It has been a frustrating season for the Nantucket girls hockey team. They have yet to win a game this season (0-9), but there was optimism that Tuesday evening against the Old Rochester Regional Bulldogs (5-10) could be their night.
It appeared early on that it could be after a first period goal by junior forward Emerson Pekarcik to give Nantucket an early lead, but the Whalers were unable to maintain the momentum and lost 7-2.
“We just couldn’t put it together today,” head coach Liz Collins said. “It is hard for the girls. It has been a long season and today we just had an off day. We didn’t have tape to tape passes and led to the result of the game. Their goalie made some amazing saves as well. Caroline (Allen, Nantucket goalie) made awesome stops as well for us."
After the Whalers took a 1-0 lead on Pekarcik’s third goal in as many games, the Bulldogs scored five minutes later to make it 1-1. It appeared that the teams would head to their respective locker rooms tied 1-1, but the Bulldogs were able to score with 1.8 seconds remaining in the first period to make it a 2-1 game after one.
“We really need to clean up our defensive zone,” Collins said. “We can’t spend whole shifts in the defensive zone because that is why we aren’t getting many offensive opportunities. Caroline had to face another 50-plus shots (today). We need to limit the number of shots Caroline is seeing.”
Bailey Lower did what she could to help Nantucket get back their momentum. The junior center scored her fourth goal of the season and recorded her team-leading sixth point of the year to make it 2-2 with just over nine minutes to play in the second period.
But three minutes later ORR took the lead back and never gave it away again. They scored two more times in the second period to make it 5-2 after two periods and two more times in the third period to ice the game and walk away with their fifth win of the season.
“Practice went really well yesterday but we couldn’t translate it to today,” Collins said. “I think that has sort of been the story of the season. We are playing games where we have a period that looks great, like the first period today looked great, then the other team starts scoring some goals and we put our heads down. We play a lot of great teams in our league. It is hard, but we have to be able to work ourselves out of the hole and focus on the little things that could lead to the goals.”
The Whalers will be in action again on Saturday when they host the Barnstable Red Hawks (6-4-1) at 2 p.m.