to illness, returned and led Nantucket with 10 points. The Whalers are now preparing for a two week break before their next scheduled game, which is January 5th on the road against the Monomoy Sharks - who beat Nantucket 58-38 on the island December 15th.

Below are some more photos from Wednesday's boys hockey game - taken by David Creed.

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